The Storyteller Behind AINC’s Success: Brady’s Grant Writing Journey
Brady grew up in New Ulm Minnesota, a town of thirteen thousand known for “a small box feel, a large German population, and the second largest family-own brewery in the United States,” where a “whole bunch of nothing happened.” He went to University nearby to study French and Spanish but left the midwest to spend a year in Germany with his (soon-to-be) wife, where he wrote about motorcycles. After Germany, he moved to Kansas and got involved in academia: writing grants and editing academic papers. In 2013, he moved to Colorado, freelance grant writing, until he got involved in AINC.
On top of launching the reload and the annual report, Brady is involved in all things writing: he writes grants, reports, appeal letters, as well as advertisements for AINC’s upcoming events. In addition to that, he manages their newsletter. Since he writes so many different things, his writing style is versatile.
“My skill set is mostly seeing an example of [writing] that people like and then mimicking the style.”
Much of Brady’s grant writing involves writing about the work AINC does in a way that appeals to each grant. Whether the grant is for helping older adults or innovating media, it is his job to explain how AINC works in the specific arena: how AINC aids older adults with vision loss, or how it allows media to be accessible to the blind.
Brady blends numbers with narrative to ensure that he makes a convincing, as well as a compelling argument in each application. Because of his scientific background, he focuses on numbers and the stories they tell and the needs they highlight.
“Nobody thinks they write things down the way that a writer would think to write things down. You wind up going in and sort of massaging things in ways that resonate.”
Brady enjoys working with his colleagues at AINC, who work hard and are passionate about what they do; and he especially enjoys working with them to innovate in an area where one wouldn’t think much innovation is possible.
“We’re serving people with vision loss. You think it’s a solved problem right now, think what else is there to figure out? But when we came back into the office in 2021, when the pandemic restrictions were easing, People were just full of ideas talking about whats the the role of newspapers? How can we make sure that people are getting easier access?”
Brady’s work not only allows AINC to have the financial resources, but, it also ensures that AINC’s story is told and that it is recognized for all it does.
By Kaatje Vanderberg