Impact-driven Business Coaching: Grant Writing with Zeno Wellness Group

Client success story:
Zeno Wellness Group in Franklin, VA
Social entrepreneur PerCilla Zeno helps others heal through her lived experience pictured in black and white.

This client success story shares the journey of PerCilla Zeno, a BIPOC social entrepreneur in Franklin, VA.

Zeno Wellness Group is a substance use disorder outpatient clinic based in Southern Virginia providing peer recovery support, counseling, and training services. Read more about PerCilla’s journey below.

Client success story

Zeno Wellness Group

Impact-Driven Business Coaching

Zeno Wellness group founder PerCilla Zeno reached out for support when the perfect opportunity to work together presented itself. PerCilla found a Virginia state grant that aligned with her vision to support service members, veterans, and their families.

PerCilla’s coaching package included support to apply for her first grant opportunity for $75,000:

  • 30-days of intensive coaching, strategic planning, and program development
  • Grant writing lessons & coaching
  • Budget and evaluation development support
PerCilla Zeno- Zeno Wellness Group Founder Author and Mother.

Discovery Phase

Every client is taken through a discovery phase that includes an initial call to assess interest and an intake call. If the client is located outside Montgomery County, Maryland, or the greater District/Maryland/Virginia (DMV) area, the meeting can be up to 90 minutes via Zoom.

During the discovery phase, it became clear PerCilla needed additional support to make the best decisions for her organization:

  • Clarity on the relationship between Zeno Wellness group, PerCilla’s for-profit company and That Zen Life Foundation, PerCilla’s nonprofit organization.
  • Help to conduct a thorough needs assessment and develop a catchment area.
  • Insights into how to create strong partnerships as required by funders.

The Impact-Driven Business Coaching Process

Impact-driven business coaching is for social entrepreneurs, like PerCilla, who make an impact every day through their work.

Co-created Solutions

The impact-driven business coaching process is designed to co-create solutions with social
entrepreneurs, and every 1:1 coaching client sets the intention for their 6-month journey.
The main benefit of having a business coach is the thought partnership experience.
Throughout the coaching process, social entrepreneurs identify their key barriers and solutions,
and often the solutions are within themselves, and the coaching process unlocks the path forward.

To reach PerCilla’s Goal, we took a few key steps together.

Grow Your Impact with Grantwriting Skills

Many social impact organizations qualify for funding but lack the capacity to apply.
By learning how to create programs worthy of funding, applying is easy.

PerCilla worked with grant writers before and quickly recognized the difference between
being coached through the process and hiring a grant writer.

With coaching, the goal is for the organization to build the capacity to apply for grants on a regular basis
by leveraging internal capacity and technical expertise.

Unlike grant writers, working with a social impact strategist focuses on creating a sustainable strategy for funding.

PerCilla’s package included multiple sessions a week to reach her goal.
Sessions lasted up to 4 hours and required continued commitment through a structured process to write a grant.

Wendie Veloz Enterprises created a custom notion board for grant writing for client Zeno Wellness Group

Tools and Resources to Fuel Your Success

There are so many tools and resources you can use online to make your life easier.
Impact-driven business coaching involves finding the right technology for the job.

PerCilla wanted to use a mix of online resources and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help her write her grant.
Notion is the perfect resource for this purpose because it allows for linking, document embedding, and has AI built in.

Together we developed a shared Notion board that was the working space for our collaboration.
The Notion board is structured the same way the proposal requirements are listed.
As we co-created the grant content, the Notion board was populated with the final proposal language.

Lean Into AI to Help Reach Your Goals

How can you use AI to help and not hurt you?
With grant writing, AI is being promoted as a solution to get funding easily. But is it that easy?

You can’t skip the process.
Using artificial intelligence to help you be better is not a replacement for you.
Impact-driven business coaching showed PerCilla how to leverage AI to help her shine a light on her expertise.

Writing a grant with AI might seem simple.
But you can’t skip the process.
You have to know the order to create the key parts of a proposal
and how to work within the parameters of the funder.

AI simply can’t replace the human experience.
What PerCilla needed help with was taking the ideas from her brain in an organized way
to give AI the correct parameters to help her out.

Once PerCilla was clear about the program she was creating
and how to align her vision to her funder’s vision,
she was able to leverage the help of AI to refine the wording used to describe it.

Create Something The World Has Never Seen Before

Whenever you are seeking funding for a new program or service,
thinking about sustainability from the start is essential.

Having a thought partner is your shortcut to creating your new program or service.
When PerCilla identified her funding stream, she had an idea how to address the requirements.
She didn’t have a complete program that could be scaled with the funding.

Impact-driven business coaching gave PerCilla the time to focus on her vision.
Once PerCilla had clarity about what she was creating,
she was able to develop a scalable program that can be shared with other funders in the future.

Client Results

PerCilla’s 1-month coaching package resulted in some fantastic outcomes:

  • Completed $75K grant proposal completed and submitted within 30 days
  • A new program to serve veterans, military members, and their families
  • Deduplication of work between Zeno Wellness Group & That Zen Life Foundation

PerCilla’s most important accomplishment was learning the process to structure a program and create a grant application quickly.

Meeting The Needs of Service Members, Veterans, & Their Families (SMVF)

PerCilla’s vision was to write a grant to provide peer support services to SMVF in rural southern Virginia.
PerCilla located a state grant that aligned with her vision.

Nonprofit or Social Business? Idea Surgery to the Rescue!

Zeno Wellness Group has a sister nonprofit agency, That Zen Life Foundation.
Early in the discovery phase, PerCilla needed extra support to decide which organization was
the right fit to apply to the funding opportunity.

As a homework assignment, PerCilla was asked to create a mind map that represented both organizations.

Idea Surgery is a one-of-a-kind experience that you’ll only get with impact-driven business coaching.
Every social entrepreneur is encouraged to discover their vision at a deeper level to find the ideal solutions.

Idea Surgery helped PerCilla create this mind map of her
two organizations demonstrating how they complement and support one another

Partner With Someone Who Knows The Proven Road

When you’re looking for funding, it’s important to work with someone who knows what funders are looking for.

Impact-driven business coaching allows social entrepreneurs to choose their goals and are of focus.
For those who choose aligned funding, your experience might look similar to PerCilla’s.

  • Assess your current impact efforts
  • Align your vision with your potential funder
  • Create a work plan to reach your goal
  • Support as you implement your strategy to reach the goal

I highly recommend this service.

You made me feel like writing a full state grant was possible despite my severe ADHD and lack of experience. You demonstrated exceptional strategic thinking and attention to detail. You were patient and made sure I understood every aspect of the process, even when I wanted to cut corners due to time constraints.

What sets you apart is your ability to share a wealth of unique strategies, tips, and insights that I believe most grant writers wouldn’t know. This experience opened up an entirely new realm of knowledge and expertise for me, and I am confident that others will benefit greatly from your guidance as well.”
PerCilla Zeno
Zeno Wellness Group
Wendie Veloz standing in front of a red wall laughing and smiling

Impact-Driven Business Coaching

Impact-driven business coaching is for small business owners who make an impact every day through their work.
Working with a coach who understands the unique needs of your business and community can help you unlock your potential and achieve your goals.

If you’re interested in learning more about impact-driven business coaching, reach out to Wendie Veloz Enterprises for a consultation.

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