About Kelly Henderson

Meet Kelly

I have worked in humanitarian assistance and international development since 2008, and have secured $30 million plus for international nonprofits in my career. I started out as a project manager, designing and leading multimillion-dollar, multi-stakeholder humanitarian assistance projects in public health and humanitarian mine action in the Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom (UK), plus community health research in Ethiopia, Malawi, and Zambia.

A key part of my field work was donor relations–writing progress reports, hosting donor visits, and developing six- and seven-figure funding proposals to secure new and ongoing funding.

My earlier careers were as a journalist, writer and teacher of English as a Second Language in France, South Korea, Taiwan and Oman. I have had the joy of working with people of different linguistic, ethnic, social, financial and educational backgrounds. Their native languages include: Arabic, Cree, English, French, Khmer, Kiswahili, Korean, Mandarin, Oji-Cree, Sinhala, Songo, Songye, Tamil, geek speak and bureau babble. This makes me pretty talented at deciphering what everyone on the team is getting at, and, most importantly, decoding the donor.

Along the way I earned a Master of Science in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) in the UK, and a certificate in International Project Management in Development and Relief from Humber College in Toronto, Canada. I also hold a B.A in Anthropology from the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada. I hold two passports, and speak French.

“Kelly was very helpful in supporting the charity to narrow in on our strengths and develop a long term vision for fund-raising to support our development. I would highly recommend working with her.”
- Vanessa Currie, Executive Director, International Institute for Child Rights in Development
"Kelly completed all grant writing tasks to a good standard. She has excellent communication skills, so there were never issues with miscommunication or misunderstanding of aims and deadlines. Great work!"

- Alice Bletsoe, Afghanistan and Central Asian Association (UK)

“What I appreciate about Kelly is her naturally strategic mind (she started talking about the 5-year plan in our first conversation) and her evident comfort with grant writing and positioning. Most of all, I appreciate her dedication to supporting us as a client and her focus on clarity…She has a creative and practical style that has really helped me see how different dots can be connected and leveraged to make our grant writing process easier and at the same time improve our business processes.”
- Franz Plangger, Executive Director, The Outdoor Council of Canada
“Kelly did a great job organizing our strategic operating plan, including developing concise, prioritized goals and strategies. She worked until a solid product was in place.”

- Andy Telfer, Executive Director, WITS Programs Foundation Canada

Kelly is extremely competent and insightful. She is a quick study and really listens, which is critical to an effective fundraising collaboration. She has helped us to successfully access hundreds of thousands in grant funding and is a joy to work with. I highly recommend her firm.

- Diana Gibson, Executive Director, Community Social Planning Council

"I wanted to learn from Kelly because of her extensive knowledge of international grant funding. In our Funding Strategy Call, Kelly broke down strategies for three international nonprofit clients working in different sectors globally. She advised on partnerships, relationship building with funding agencies, and international grant databases. I highly recommend Kelly."
- Rose Hedberg, Grant Writer

Before collaborating with Kelly, we at the World Council of Arameans (Syriacs) had engaged other grant writers. Yet, Kelly's approach was transformative. Leveraging her extensive experience, she equipped us with strategies for budgeting and how to tailor applications to engage potential grantors. Now, we're reassessing our previous methods with increased confidence, anticipating greater success for our NGO.

-- Johny Messo, President, World Council of Arameans (Syriacs), the Netherlands