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Training Testimonials

My trainings are consistently ranked between 4.25 and 5 on a scale where 5 is the top or “excellent” rating or in the “exceeded expectations” category.

  • “Miriam is a great teacher and very generous with her knowledge.” Auburn workshop attendee, April 2019.
  • “The presenter was highly skilled, with the ability to make the information clear for novices as well as those who’d done some previous grant writing. I loved her real-life examples and her empathy for grant writers.” Attendee at April 2019 workshop in Auburn.
  • “The wealth of experience was fantastic! I loved the organization and step-by-step process (and the handouts so I didn’t have to take notes).” Attendee at my Auburn workshop in April 2019 – there were 81 people at that workshop.
  • “Your November workshop was SO good, thorough and practical. It was real “nuts and bolts” and I feel like I know exactly how to move forward in a detailed way.”
  • “I attended your Nuts and Bolts workshop on August 1st. Your presentation was extremely useful and your energy level impressive!! There were several times during your talk when I thought to myself, “That makes sense!” I will be reviewing my notes and your detailed handout in the coming days. Those handouts are a real treasure. Thank you!” Rebecca Graulich, Caregiver Pathways.
  • Comments from my March 2018 workshop: “I just wanted to say thank you very, very much for your presentation. It was incredibly informative and the topics you spoke of were definitely relevant to our organization. … Thank you so much for your experience and willingness to share with us up and comers.” Anthony Ikeda Kolar, Executive Director, Folsom Historical Society.
  • Comments from October 9, 2017 workshop presented to the California Police Activities League statewide Conference: “Wow! I had no idea I could relieve the stress of this work. Thank you.” “I sat there thinking – oh dear – I hate this stuff. Then you started speaking and I wanted to pay attention. It’s totally changed my view of how I can make it easier going forward.” “This will make all the difference to me as I write “emergency” grants from now on. Thanks!”
  • “Your workshop made a huge difference for those at our 2016 Conference. Having some concrete examples from someone who does this work all the time was just what we needed.” Teryn L. Heckers, Community Liaison, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of California, Davis Health System, June 10, 2016.
  • “It was great sitting in your workshop at UCD Med Center. I learned so much and feel much more confident in my ability to write an effective grant proposal!! Thank you!” Dimitrius Stone, Program Director, People Reaching Out, Sacramento, June 8, 2016.
  • “You’re the only speaker I’ve heard in 25 years where I kept the handout, know exactly where it is, and refer to it often.” John Adams, Executive Director, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), El Dorado County, April 2016.
  • “You were wonderful, breaking down something so difficult in a way that makes it manageable.” Brenda, participant in the April 2016 Grants Boot Camp.
  • “Your presentation today was spectacular. Thank you so much.” Bob Pitvorec, Member of the Organizing Committee for the Citrus Heights Community Leadership Conference, September 22, 2015.
  • “Your presentation today was exceptional.” Bonnie London, Friends of Loomis Library, attendee at my workshop, which was part of the Citrus Heights Community Leadership Conference, September 22, 2015.
  • “I participated in your Nuts and Bolts course last year and it certainly proved to be very beneficial to me! I recently submitted six grant proposals and I was granted funding four out of five to support our cancer program, and awaiting response for the last in early 2016.” Thank you for your ability to provide the training I needed to support and sustain our vital program.” Scherrie Whitfield, Cancer Resource Specialist, Marshall Foundation for Community Health, Placerville, California, September 15, 2015.
  • “You were ‘PITCH PERFECT’ in all your comments. Deane Leavenworth, Regional Vice President, Government Relations – West Region, Time Warner Cable. I was on a panel at the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce Annual Conference in August 2015 with Deane, and with Geneve Villacres, Community Relations Specialist, Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
  • “It was thoroughly enjoyable to watch you in action. No one can deny you have a real passion for what you do and you have the willingness to teach others in a manner that makes it achievable. I have attended grant writing workshops in the past – the difference is you let our participants know they “can do this,” while the ones I’ve attended in the past made people feel like they “may be able to do this, but probably not!” Tanya Motta, Project Director, U.S. Department of Transportation, Southwest Region – Small Business Transportation Resource Center, July 25, 2015.
  • “Thank you again for your time and talent for the two grant workshops I attended in Fresno. You are engaging and it was WELL worth the time investment.” Deborah Jones, Fresno Rescue Mission, July 24, 2015.
  • “YOU are amazing. I completely enjoyed your training. I am certain this will help me keep things more focused.” Marilyn Mann, Director of Community Partnerships, Next Move, Sacramento, June 12, 2015.
  • “The participants were excited and engaged the entire presentation. You are a great workshop trainer/presenter.” Tanya K. Motta, Project Director, U.S. Department of Transportation, Southwest Region – Small Business Transportation Center, May 15, 2015.
  • “Compelling teaching.” “Miriam was very enthusiastic, knew her stuff, was very informative easy to follow and great at getting the attendees involved.” “Miriam made the class very enjoyable and she was great at delivering the topic. She was excited about her presentation and it showed.” “I thought she was wonderful!” Feedback from several participants after the Grants Boot Camp, May 7, 2015 at the Nonprofit Resource Center in Sacramento.
