Vice President, Grants Division & Senior Consultant
In 2015, Paula Swope made a life changing decision to leave her position as the Associate Director of Partners for Education at Berea College to become a grant professional consultant. After years of working with colleges and universities, Paula decided to pursue her passion of helping nonprofit organizations achieve sustainability. She always thought that if she could make a decent living helping others she would be happy, and this has been the case for the past two years. Paula is a Madison County native. When she married her husband, Will, they moved to Louisville, KY in September 2015. Philanthropy is deeply embedded in the culture of Louisville, and Paula has had ample opportunities to put her unique skill set to excellent use in the community. In her short career working independently, she has secured $3,000,000 in funding for Louisville nonprofits.
Paula went to college in her hometown of Richmond, KY. She obtained a bachelor of science in political science and a master’s of public administration (MPA) from Eastern Kentucky University. She served as the President of Kentucky’s Grant Professionals Association (GPA) from 2012-2016. When she stepped into this role, Kentucky’s GPA Chapter had zero dollars in the bank. During her time as President, she raised over $15,000 for the Chapter, expanded the member base, raised awareness of the Chapter, provided oversight of daily operations, provided leadership to volunteer officers, and executed 12 special events and conferences. Paula has also received credentialing from the prestigious Grantsmanship Center.
Throughout Paula’s career in nonprofit management, she has worked in every capacity. Paula has experience in event planning, capital campaigns, program design, program implementation, data collection, program evaluation, strategic planning, and fundraising, but her specialty is grant writing. Early on in her career, Paula realized her natural ability to raise money, and this led her to grant writing. Paula has been in this specialty role for over a decade securing $53,000,000 in grant funding for various nonprofit organizations. She has experience in foundation grants, state grants, and federal grants.
Outside of work, Paula is a happily married mother of two dogs, Presley and Jerry Lee, and two stepchildren, Nick and Claire. She loves to decorate, travel, indulge in fashion, and is an avid lover of music. Those who know Paula best describe her as “the woman who can get things done.”