Principal Player

Carolyn Caldwell, GPC, CFRE, has over 20 years’ experience in fundraising and special event management. She has written foundation, corporate, federal, state and local government grants that were awarded for general and restricted operating support, program support, and capacity building in health & human services, arts and culture, education, community development, and mental health.

In addition:

Grant Reviewer

  • Community Connectors Grants (2015-present)
  • Ohio Community Service Council
  • Ohio Department of Education 21st CCLC grants (2011-present)


  • Bachelors of Arts in Journalism, University of South Florida
  • Bachelors of Arts in Theatre, University of South Florida
  • Coursework in marketing, OSU’s Fisher College of Business


Community Service

Carolyn Caldwell Resume


“The Cost of Doing Business: Does Your Budget Tell Funders the Whole Story?” will be the topic of two grant pros and a finance pro at the upcoming GPA conference. Find out how much your program is REALLY costing you! We will discuss how to budget your program’s actual costs, so you’re not leaving money on the table or costing your agency. Register for the virtual or in-person (Seattle!) version!


Join me on June 16 for a roundtable discussion on the evolving role of grants in light of recent events. We will explore how we find and utilize grants during this crisis, and how the function of grants may be changing as we move from preparedness, to response, to recovery – and back again. Hosted by the Central Ohio AFP chapter.

OSU Non-Profit Immersion students are on their feet figuring out an interactive Logic Model on March 4 in Ohio Union. I taught two sessions again this year: Prospect Research, and the Logic Model. Both topics are challenging, yet lynchpins in grants success. Having the students break down the topics and work on real-world examples helps solidify their understanding.

One of Columbus Metropolitan Club’s latest hot topics was the challenges non-profit boards face in today’s environment. Forum panelists at the sold-out event included (L-R) Deborah Aubert Thomas (Philanthropy Ohio), Andy Davis (BoardSource), and Kerri Mollard (Mollard Consulting). Moderator Michael Bongiorno, AIA (AECOM) kept the conversation going. Were you there? Is your board following best practices?

Proud to report I am now a Certified Fundraising Executive! The CFRE designation is awarded to those who meet a high level of eligibility and pass a grueling exam that tests competencies in the following domains:

  • Current and Prospective Donor Research
  • Securing the Gift
  • Relationship Building
  • Volunteer Involvement
  • Leadership and Management
  • Ethics, Accountability, and Professionalism

As Immediate Past President of my chapter, I attended AFP Central Ohio’s New Member
Orientation. Seen here with Chris Baker, CFRE, Exec Director of the Ohio Farm Bureau
Foundation, and Chad Jester, President of Nationwide Foundation.

A full house at The Columbus Foundation for the data driven non profit forum. I'm here to support panelist Emily Campbell of Columbus Academy.




Carolyn Caldwell wins a $35,000 grant for the Columbus Museum of Art
from the National Endowment for the Arts.




Carolyn Caldwell wins a $150,000 grant for the Columbus Museum of Art
from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.




Grant Writing:

"I strongly recommend Carolyn Caldwell, a skilled and certified grant writer with a deep bench of skills that have proven beneficial to a host of non- profits in Columbus. ... Carolyn and I have partnered previously and I can think of no one better! "
- Christine J. Vineis, President, Capital Partnerships
"Her writing is exceptional in terms of capturing our story and communicating it in a grant proposal in a very compelling way. … We are extremely pleased with Carolyn’s work. She is having a positive impact on our bottom line for the organization."
- Jane Wiechel, Ph.D., CEO, Communities In Schools of Central Ohio
"Carolyn earned the respect of the (Columbus Museum of Art) program staff … developing an understanding of their goals that enabled her to draft grant content that was both fundable and strongly supported by the program staff."
- Norma Sexton, former Development Director, Columbus Museum of Art

Prospect Research:

“If you’re looking for a fundraising professional that is brilliant at prospect research, you shouldn’t look further than Carolyn. She has great resources and tricks at her fingertips to find the best matches for your organization.”
- Dr. Ericka Harney, CAE, CFRE, GPC, CVA
“Thank you Carolyn for your great work. The database is already proving to be a good investment. I certainly won’t hesitate to contact you again if additional services are needed.”
- Sky Schelle, CPSWQ, City of Springfield Stormwater Coordinator

Grant Writing Basics Workshops :

United Way, Red Cross, Educational Council
Americorps volunteers rated their presenter clear & effective
Americorps volunteers rated workshop content & handouts helpful
Ed Council conference attendees rated their trainer knowledgeable
Ed Council conference attendees rated training met expectations
“Carolyn offered a look at Grant Writing 101 which was both basic but in-depth. I really appreciated Carolyn’s ability to take a complex conversation and break it down in a way that was understood by all. Thanks Carolyn!”
- Lynne Wise, AmeriCorps Coordinator -

Logic Model Workshop :

Serve Ohio Conference
 100% Gained New Knowledge
“I will be better able to handle my grant writing responsibilities thanks to this workshop.” - Workshop Attendee -
“I anticipate more grant funding and accomplishment of my organiztion’s mission as the greatest benefit of this training. Nicely done.” - Workshop Attendee -

Non-Profit Event Sponsorships Workshops :

Indiana University/Purdue University-Indianapolis (IUPUI)
"What I liked most was the knowledge Carolyn had.
What surprised me most was how much work goes into a non-profit event. " - IUPUI Student -


Fundraising Readiness
“Thank you for an engaging, informative and helpful June 11th presentation! FUNDRAISING READINESS was a popular topic and you were awesome! Thanks for all you do!” -Linda G. Butler, Greater Springfield AFP Board President
Effective Communication Between Grants and Development
“ … a lot of helpful content – I learned a lot.” “very insightful … such important information …” “ … I loved your presentation! … I was actually laughing out loud watching your role playing … seriously, your session was informative with great takeaways …” -Various attendees
Pre-Award Grant Readiness
"Your training was great." -Nannette, Ketchikan, AK
"I enjoyed the webinar very much. I have spent much time on subrecipient monitoring. I am pleased there has been an increased emphasis on the pre-award phase with the implementation of 2 CFR 200. I believe the tools you provided will assist pass-through entities to identify agencies best equipped to administer funds and help pass-through entities tailor their monitoring efforts." -Debra, Montgomery, AL
"A good refresher on the basics of applying for grants. Part of my responsibilities are keeping us grant application ready in terms of documentation so it was a good reminder for me to take a look at our grants administration library to ensure everything is current." -Danielle, Arlington, VA


chapter logo

Association of Fundraising Professionals

  • Central Ohio chapter President 2017
  • Membership Committee Chair 2012-14; VP Membership 2015
  • Chapter won highest member retention rate over 3 years

Grant Professional Association

  • Central Ohio chapter President 2012
  • Chapter won 3rd place for member retention

Civic/Community Service

Actors’ Theatre of Columbus Board Member 2019-present

Phoenix Rising Printmaking Cooperative Board Member 2010-2015

American Cancer Society Cattle Baron’s Ball 2007-2009

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
Annual Fundraising Gala 2006-2008