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    Your work matters. funding is abundant.

    Hiawatha Associates is a women-owned consulting firm providing organizational development services

    to nonprofits in Minnesota and beyond.

  • Minnesota services

    We specialize in securing funding for Black and Immigrant-led nonprofit organizations throughout Minnesota by offering grant readiness assessments, prospect research, and grant writing services.

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    Prospect Research

    Hiawatha Associates keeps abreast of funding opportunities from Minnesota foundations, corporations, city, county, and state sources. We cultivate relationships with funders and access grant search engines to ensure that each client receives a comprehensive calendar of funding opportunities tailored to their unique eligibility and competitive advantages.




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    Grant Readiness Assessments

    Not every organization is prepared for grant funding, and that's perfectly fine! With a depth of knowledge in both organizational structures and funder priorities, we ensure your organization has the required experience, personnel, and documentation in place to pursue grant funding. For organizations lacking in any of these areas, we make recommendations to reach necessary milestones and become "grant ready."

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    Grant Writing

    We are process experts and have capabilities across many different community development sectors including: healthcare, education, workforce development, youth, social justice, and the arts. We have extensive experience in government grant writing at all levels, specializing in funding opportunities offered by the Minnesota Department of Health, Minnesota Department of Human Services, and Hennepin County.

  • Recent Grant Awards

  • local Clients

  • International work

    We specialize in providing professional assistance to international organizations in proposal capture, design, facilitation, management, and technical writing in Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America.

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    Program Design & Facilitation

    Hiawatha Associates' CEO, Sara, has extensive experience in facilitation and program design. She excels in virtual design processes and enjoys leading international teams through on-site workshops developing theories of change, results frameworks, work plans, and evaluation plans to form the backbone of winning proposals. Sara employs a participatory approach to facilitation for program design and has a knack for engaging East and West African participants. Her experience and expertise spans the issue areas of HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Orphans and Vulnerable Children, Economic Development, Livelihoods, and Nutrition.

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    Proposal Management & Technical Writing

    We have vast experience in managing the proposal process, and our proposal management tools have been adopted by clients worldwide for use in their work. We use a combination of RFP abstraction tools, aggressive yet adaptable timelines, and industry-standard Shipley Method to streamline the proposal process efficiently. Our goal is to ease the burden on client teams by seamlessly guiding the process and addressing any unexpected challenges, such as donor-adjusted requirements, with ease. We also offer technical writing capacity assistance for existing teams.

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    International Resumé

    Hiawatha Associates has experience serving people groups worldwide: Bangladesh, Cote d’Ivoire*, Dominican Republic, Ghana, Haiti*, Kenya*, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali*, Mozambique, Nigeria*, Rwanda, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda*, the United States, and Zimbabwe.


    *Denotes projects with in-country, on-site facilitation.

  • Recent awards

  •  International clients

  • Meet Our Team

    Our team combines experience with passion, creativity, and dedication. From rural back roads to corporate boardrooms,

    we are committed to supporting our clients and those they serve. We are proud to be women-owned and operated.

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    Sara Thompson

    Founder & CEO

    Head of Grants


    Sara is a strategic thinker with 18 years of experience in business development, small business growth, and human-centered program design. Her niche is in economic development and health both domestically and internationally. Sara turns visionaries’ dreams into reality by listening with empathy and curiosity, designing responsive programming and proposals, and attracting donors and funding from a wide variety of sources. Sara holds a Master's Degree in Public Policy with an emphasis in Development Economics.

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    Katy Skarlatos

    Head of Strategy

    Maternal and Infant Health Lead


    Katy has a vast background serving the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. For the past decade, Katy owned and operated a women’s health and midwifery practice. She also has extensive experience in business development consulting, strategic planning, data analysis, technical writing, and research and data analysis. Her portfolio reflects her knowledge of a wide variety of organizational structures and practices. Katy holds a Master's Degree in International Public Policy with an emphasis in policy analysis.

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    Senator Bluto

    Head of Wellness

    Lead Napper

  • Come work with us

    Contract Grants Associate

    Contract/Remote, 10 hours per week

    Position Details

    Hiawatha Associates is seeking an entry-level communications professional to join our team. This is a contracted opportunity, fully remote, with an expectation of 10 hours per week. The Contract Grants Associate will:

    · Maintain accurate prospect information

    · Update content libraries/stock language

    · Contribute to technical and persuasive grant writing

    · Conduct administrative and notetaking tasks


    Skills Preferences

    · Associate or Bachelor degree in communications, political science, business, or related field preferred

    · Access to high-speed internet and a personal laptop

    · Ability to work independently with attention to meeting deadlines

    · Excellent English writing skills

    · Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite.

    · Proficiency in Google Applications.

    · Access to and proficiency in virtual meeting platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams.

    · Somali, Oromo, Amharic, and/or Spanish conversational language skills preferred


    How to Apply

    Email resumé and cover letter to Sara Thompson at sara@hiawathaassociates.com.

  • Contact us

    Thanks for reaching out. We'll be in touch.