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How the Yarnall’s Got into Writing Nonprofit Grants for Veterans

Alexis Swenson grant writing unicorn
by Alexis Swenson, Grant Writer
March 4th
the yarnall's
Description
The mission statement of Dr. Kim Yarnall and Robert Yarnall is to “Be grateful for all you have. Work hard for what you want. Help as many people along the way as you can.” The Yarnall's founded The Mission Makers to support nonprofits through veteran grants, pursue professional grant writing, and establish a plan for retirement. The husband and wife duo are truly a team in everything they do from serving on boards together, exercising, and being business partners.

Location
Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

Funding Area
Veterans, Youth, Health Care, Community Engagement

Website
The Mission Makers

Nonprofit Grants for Veterans

Dr. Kim Yarnall and Robert Yarnall founded The Mission Makers to help nonprofits, specifically Veteran organizations, find fundraising success. Robert (Bob) is a Retired Marine Corps Master Gunnery Sergeant having served 25 years. Three of their kids serve or have served as well. This passion for service guides their work today as they lead with a community-first mindset.

“We had both been involved in the nonprofit sub-sector as volunteers for many years serving on various boards and committees,” said Kim. “Through that work, we realized that a key factor in the success of any nonprofit is their ability to fund their programs and projects and that winning grants is often a big piece of that puzzle. We felt like we could expand our impact with the organizations that we're passionate about if we could bring that skill to the table.”

The Yarnall's are able to bring that impact with The Mission Makers. Kim is also very involved with their local Pocono Family YMCA and currently working as a developmental specialist dealing directly with the grant writing for an $8M capital campaign project.

When organizations hire The Mission Makers, the Yarnall's like to joke that it’s a two-for-one deal. Playing on one another’s strengths has been vital to the growth of their business.

“When you're hiring us, not only are you getting two of us, you're getting two people that are passionate and are going to bring that passion to everything we do for you,” Bob said.

“We’re a team in everything we do. We're so used to working that way throughout our marriage that it's really not that big of a change. I think we play well off of each other's strengths”, Kim said. “Bob really enjoys working with the startups and, and getting all their paperwork in order. I enjoy the program development, grant research, and the grant writing side of things a little bit more. We're figuring out what each other's roles are going to be in our business.”

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That's cool. We are podcast people as well! You can listen to the fabulous interview with Kim and Bob below or catch it on YouTube here.

Grant Writing Consulting

Creating and developing partnerships has been the proudest accomplishment of starting The Mission Makers. Kim and Bob's work with nonprofits in the past allowed them to understand the trials that a nonprofit goes through. However, working with an overview perspective has allowed them to connect nonprofits all over the country with similar goals in order to create a bigger impact.

“We can help organizations build a strong foundation, get them even grant ready, help them with their fundraising programs so that they have another stream of income besides grants to make them more attractive to funders, and make sure they have strong metrics to measure their outcomes,” Bob said. “Being able to put that together, we know that now we can expand the impact from many different organizations which quadruples the impact that we can have as individuals.”

Blending nonprofit consulting with grant writing has not only helped the Yarnall's round out their business, but has secured a retirement plan for them that doesn’t feel like work. “This company gives us a remote type of job that we can do from anywhere,” Bob said. “Because it's our passion, not work, it's something that we fully plan on continuing well into our retirement. It’s something that we can do and have an impact on nonprofits around the country.”

Striving for work-life balance is also key for the Yarnall's success—professionally and personally. For Kim and Bob, balance looks like hiking or biking on the weekends, watching a football game or cooking show, or traveling.

“Usually around 6:00 PM, we shut it down and, you know, TV goes on, the glass of wine gets poured, and we go back to our personal lives,” Bob said.

“Wine tasting is our favorite hobby,” Kim said. “So when we travel, we always seek out great wine experiences. And, we enjoy just sitting by the fire, drinking a glass of wine whenever we get a chance."

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Professional Grant Writing

The Mission Makers is growing, already having 15 clients, and a major challenge they face is keeping tabs on every project. They overcome this challenge by implementing many of the time management tools taught in Learn Grant Writing and believe that if you implement these tools from the start, you are able to keep your focus on the most important tasks.

“As the business has gotten bigger, it's figuring out how to manage all the things to do for all the different clients and all the tasks that are on the list for us to do along with our day jobs and our other responsibilities,” Kim said.

“So, being able to realize that we need to just reinvest and utilize some of the tools that are out there to free up our time for doing the work that we are hired to do,” Bob said.

In addition to Asana, other tools that have proven essential for the Yarnall's include Calendly and hiring a bookkeeper.

Check out this video on how to use Asana to stay organized:

how to use Asana to stay organized

Kim and Bob also appreciate Learn Grant Writing's commitment to current grant writing needs. The course content, feedback, and bonus training evolve as the grant writing world continues to grow. The funding strategy, prospectus, coaching calls, and community have been an absolute game-changer for their business!

“A funding strategy is a critical piece of the puzzle to being intentional in how you're pursuing your funding opportunities, but it's also a great vehicle to provide that first deliverable to your clients,” Kim said. “Then beyond that, just being part of the collective networking with the other members, coaching calls, especially early on was very helpful.”

👉 Free resources and templates are available on the Learn Grant Writing website here.

Grant Writing Resources

Watch our interview with Bob and Kim Yarnall here: Unicorn Spotlight: Kim and Bob Yarnall.

Kyle Weckerly

Read this blog post to learn more about grants for veterans organizations.

Interested in getting your feet wet with grant writing? Check out our free training on how to build a career in grant writing.

Want to speak with someone in the Grant Writing Unicorn Collective to get their perspective? Shoot us a DM on Instagram and we can connect you: DM us on Instagram.

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We made this video to answer your questions about how to build a career in grant writing without the fear of where you will find clients or the fear of failure. We cover the top three mistakes that keep people from making the leap from a soul-sucking job to something more meaningful.

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