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ADO Grant Writer Program

The Associate Development Organization (ADO) Grant Writer Program is designed to provide eligible ADOs with grants to recruit, hire, and retain professional grant writers in order to identify, apply for, and secure grant funds for economic development purposes.

Funds will be awarded on an annual basis. Multiple ADOs may jointly apply if a shared grant writer would be preferred or grants are sought for projects crossing multiple ADO boundaries. A total of $580,000 in funding will be awarded in Fiscal Year 2024 and $500,000 for Fiscal Year 2025 and priority is given to ADOs in distressed counties.

Solicitation of grant applications will be ongoing in FY 2024 until all funds have been allocated. The activities and deliverables outlined in a successful grant application must be completed by June 30, 2024.

Associate Development Organization Grant Program for Grant Writers is codified in RCW 43.330.088
County-designated ADOs are defined in RCW 43.330.080
Distressed areas are defined in RCW 43.168.020

*Commerce has the discretion to negotiate dollar amounts of approved awards.

Eligible Applicants

Only county-designated Associate Development Organizations may apply for these grants. Multiple ADOs may jointly apply if a shared grant writer would be preferred or grants are sought for projects crossing multiple ADO boundaries.

Got a Question?

Terri Drexler
Program Manager
Phone: (564) 201-0242

Eligible Uses

Grant funds are to be used for costs associated with recruiting, hiring and retaining grant writers, payment of contracted grant writers and administrative costs associated with these activities:

  • Solicit employment applications from professional grant writers.
  • Wages for grant writers hired on staff. Wage costs are limited to the period of performance outlined in the Commerce grant award contract.
  • Free-lance grant writer costs.
  • Grant research and application may be performed on behalf of partner organizations served by the ADO including but not limited to local governments, workforce development councils, port districts, community and technical colleges and higher education institutions, export assistance providers, innovation partnership zones and other programs and partners that benefit community and economic interests.
  • Funds may not be used to fund work conducted prior to the grant award.

Reporting Requirements

To receive funds, each successful grantee must submit a progress report to Commerce.

The report will contain activities, deliverables, and success in applying for and receiving grants. Narratives should include, where appropriate:

  • The organization applying for grants
  • Partnering entities in the application
  • Type of grants applied for and funding agent
  • Amount of funding applied for and proposed use of funds
  • Grants awarded, including the amount
  • Jobs to be created or retained
  • Regions served. Grantees will provide an analysis of the potential benefits securing the grants will have on regions they serve.

Review and Scoring Process

Applications will be reviewed and ranked based on the quality of answers to the written questionnaire portion of the application.

The Review Committee will assign scores related to the proposed use of funds, how funds address needs, project readiness/management, and the overall budget. Scores will range from low (1-2) and medium (3-4) to high (5-6). Applications from Distressed Counties will be given preference in the scoring rubric.

Key Dates

Feb. 7 – Application Portal Open

Ongoing – Applications reviewed, applicants notified, work begins once contracts are signed and approved.

June 30 – Programs complete. Reports must be submitted.

July 1 – Year 2 Application Process Begins


Fill out the application as completely as possible. The ability to complete the stated scope of work by June 30 is important, since funds for Year 1 expire at this time. Applicants who are project-ready will be prioritized.

To complete your application, you will need:

    • A breakout of the proposed budget to give us a better of idea of how the funds will be spent.
    • An action plan that is focused on your readiness to spend the money in the allotted period of time, including planned activities and deliverables.
    • A list of any partners who may be sharing grant activities as part of this grant.
    • Whether you will be using staff, freelance or independent contractors for qualifying activities.


office hours

M-F: 8am - 5pm


2001 Sixth Ave., Suite 2600, Seattle, WA  98121


(206) 256-6100