Spark the Fire Grantwriting Classes

Helping Nonprofits Achieve Their Mission

Spark the Fire Grantwriting Classes has been providing quality courses in grantwriting since 2013. We teach classes nationally, with a focus on nonprofit organizations in the Northwest.

The organization was founded by Allison Shirk who has more than twenty year’s experience in grantwriting and nonprofit management. Allison is an Approved Specialist in the Nonprofit Resource Directory, a vetted resource of nonprofit consultants recommended by their clients and peers. She is a Columnist for the Foundation Center - New York, The Sustainable Nonprofit.

Allison has helped nonprofits raise millions of dollars to help make the world a better place.


My mom was a social worker who spent her life fighting for social justice. She instilled in me a deep sense of empathy for others and a lot of FIGHT to stand up for those who couldn't stand up for themselves. I have followed in her footsteps. I have worked to protect foster children, immigrants & refugees, people experiencing homelessness, individuals with serious mental illness, and the most poor and vulnerable in our communities. I have also protected habitat and wildlife, made sure children had a place to play, and much more...

I started out as my mom did - working directly with those in need. Then  I learned about the power of philanthropy.

I learned that by using the power of the pen, combined with the spark of hope, I could write grant applications that compelled others to give money to support good causes. 

  • At first I wrote thousand dollar grants to support grassroots work.

  • Then I learned to write ten-thousand dollar grants to support programs and small capital projects

  • I went bigger and wrote hundred thousand dollar grants to support regional-level nonprofits and program development.

  • Then I learned to write grants for multi-million dollar capital campaigns.

  • And finally, I learned how to write multi-million dollar grants that changed whole systems.

And that's when I realized that by learning to write grants, I could actually help change the world. I could make a difference on a larger scale than I ever thought was possible.


Writing a winning ten thousand dollar grant is NOT THAT DIFFERENT than writing a multi-million dollar grant. With a little practice, patience, and persistence,  you can do it!

I started Spark the Fire Grantwriting Classes because I believe that we need more people like you  to SPARK THE FIRE of philanthropy.  I love teaching people how to write grants. I love meeting new people and hearing about the amazing work you are doing. And I especially love hearing from my students that they just got a grant to fund something they care deeply about and can now do more good work in the world.

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