We are thrilled to have Riley Kelly join the Development team as the Development Manager and Grant writer.

Riley is a National Merit Scholar University of Oklahoma alumni, graduating with her Master of Social Work, Summa Cum Laude, among other academic distinctions.

We’ve asked Riley what motivates her to further the GRACE mission.

What brings you to GRACE? 

My husband and I lived in Grapevine for a little over a year, and GRACE clearly had a huge presence in the community. I have always loved social services, and I entered the social work field to help people through difficult circumstances so that they can thrive and support themselves and their families, so of course I had great admiration for the GRACE mission.

Describe your typical day 

I spend my days learning the “ins and outs” of our programs so that I can effectively communicate to potential funders what we do and why it matters. I also spend a lot of time researching foundations so that I can find groups that care about what we do.

I want every funding relationship to be mutually encouraging and beneficial; I want our foundation partners to love the work that their money is supporting. I love that my job is both an explanation of what GRACE does and an invitation to join in on that work!

Which GRACE Core value is most instilled in your role? (Compassion, Excellence, Service, Respect)

I hope to be a servant in everything I do. I want to serve our clients by finding excellent funding partners; to serve our program staff by communicating the great work they are doing; and to serve our funding partners by ensuring their passions match ours and their money is used the way they want it to be used.

Ultimately, every gift given to GRACE is a gift from the Lord to be used to serve and love others—to get to invite people to be vessels of His generosity is a joy and a gift in itself!

Words of inspiration?

1 Corinthians 3:7 says this: “So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.”

I love this verse for a lot of reasons, but have found it especially impactful in my professional career.

It reminds me that I have an opportunity to plant seeds of God’s truth through everything I do—every grant I write, every report I send, every phone call I make—but that ultimately God will accomplish His purposes in the lives of our clients, donors and volunteers. It reminds me that every effort is important, and an opportunity to serve the Lord.

You talk about the opportunity to serve. How do you think God has equipped you to serve at GRACE?

He has equipped me by giving me a heart to serve those in need, and those who may not have access to the resources and support that are so readily available to many of us. He has also given me a love for research and excellence, which comes in handy in finding new partners! I love connecting those with an abundance of resources to those who are hurting and in need.

Riley’s knack for research and compelling narratives make her a huge asset to the agency.

“Riley is a vibrant professional who has the traits of a great writer,” says GRACE Development Director Mark Woolverton. “Her understanding of the process and heart for the issues make compelling proposals, lending an expansive audience to the GRACE mission. We’re thankful to have someone of her acumen in the GRACE family.”

Welcome to GRACE, Riley!