Today on the blog we are highlighting grant writer volunteer Kendall Neubeiser to learn more about her volunteer role and expertise.
How did you get involved with FFEN? How long have you been volunteering with FFEN?
I found FFEN through volunteermatch.com. I was searching for an organization that I felt I could contribute to in a meaningful way. I have been a FFEN volunteer for about three months now.
What is your professional background and experience and how does it relate to your volunteer role?
My professional background is in writing and social work. I have some experience in grant writing for nonprofits, so the volunteer role of grant writer and researcher seemed like a perfect fit.
What has your experience with FFEN looked like?
I am part of a grant writing cohort, which creates this feeling of openness and community. Every month we hold meetings discussing our FFEN-related experiences, relevant updates, and anything we may be struggling with. My main job is to meet with and assess food shelves for particular grants. After the food shelf interview, I write the grant and then edit it as either the food shelf or FFEN deem necessary before sending it off. In addition, since the grant writing and research cohort is relatively new, we are developing an organized grant database.
How do you think your skill set and professional experience support hunger relief work and food shelf engagements?
Since a large part of my work with FFEN involves interviewing and meeting participation, I am able to use soft skills such as effective verbal communication and teamwork to meet our common goal more efficiently. I am also able to use my skills as a writer as well as my nonprofit experience to create persuasive, thoughtful grants that will work in favor of the food shelves we support. In employing and bettering all of these skills, I hope to improve food shelf engagement by providing positive and professional experiences.
How has volunteering with FFEN helped you improve your abilities in your professional field? How has it shifted your learning or understanding of hunger relief?
While I do have some past experience in grant writing for nonprofits, it had been some time since I’d done it, so it has been exciting to take on grant writing for the hunger relief sector. In learning the language of hunger relief, I feel I’m relearning the weight of words, the true and lasting impact of them. FFEN has given my empathy and energy a productive place to go in a time where many of us are feeling helpless.
To learn more about this volunteer role, visit our page here.