Melissa Draut is a grant consultant based in Louisville, Kentucky. She is a skilled writer, polished presenter and creative thinker. She launched a grant writing career in 2007 after a 20-year career in the newspaper industry as a sales and marketing executive. Since then, she has secured hundreds of corporate, private, state and federal grants raising more than $4 million for client organizations. Her strength is developing new relationships and funds for programs and capital projects from private and corporate foundations. As a contract grant writer since 2007 for the Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence (KCADV), she helped to triple revenue for the organization’s Economic Empowerment program. She has secured grants from national funders such as the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Hearst Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts and the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment (Oakland, CA). Other client organizations have included Maryhurst (children’s agency), Presentation Academy (Catholic secondary school), the Collegiate School and Louisville Visual Arts.
A Grant Professional Association (GPA) member since 2012, she was the GPA Foundation Chuck Howard Legacy Scholarship recipient to the 2014 national conference in Baltimore.
She has represented the grants profession as a speaker for the Fundraising Executives of Metro Louisville (FREML), Center for Non-Profit Excellence (CNPE), Norton Healthcare and the University of Louisville Master of Public Administration program. She served as a panelist for the Consultant SIG program at the GPA National Conference in St. Louis in 2016, panelist at the KY GPA Chapter Conference in May 2017 and session presenter at the KY GPA Chapter Conference in March 2019.
Melissa is uniquely qualified to develop new donors due to her corporate sales training experience and successful tenure as grants professional. In her corporate experience, she led a nationally recognized advertising sales team and presented sales training to 80 staff members.
As a volunteer and Sarcoma survivor, Melissa was the top individual fundraiser in the nation for the 2017 Sarcoma Foundation of America (SFA) Virtual Race to Cure Sarcoma. Due in part to that success, she and other Sarcoma survivors are bringing a live race to Louisville in August 2019.
Melissa has a B.A. in English from the University of Louisville, a M.A. in Marketing from Webster University and earned the Grantsmanship Training Certificate in 2008.