The team behind your team.
Bottom line, we “get" grants: we understand the grant seeking process, how to interpret the grant making patterns of funders, and how to guide nonprofit leaders to strategically grow their grant revenues.
We partner with organizations as their trusted advisors to identify funders, recommend grant strategies, write compelling proposals, and make long-term gains.
Grants Plus is the nation's leading strategic grant seeking firm. We have received the Weatherhead 100 Award for seven consecutive years, a Smart Business Progressive Organization Award, and a Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award from the American Psychological Association.
From our founding, we have been a mission-based, values-driven business. We celebrate multiple ways of giving back, from supporting causes at the holidays to growing a philanthropic fund at The Cleveland Foundation.
Combined, our professional team of grant seeking experts bring hundreds of years' experience in the nonprofit sector. We have walked in our clients' shoes as executive directors, development directors, foundation officers, and grant writers.
Grants Plus is a proud member of The Giving Institute, which consists of member organizations that have embraced and embodied the core values of ethics, excellence and leadership in advancing philanthropy.
Celebrating 16 Years Since Our Founding
Lauren Steiner founded Grants Plus in 2007 to help nonprofits raise the grant funding they need to fulfill their missions and change the world. Sixteen years later, Lauren’s vision has come to life with the impact of transformative organizations and projects around the country. Grants Plus has secured more than $300 million in public and private grants for community-serving agencies, health organizations, schools and colleges, cultural institutions, and other entities nationwide.
Today Grants Plus has grown to a team of more than thirty of the most experienced and talented grants professionals in the fundraising industry. Lauren aspired to not only launch a thriving business, but also a leading workplace. “I wanted to create an environment where I wanted to work, and where my team could accomplish challenging, rewarding work without sacrificing their whole selves,” she explains. Grants Plus promotes wellness practices and core company values that earned the firm a Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award from the American Psychological Association and a Smart Women: Progressive Organization Award.
As Founder of Grants Plus, Lauren is committed to developing the field of grant-seeking by mentoring new professionals, championing equity in the sector, and speaking on best practices. She leads a graduate-level course in philanthropy at the Mandel School of Applied Social Science at Case Western Reserve University and serves on the board of The Giving Institute and Giving USA Foundation, where she also co-chairs the editorial review board.
Lauren was recognized in 2017 with the Outstanding Fundraising Professional Award from AFP Greater Cleveland and was featured as a 2019 Notable Women in Entrepreneurship by Crain’s Cleveland Business. She is the past president of the Grant Professionals Association Ohio-Northern Chapter. Lauren received a B.S. from Ohio University and a J.D. from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University.
MEET OUR LEADERS
Dana Textoris is Chief Executive Officer of Grants Plus. She assumes the role of CEO as Grants Plus marks 16 years of service and celebrates a milestone of $300 million in grant funding raised on behalf of its clients.
Dana joined Grants Plus in 2013 after raising millions of dollars as a fund development leader for organizations including NARAL Pro-Choice America, the ACLU of Northern California, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Upon joining Grants Plus, Dana served as a grant writing and strategy consultant to key clients, including the League of Conservation Voters, North Carolina Partnership for Children, Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland, and Case Western Reserve University. Over the last decade, she has worked closely with Founder Lauren Steiner to grow Grants Plus as an award-winning workplace and the go-to grant seeking resource for nonprofits nationwide.
In her tenure, Dana has innovated new client solutions and developed the Grants Plus standards of excellence for grant writing and equitable language. During the COVID crisis, she spearheaded the creation of a Grants Plus Emergency Grant Resource Center that provided free pandemic fundraising resources to thousands of nonprofits. Dana has also championed the firm’s journey to align grant seeking best practices to goals of equity and access. To advance equity in the broader fundraising field, she serves on the DEI Taskforce of The Giving Institute, the national association that produces the annual Giving USA Report.
In this next chapter as CEO, Dana will inspire the Grants Plus team to reach increasing levels of accomplishment, for the firm and for its clients. As evidence of its consistent achievement, in 2022 Grants Plus secured its ninth Weatherhead 100 Award, given to firms who exemplify excellence in leadership, growth, and success.
Dana’s passion for the social good sector extends to her volunteerism for various community organizations. She formerly served as an officer of the Development Executives Roundtable in San Francisco and was a founding board member of Good Ol' Girls, a professional networking group for women in the San Francisco Bay Area. She holds a B.A. from The Ohio State University.
In her role as Chief Operating Officer, Sarah oversees the operational and financial aspects of the business and leads their execution. She has extensive experience in nonprofit management, donor strategy building, special events, direct marketing, and information management. Sarah’s favorite conversations include helping partners solve challenges through coaching, strategic planning, and finding data-driven solutions. Sarah sits on multiple committees with The Giving Institute and volunteers with several regional nonprofit organizations, serving youth, women, and young professionals. Sarah holds a B.S.E. from Bowling Green State University.
Gail Dancy Heim, MA
Throughout her tenure at Grants Plus, Gail has guided staff growth to help team members reach their full potential in identifying, pursuing, and winning grants on behalf of clients. As Chief Services Officer, Gail leads our team to provide excellent service to our clients, to foster positive client experiences, and to innovate new approaches. Gail currently sits on the board of the Grants Professionals Association (GPA) of Greater Cleveland and volunteers with multiple regional nonprofit organizations. A native New Englander, Gail holds a Bachelor of Music from the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford and a Master of Arts from New York University.
Kari Elsila, MNO
Kristi Reed, MBA
Sondra Matthews, SHRM-SCP
Laura Altieri, MNO
Helene Herbert, MBA
Jessica Robb, MSW, CLSSGB
MEET OUR NATIONAL TEAM OF EXPERTS
Hannah Everett, MS