Owner and Consultant, The Grant Advantage
SUPERPOWER: WORKING WITH PEOPLE
Nicki Bentley-Colthart comes from a long line of West Virignians. She started off her college experience as a piano major, but soon realized she wanted to change gears. After taking a few classes and talking with some mentors to see what she might be interested in, she gravitated toward social work and writing grants for nonprofits. “What I like about grant writing is that you take those great ideas and help translate them to paper, so the nonprofits can hopefully get the funds to make their dreams come true,” she says. The work has been a passion ever since, one that led her to The Grant Advantage.
“As a grant writer, I get to talk to people when they are excited,” she says. “I get the opportunity to learn about so many things—NASA, education, child care, homelessness, recovery homes, immigrant education, job training. I get to see so much that I didn’t think, as a kid in Buckhannon, I would ever get to see.”
With over 20 years of experience, Bentley-Colthart knows the ins and outs of financial proposals at the local, state, and federal levels. Since 2000, she has acquired over $28 million for nonprofits and higher education institutions in the state. “I really feel I’ve picked up a lot from a lot of mentors over the years. Being a social worker and coming into grant writing, I’ve had my feet on the ground. I understand what happens for the staff on the ground.” Her passion for helping others and her writing skill destined her for this career.
Bentley-Colthart is most passionate about rural communities and seeing the changes proper funding can bring. “When organizations are fundraising in rural communities, you don’t have corporate hubs. You often have to compete with more people for funding,” she says. “I like to help people in smaller areas with smaller resources be more competitive over time and get those resources they need, to do what I can to help bridge some gaps and reduce as many barriers as possible.”
Learn more about our Wonder Women
Since 2014 WV Living magazine has been honoring West Virginia Wonder Women, amazing women who are raising the bar in their communities, serving as beacons of light in their industries, and forcing change for the greater good. WV Living is proud to celebrate these Appalachian mothers, millennials, and mavens proving that in a time full of uncertainty, divisiveness, and hate, love for one another is all we really need. No need for bulletproof bracelets or a golden lasso of truth—these women are creating a better West Virginia with their can-do attitudes and Mountain State spirit.