  • “Thank you so much for the workshop today. It was extremely enlightening … you presented with enthusiasm and clarity … I was rather expecting it to be dry and boring. Your information has already helped me redesign my exit evaluations for clients, as well as my workshop evaluations.” Pastor Elaine Carter, Yuba City, California, April 15, 2014.
  • “The information you presented at the January Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) luncheon was very relevant. Somehow after all these years, all of this has not sunk in like it did the day you presented. I took the information back to the office and completed two grants. Then when I looked at the previous year’s proposals (and we did get the grants), I was appalled at my case for support. You stressed this so much that I don’t think I’ll ever forget it now.” Attendee at January 2014 AFP Luncheon.
  • “Thank you so much for the grants training you provided in Davis on August 14th for the Yolo County Nonprofit Leaders Alliance. Please let us know when you’re doing future trainings so we can share with the group. We appreciate how you infused humor into a topic that can strike fear into the hearts of many! Warm regards.” Rachel Wolf and Dana Christy, Yolo County Library, August 15th, 2013.
  • Feedback from participants at August 14th Yolo County training: “Great instructor!” “Miriam was great!” “Such a good trainer – she got everyone involved.” “Terrific, extensive handout.” “Very valuable.” “Miriam made the topic interesting, while being reality-based.” “So clear and specific.” “I’ll be so much better prepared now.” “So many new ideas to make it easier.” “Handout is a great reference tool.” “I’m more confident about my current skills.” “I’m glad to have a starting point.”
  • I was finally able to use the “grant template” that you prepared for us for the Update of the 10-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness… what a wonderful writer you are!” Ben Burton, Executive Director, Sacramento Steps Forward, April 17, 2013.
  • Feedback from March 16, 2013 workshop for the statewide conference of Family Resource Centers: “Best grant writing workshop we have had. Loved the real-life examples. Thank you!” “It was great information. Please keep this type of training at future conferences. It was so easy to understand. Thank you.” “My attention was held the entire time, the handout was like a miracle – it will change my life.”
  • Comments from February 22, 2012 “Nuts and Bolts” workshop: “Wealth of experience of presenter. Real world examples and practical advice. Handouts VERY well organized and helpful for after the seminar.” “I liked how practical and application-oriented it was. Miriam has such a wealth of experience and a great way of presenting it.” “Well prepared workshop and great use of visuals. The presenter was very interactive and provided great examples.”
  • “Every time I see you wrapping up a class I KNOW several non-profits are better positioned to thrive, grow and serve the community. Your generous and knowledgeable gift as a trainer is greatly appreciated by the Center and the non-profit sector in this region.” Gail Catlin, Executive Director, Nonprofit Resource Center, September 23, 2011.
  • “I just had to follow up with a note to you to tell you how very much I appreciate such a great workshop! Miriam Houghton did a perfect job.” Vonnie Shane, Attendee at June workshop.
  • Miriam’s training empowered me to believe I could do it and more importantly, it gave me a blueprint for how to structure the agency.” Laura Chick, June 16, 2011.
  • “I wish I’d had this course last month.” Diana Madoski, Placer People of Faith Together, June 16, 2011.
  • “Another triumph of a presentation. Thank you Miriam!” Michael Allyn, Society for the Blind, June 15, 2011.
  • “Your training helped us get this award and several others over last year. I’m looking forward to using the skills learned from you over the next few years.” Lynne McGillivray, Development Manager, St. John’s Shelter Program for Women and Children, Inc., April 20, 2011.
  • The instructor was amazing – she is very enthusiastic and extremely knowledgeable.” Attendee at March 23, 2011 training workshop.
  • “Thank you so much for teaching your two classes for us again. You are ALWAYS a favorite! It’s great to think that your students are now equipped with solid tools for fortifying their grant application process AND their fund development strategy. Thank you for your generosity to the Nonprofit Resource Center in offering these educational programs. Woo Hoo for Yoo!” Gail Catlin, Program manager, Nonprofit Resource Center, Sacramento, California, December 10, 2010.
  • “The tempo of the Nuts and Bolts workshop was just right and Miriam’s knowledge in the field was great … her handout is excellent also.” Attendee at December 8, 2010 workshop.
  • “You gave us clear strategies, not a lot of “tips and tricks” and fluff. Carol Anne Ogdin, December 8, 2010.
  • “Your workshop points are pure gold.” Carol Doersch, Volunteer for the American River Parkway Association, October 7, 2010.
  • From Catholic Healthcare West (now Dignity Health) Community Benefits Manager Rosemary Younts following two day-long training sessions I presented for them in 2010: We had a smaller number of Letters of Intent but they were of MUCH better quality … we can see who attended your training and who didn’t!”
  • “What an amazing job you did yesterday, June 10th, for Catholic Healthcare West and Mercy Foundation. We thank our lucky stars for you! Your remarkable effort has empowered a broad array of health and human service organizations to make a compelling case for the important work they do. In that, you have been a “midwife” to a better, more human community.” Gail Catlin, Program Manager, Nonprofit Resource Center, Sacramento, California, June 11, 2010.
