Albuquerque, NM April 4, 2018 — This Thursday, April 5, The Grants Collective will graduate its second cohort of the Talent Academy.  The Talent Academy is an intensive fellowship program aimed at local grant writers and fundraisers. This year’s cohort nearly doubled in size from last year, with 11 nonprofit organizations represented in the program.  These include new and established organizations such as 516 ARTS, ABQ Volunteers, Barelas Community Coalition, Blackout Theatre/The Grant Plant, Carrie Tingley Hospital Foundation, CNM, Fathers Building Futures, Five Sandoval Pueblos, Inc., Mandy’s Farm, Nusenda Foundation, and Three Sisters Kitchen.  The new graduates will be counted on to compete for and secure new funding from the federal government and large foundations.

The first cohort of fellows represented by six organizations graduated last March, and have since raised over $1.88 million for their individual programs, with over $1.4 million from out of state funders – bringing much needed financial capital to the state.

Launched by co-founders, Tara Gohr and Erin Hielkema, the goal of The Grants Collective is to increase local capacity so that the nonprofit sector can attract more resources to the state, effectively growing the pool of funds available. It was built from the success of The Grant Plant, a local small business that has successfully secured about $94 million in funding for its nonprofit clients since its founding in 2003. The Grants Collective was formed to respond to requests for training and capacity building around grant seeking. It employs a long-term, cohort-based and collaborative approach to helping organizations gain a competitive edge to secure funding from national and federal sources. Applications for the new cohort of the Talent Academy will open in early summer.

This work is important as the nonprofit sector is an economic driver – it employs approximately 10% of the U.S. workforce. There are about 14,000 nonprofit organizations across the state of New Mexico.

“Knowing how much money the first cohort raised, we have the much needed data to show what we’ve done works.” says Program Manager, Robert Nelson.  “Now that we have two cohorts under our belt, we seek to capitalize on this success and help local nonprofit organizations continue to build their capacity to seek and secure transformative, high impact grants.”

The application for the third Talent Academy for nonprofit professionals will open in June, 2018.
For more information on the Grants Collective, visit

The Grants Collective addresses the philanthropic divide that New Mexico faces by building nonprofit capacity for grant seeking through professional development, shared resources, and access to expertise. Programming includes: (1) Talent Academy, a 6-month intensive, project-based professional development experience to build the skills of grants professionals, specifically around seeking large scale grant opportunities; and (2) Cooperative Network, an online and in-person forum for grants professionals to find resources, ask questions and share advice, foster collaboration, and share efficiencies. The Collective also fiscally sponsors Grow New Mexico, a program developed to identify funding sources for transformative community projects. Board of Directors: Robin Brule, T.J. Cook, Tina Garcia Shams, Eric Griego, Erin Hagenow, Debi Randall, Anna Sanchez, Travis Suazo, and Justin Zoladz.

Contact: Robert Nelson, Program Manager
Tel.: (505) 226-0171