Colorado Nonprofit Association

Training: When Words Matter – Writing a Compelling Grant Story


This grant course is an interactive lesson meant to help grant writers rethink the message they are telling through improved writing and advocacy techniques. Participants will use existing example grant narratives to rethink how to connect with the reviewers through the story of need.  They will walk away with a new way to articulate the story of their organization.

Recorded 11/17/22.


Dr. Melanie Hicks

Dr. Hicks is an empathy driven leader with more than two decades of experience in workforce, education and nonprofits. Focused on the areas of human centered leadership, strategic planning, employee engagement and organizational culture, Dr. Hicks has worked with hundreds of clients over the course of her career including small to midsize companies, education institutions and nonprofit organizations.

Dr. Hicks holds a doctorate from the Askew School of Public Administration and Policy at Florida State University, a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Miami and bachelors in Organizational Communications from the University of Central Florida. She is also a SHRM Senior Certified Professional. 

 In addition to her formal degrees, Dr. Hicks also holds two Diversity, Equity and Inclusion certifications and a lean six sigma yellow belt from the University of South Florida. As well as a Business Analytics certificate from Harvard Business School. 

Her awards include the Rod Rose Paper of the year award for the Journal of Research Administration, the Joyce Keller Volunteer of the Year Award, the Florence Bayuk Scholarship for academic excellence; the University of Miami Outstanding Scholastic and Public Service Achievement Award.

Dr. Hicks formerly served as the Vice President, Education Solutions Group at MGT Consulting where she leads business development for PK12, Higher Education and Education Transformation Practice areas. Prior to joining MGT, Dr. Hicks served as Assistant Provost at the University of Tampa where she created UT’s first Office of Sponsored Programs and oversaw the University’s 52 department budgets, and all grants and contracts. She also taught courses in Social Entrepreneurship, Environmental Policy, Public Private Partnerships, among others.

Prior to joining the University of Tampa team, she served as the Director of Research for the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida, an advocacy organization, and concurrently as the Managing Director of the Florida Independent College Fund, a 501c3 foundation. While at ICUF/FICF she implemented a four‐prong system for federal and state grant funding applications resulting in enhanced collaborative partnerships and led ICUF’s governmental affairs research for advocacy in Tallahassee and Washington, DC.

Dr. Hicks began her career as the Aide to Mayor of Tallahassee, a special projects coordinator with the Florida Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability and as an adjunct professor of Public Administration for Florida State University and Barry University.

Dr. Hicks is the author of the upcoming book Incongruent; Travel, Trauma, Transformation. Writing her first book at 10 years old, she has now been published in numerous magazines and websites including, Humanity Wine Co., The District, Doctor’s Life, Journal for Research Administration and Moc Ideja, a grassroots policy manual for lawmakers in Bosnia funded by the US Department of State.

Outside of her professional activities, her hobbies include writing, paddle boarding, biking, hiking, and is a certified yoga instructor. She also enjoys spending time with her husband Randy, stepdaughter, Lauren, and her fur babies, Eva & Molly