  • “Not only are you a stellar presenter, but you are some kind of wonderful. Thank you for taking the time with me. You’ll never know what that meant to me.” Joanna Galindo, Catholic Social Services, Stockton, California, June 15, 2010.
  • “Miriam’s experience, understanding and insight make her an outstanding presenter. I feel re-invigorated to do a better job. I love coming to her classes.” Birdsong Sundstrom, Program Manager, Camptonville Community Partnership, Comptonville, California, February 18, 2010.
  • “In my 20 years of leading non-profit organizations, this has been the best grant writing workshop ever, with the best handout I’ve ever seen.” Janet Siller, Funding Director, Friday Night Live, Yolo County, California, February 17, 2010.
  • Here’s some of the feedback from my October 14, 2009 presentation at a “Reality Grantmaking” workshop in Sacramento, California: “You were wonderful! I don’t like doing this, but now I feel better about writing some more.” “Thank you so much ..I’ve written several grants, but learned so many tips today to make it easier in the future.” “You gave me the confidence and knowledge to start writing some proposals.” “I’ve worked on almost 20 proposals so far, but today I heard several excellent ways of improving my funding argument.” “I used your “boilerplate” directions and budget format and got onto the shortlist for recent funding. Thank you!” Josephine Watts. “What a great presentation!”
  • “Thank you for taking on such a huge task and being so helpful! You did a wonderful job and made such an amazing impression on our participants. We really appreciate your dedication to finding a cure for breast cancer.” Sommer N. Hayes, Grants, Volunteers and Education Coordinator, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Sacramento Valley Affiliate, October 2, 2009.
  • “I credit all the success I’ve had to the basic instructions and discussions I had with you more than four years ago.” Joyce Beeman, Board Member, A Touch of Understanding, Sacramento, California, January 2009.
  • “After your workshop, I put together the “easy stuff” for our program and I’m so glad I did. When I came back to it the next day, I felt as if I were returning to a familiar neighborhood instead of being “stared down” by a blank page.” Donna J. Russell, Institute for Family Counseling, Somerset, California, April 9, 2008.
  • “Thank you for your BUDGETING class yesterday. I really appreciate your clear and concise teaching style.” Kirsten Tripplett, Crocker Art Museum, March 26, 2008.
  • “You are definitely an experienced professional.” Megan Timpany, Executive Director, United Way Nevada County, February 1, 2008.
  • “Thank you again for the great one-hour workshop at Meet The Funders in Nevada County. You really know your stuff! Your class brought me new inspiration.” Kristy Dewey, January 31, 2008.
  • “I heard you speak ten years ago at an Association of Fundraising Professionals luncheon and it made such an impression on me that I still remember it today … it was the best 90 minutes I ever spent!” Deborah Bell Dancer, Grant Writer, November 2007.
  • “I do appreciate your graciousness and ability to roll with a different group than we had planned for.” Maurine Huang, Chief Executive Officer, Opening Doors, Inc., November 9, 2007.
  • Feedback from participants at my May 31st, 2007 “Budgeting for Grant Proposals” training scored the workshop at 4.80 out of a possible 5.00 rating. Comments in response to the question “What did you like most about this workshop?” included: “The open discussion format;” “Instructor’s passion and knowledge about the subject;” “Great instructor!;” “Very thorough in presentation and materials;” “The hands-on work;” “Took confusing topic and simplified it!;” “Lots of basic information and a lot of explanation;” and “I can see why Joyce speaks so highly of you as a person and an educator. I hope to be able to spend time with you again soon.”
  • “Susan, one of our staff members, was REALLY IMPRESSED…she’s attended many trainings, and yours was the best ever!” Maurine Huang, Executive Director, Opening Doors Inc., Refugee Resettlement Agency, February 12, 2004.
  • “You did a wonderful job with the training presentation and I appreciate the way you jumped right into our program and seemed to understand it.” Susan J. Harmon, National Safe Place Training Director, Louisville, Kentucky, April 21, 2003.
  • “Another winning class!! ‘How to Respond to Federal/State/County Requests for Proposals’ was really well-received…you do a superb job in communicating knowledge and information. You always do a first-rate job.” Jan Stohr, Executive Director, Nonprofit Resource Center, April 2002.
  • “You are the consummate professional and I am glad to have the opportunity to work with you.” Ann Lucas, Executive Director, Nonprofit Resource Center, Sacramento, California, April 1, 2007.
  • “Thank you for presenting at the ‘5-A-Day-Power Play’ conference. Attendees found your presentation so useful in helping them write more concise reports. One person even noted that they were excited to start writing!” Melissa, Kristy, Susan and Tanya, May 2002
  • “Your presentation went over incredibly well. I had folks tell me that it was the best grant workshop they’ve ever attended.” Mary Poole, Management Analyst II, City of Citrus Heights, California, January 20, 2005.
  • “For your spirit and enthusiasm, thanks. … The feedback from participants of the Grant Writing Tips and Techniques workshop has been wonderfully positive! Thanks you so much for your facilitative skills … but more importantly, your personal touch with each participant group. It was a marvelous day.” Larry D. Moeller, Chair, Discipling Team, Sierra Pacific Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, April 2001.

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