I am a veteran grantwriter with more than twenty years' experience serving the nonprofit community. I have had the pleasure of teaching grantwriting classes to hundreds of nonprofit professionals to help organizations and schools build their internal capacity to get funding to support their work. 


Before becoming an instructor and freelance grantwriter, I was the lead grants manager for Catholic Community Services of Western Washington. I have served as a Site Reviewer for 4Culture, as a Board Member of the Puget Sound Grantwriters Association, and as a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals - Northwest Advancement.  I am a Guest Columnist for the Foundation Center - New York's blog and I am proud to be an Approved Specialist with the prestigious Statewide Nonprofit Resource Directory hosted by 501 Commons.

I have written successful grant applications to the following grantmakers:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Health Resources Services Administration

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Kresge Foundation

Boeing Foundation

Norcliffe Foundation

Medina Foundation

Northwest Children's Fund

Employees Community Fund of Boeing

SAFECO Foundation


Bank of America

and many more.....





My Story

I was lucky. I had the great fortune of working for an organization early in my career that strongly believed in continuing education. I was sent to attend every grantwriting workshop that came to the Seattle area.

As a freelance grantwriter, I realized that there were a great number of nonprofit organizations out there that needed help with grantwriting and it became my goal to help nonprofits build their own internal capacity to write grants. I taught my first class at my local library and it was a hit. And I loved it!

Every since then, I have been continuously refining the curriculum of my classes based on feedback from my students and daily experiences working with nonprofits as a grantwriter and consultant. I have had the privilege of working with some of the most innovative and effective nonprofits out there. There is no greater joy than having a career that is so incredibly fulfilling.

I invite you to contact me with any questions you have. Invite me to come teach in your community. Let me know how I can be of service to you. Together we can make a difference! 


Let's Get Started

Interested in working together? Here's my contact info.

spark the fire grantwriting

allison shirk

PO Box 2124
Vashon, WA 98070

(206) 734-6521