trc-aboutMy name is John Pattison. I am an author, community advocate, nonprofit consultant, and longtime grant writer. My mission is to connect people who are passionate about their communities to the resources they need to help those communities flourish.

On this blog, I curate conversations on topics related to:

  • Grant writing and grants management
  • Persuasive writing for nonprofits
  • Community development
  • Nonprofit leadership
  • Strategic Planning

I do all this through the lens of abundance. Whether you are here as a busy staff person wearing multiple hats at a small nonprofit, a dedicated volunteer at your local school or church, or a mid-career grant professional looking for inspiration, I hope this space equips you to identify, secure, and leverage the resources available for your organization. I hope you will see what I see: that there is abundant provision for your abundant community.

Your organization is doing important work and your role is essential to that work. I’m going to do what I can to help you succeed. Thanks for letting me be a part of it.

What You Can Expect

I try to post at least once a week, usually on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Sometimes I publish more often. To make sure you don’t miss a thing, subscribe via RSS. But the best way to stay up-to-date with what is happening here is by signing up for the weekly TRC Newsletter. Each issue includes a digest of the most recent blog entries. But it will grow to include exclusive content like featured grant opportunities, community success stories, productivity hacks, book and tool recommendations, and a first-glance at upcoming topics. We also want to use the newsletter to “troubleshoot” real grants from actual readers. (Here’s where to submit your question.)

As the site grows, I encourage you to peruse the archives and also to use the search bar on the side of every page to find posts on specific topics.

I’ve asked a few friends to be periodic contributors to this blog as well, writing in their areas of expertise: nonprofit marketing, organizational leadership, strategic planning, and program evaluation. My full bio, and the bios for key contributing writers, are located below.

My Contact Information

I would love to connect on Twitter or Facebook or Instagram.

If you have a question, feel free to email me, or submit it through the Contact page.

I also have a personal blog at johnepattison.com.


John Pattison

I have been writing grants for more than thirteen years, for clients located around the United States. After several years as a staff writer and full-time freelancer, in 2007 I cofounded and served as the lead writer for Cascadia Resource Consultants (CRC), a grant writing and funding development company. Over the next four years, CRC helped secure more than $32.5 million for our clients, including school districts, colleges, universities, faith-based organizations, and other nonprofits. Beginning in 2011, I served as grants manager first for the Oregon College of Art and Craft and then the Salem Art Association. In total, I have helped raise nearly $40 million in grant funding.

In addition to consulting for nonprofits, I write and speak regularly on topics related to faith, community development, rural culture, and fundraising. My most recent book is Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus (IVP, 2014), which draws inspiration from Slow Food and the other Slow movements to re-imagine how local churches can be more faithfully rooted in the place and pace of their neighborhoods. The book received a coveted starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, as well as glowing feature-length reviews from Christianity Today, Books & CultureSojourners, and many other publications. For more information on Slow Church—including endorsements, reviews, a media kit, and more—I’ve created a special landing page for readers of The Resourceful Community.

I’ve been a guest speaker at conferences, churches, and in classrooms from Seattle to Louisville, including recent presentations at the Seattle School for Theology & Psychology, Seattle University, and George Fox University. One of the highlights was participating in the closing session of the 2014 Slow Money Gathering (along with the leadership of Slow Money, Slow Food USA, and Slow Food International), and then speaking the next day at the Neighborhood Economics Conference.

I live in Oregon’s Mid-Willamette Valley with my wife, Kate, and our two children. In my free time, I like to travel—my current goal is to visit all Seven Wonders of Oregon—go camping, watch baseball, ride my bike, and spend time with friends at a favorite coffee shop or pub. I also love to read and write. Once upon a time, I served as the former Deputy Editor of the Burnside Writers Collective, an online magazine. More recently, I was the Managing Editor of Conspire, a quarterly print magazine. A voting member of the National Book Critics Circle, my articles, essays, and book reviews have appeared in magazines and newspapers around the country. I’m also the online community manager for the Ford Institute for Community Building, a rural vitality initiative of The Ford Family Foundation.

I am currently writing a book entitled Grantsmanship as Craftsmanship, which will help nonprofits craft breakthrough grant proposals. Much of the content for that book will be developed in conversation with the readers of this blog.

David Johnson

David Johnson is Chief of Staff at Gateway to College National Network (GtCNN), an education reform nonprofit that serves 43 communities in 23 states and is dedicated to expanding education opportunities for at-risk and underserved youth. In this role David is responsible for the development and successful implementation of the GtCNN’s current five-year strategic plan, including facilitating the organization’s redesign and change management process. David also leads GtCNN’s foundation fundraising efforts, securing over $23 million since 2008 from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, and The Kresge Foundation, among others. Prior to joining GtCNN, David cofounded Cascadia Resource Consultants (with John Pattison) and served as a Grants Officer for Portland Community College. He lives in Portland with his wife and two children.

Kate Pattison

Kate Pattison works at the Oregon Department of Education (ODE), where she oversees the state’s Charter School Program and coordinates ODE’s strategic plan. She serves on the board of directors for the local Montessori public charter school, as well as on the board of the Parish Collective. Kate is passionate about exploring what it means to commit oneself to a particular place for life—in her case, the small, rural community of Silverton, Oregon. Kate likes to live life in the front yard, working with neighbors to weave a fabric of care in their neighborhood. She and her husband, John, have been experimenting with the slow, rooted life for 14 years. Kate’s primary intentional community is her family, and she spends much of her energy growing and nurturing little humans: two daughters, ages 3 and 9.

Michael Nevens

Michael Nevens is a Business Education Instructor at Butte College, as well as the college’s athletic chaplain. He serves the for-profit and nonprofit communities in Chico, California by consulting in the areas of marketing and strategic planning. He holds both an MBA and an M.Div. He also serves as a consultant for Cultural Encounters, the Journal for the Theology of Culture (Multnomah Seminary). But his most important responsibilities and priorities flow from his role as faithful husband to his wife, Gretchen, and father to their two young sons.

The Grant Writing Process: 11 Basic Steps (PDF & Checklist)

How to write a grant 300

Writing grants for your organization is an adventure.

You wouldn't set out on an epic hike without at least a general understanding of the terrain ahead. So why would you set out on your grantseeking journey without an overview of what lies in store?

This eight-page PDF and checklist are the perfect place to start.

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