Cecilia Blanford serves as Senior Grants Coordinator for the Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas (DSMC-UT) capital campaign. Cecilia has worked with The Seton Fund since June 2011.

Previously she worked 11 years as the Grants Director for Lutheran Social Services (LSS), raising more than $50M in private, state and federal grants for foster care, disaster response, and other programs. Cecilia has served as executive director for two nonprofits including a Girl Scout Council, has managed grants for a state agency, and serves as a peer reviewer for federal grants.

She is a contributor to CharityChannel Grants and Foundation Review and presenter at national conferences.

Cecilia has an MA in human services with triple concentrations in administration, counseling and social/psychological services from St. Edward’s University. In 2008, she earned Grant Professional Certified (GPC) credentialing through the Grants Professionals Certification Institute (GPCI).

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Moves Management: Contrasting Grants to Other Major Gift Strategies

Like many grant writers, I have worked in a “silo” where I was expected to garner grant funds without access to information on agency priorities and strategies. I soon learned the value of good relationships with program, finance, and communications staff. I worked to cultivate relationships with foundation representatives. At other times a development colleague…

Grants: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Even if not known by name, most grant professionals have or will experience Finagle’s Law. That is, if anything can go wrong, it will...and at the worst possible time. Plus, it will all be your fault and everyone will know it. Likewise, if there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that…

Seeking Grants for Disaster Recovery

I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Cecilia Blanford and I am the Grant Director for Lutheran Social Services of the South, Inc., a 129-year old nonprofit human services organization based in Austin, Texas. In the past 10 years, I have been instrumental in raising nearly $54 million across 280 private, state and federal grants.…

“No funding provided to religious organizations….”

When searching for foundation grants to support the work of faith-based charities, we often see the dreaded restriction, “no funding provided to religious organizations.” Like many others, I was initially put off by funder guidelines that seemed to exclude or at least discourage faith-based entities from applying. But since coming to work for Lutheran Social…