Michelle Ferguson, Project Manager

Michelle Ferguson is a Project Manager for California Consulting. Her grant writing expertise is built upon more than 20 years of writing and editing experience, primarily in journalism and with Colorado’s nonprofit sector. Throughout her career in grant
writing and management, Michelle has raised nearly $20 million to benefit a wide spectrum of societal causes ranging from improved student literacy levels to increasing equitable outcomes in healthcare for those uninsured/underinsured. Michelle is truly thrilled and delighted to bring her diverse set of skills to California Consulting, particularly with:
● Functioning as lead liaison and managing client portfolios, thereby incorporating any changes or edits communicated by clients in order to effectively bring their interests and goals to the forefront.
● Anticipating upcoming client needs through maintained, regular interaction that is always positive,
respectful, and sensitive to partnering organizations’ respective points of view.
● Exercising model stewardship from start to finish during the entire grant writing process, and
facilitating best practices to strengthen client/donor relationships alike.
● Taking the most appropriate and measurable course of action, demonstrating a willingness to
embrace responsible risk-taking while frequently staying on top of trends that could affect client
● Brainstorming innovative ideas and concepts that are not only informed by the current funding
landscape, but ultimately serve to swap out culturally-irrelevant strategies for more developed
approaches that place a greater emphasis on advancing capacity building and community

Whether corporate, foundation or first-time funders, Michelle excels at cultivating partnerships with
private and public sources to spearhead impactful change that is further bolstered by the power of
community. What especially excites Michelle about joining the California Consulting team is having the
opportunity to catalyze real change that’s both tangible and meaningful—sparking much-needed
dialogue in ways that are braver, bolder, and provide new alternatives for “walking the walk.”

Michelle began writing grants for PetAid Colorado in 2013, where she worked in tandem with the Dumb
Friends League to establish a healthcare safety net for pets. This was first achieved through the PetSmart
Charities Compassion Fund by reducing pet homelessness and making wellness services increasingly
available for pets at risk of entering into the shelter system. Her commitment to preventing the needless
suffering and relinquishment of animals, regardless of their owner’s financial status, was shared by the
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to help provide medical subsidies for horses,
cows, and other farming livestock in Colorado’s rural counties. By the time Michelle decided it was time to
move ahead in her grant writing endeavors, PetAid Animal Hospital experienced a 108% increase in
patient intake with over 14,000 animals served annually, having become a critical source of service within
Colorado’s communities.
In 2018, Michelle started working at Easterseals to partner with individuals, families, and the community
to reduce the impact of disability and health challenges so that those living with a disability (cognitive or
physical) were given the ability to overcome obstacles to independence and enhance quality of life
through wellness, employment, respite, and recreation service programs. Michelle was directly
responsible for the coordination, writing and final submission of grant proposals, successfully garnering
significant new sources of funding on behalf of Easterseals’ Neurological + Stroke Rehabilitation Center,
Disability Benefit Services, Rocky Mountain Village and YAY! summer camps, Community Transit, as well
as Access Gallery—a rapidly expanding Easterseals affiliate and social enterprise bridging the gap in
employment opportunities for youth living with intellectual and developmental disabilities when
transitioning out of the school system.
In 2021, Michelle became a senior grant writing consultant at Joining Vision + Action (JVA) as this enabled
her to work with a refreshingly colorful array of inspiring national nonprofit organizations, such as Think
360 Arts, Tepeyac Community Health Center, and the New York City chapter of “I Have A Dream”
Foundation. Thanks to her enlightening tenure at JVA, grant writing on a consultant basis has become an
important and major mainstay in Michelle’s efforts to transform complex problems into deliverable
actions. At California Consulting, she will continue seeking solutions that are an integral if not necessary
component to maximizing community involvement and making collective progress possible, one
purposeful step at a time.

Michelle has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism with a minor in Chinese language, specifically
Mandarin from New York University (NYU).

Michelle spent over six years volunteering as a literacy tutor at New York Cares, a nonprofit educational
charity, teaching reading to adult students with 1st to 5th grade academic skills. She now enjoys
volunteering with Denver area organizations related to disability issues (e.g., Shine Music Festival).

Michelle was born in Hong Kong and moved to the United States in 1997, when the handover occurred
and Hong Kong returned to Chinese control after a century and a half of British colonial rule. She is also
president of the Pinky Ferguson Detective Agency, during which she solves mysteries via a reasonable and
sensible bargain