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Sarah Sutton, LEED-AP
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Waialua, Oahu, Hawai'i

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"Sarah Sutton was always an insightful, focused, responsive, and enjoyable colleague on our project. Our group did not have a clear image initially of what it was that we all wanted to build, but as grant writer Sarah drew on her knowledge of grants, museums, historical organizations, and community engagement to help find a shared vision and to craft the broad structures and fine details of our NEH proposal."

      -John Dichtl, President & CEO American Association for State and Local History"Sarah was a pleasure to work with, exceeding our expectations for professionalism and productivity. She was an essential partner in creating proposals that successfully advanced our mission."

     -Timothy Carter, PhD, President, Second NatureruleSarah has generated hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant funding for Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum over the last decade. She works collaboratively with me in the grant strategy, identifies and targets strong funding sources rather than a scatter shot approach, provides draft materials in plenty of time for review and discussion, and then produces the final copy usually a week ahead of the deadline. Sarah is the consummate professional and loves to craft the “story and need.” Blithewold Mansion, Garden & Arboretum would not be such a strong financial and capital investment position without her partnership. Did I mention she has also successfully written three federal IMLS grants for our organization? I find those grants are the most difficult and laborious grants to receive!"

      -Karen Binder, Executive Director, Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum, Bristol, RI.
"When we first started working with Sarah Sutton, Dumbarton House—national headquarters and museum of the NSCDA—had almost no grant experience. Sarah met with staff and our board first to determine whether our institution was grant-worthy. She then helped us build our internal capacity—planning, budgeting, grant writing—while also working with us to prioritize grant opportunities. The process she laid out for us has proven immensely successful. Sarah personally wrote a number of grant applications for us, achieving awards from the National Trust for Historic Preservation (3), IMLS Museums for America, NEH Preservation Assistance for Small Museums, and NEH Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections Planning."

      -Karen Daly, Executive Director, Dumbarton House,
        Headquarters for the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America
"Sarah is a great support to our team over the years as Detroit Zoological Society takes on important strategic green changes. She has helped us deepen and broaden our culture of sustainability, supported us with important examples from the field, and always been a cheerful influence."

     -Gerry VanAcker, Chief Operations Officer, Detroit Zoological Societyrule"Dumbarton House embarked on an effort to increase its sustainability back in 2010, both in an effort to conserve environmental resources and to positively impact our bottom line. Throughout the process, Sarah served as both an inspiring model and a supportive “coach” for our staff. She reviewed drafts of our Sustainability Action Plan, provided helpful resources, and helped us plan for sustainability in our grant application process in order to gain some financial support to advance our goals.

Meanwhile, through our efforts and our work with Sarah in this area Dumbarton House achieved significant recognition for our work—appearing in various articles and books in professional publications and receiving the 2013 Mayor’s Sustainability Award here in Washington, DC—the only museum or historic site to ever be recognized in this way. Through our work with Sarah, we have learned that “being green” is possible even for small museums and historic sites, and even with a small budget."

     -Karen Daly, Executive Director, Dumbarton House,
       Headquarters for the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America
working with sarah
"Sarah is incredibly easy to work with—she takes time to really get to know your institutional and staff strengths, and supports the grant process in whatever way your organization needs help. Her writing skills are stellar and her knowledge of grant agencies and their application requirements is deep.

We are immensely grateful for Sarah’s help—over the eight years that we have worked with her we have been awarded over $686,000 in grants that can be attributed to her support and strategic project development ($110,000+ through applications she wrote directly at the beginning, and $575,000+ through applications she supported or helped train staff to plan and write effectively in the years since she worked with us). I cannot recommend Sarah highly enough!"

     -Karen Daly, Executive Director, Dumbarton House,
       Headquarters for the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America

"After spending two years working with select staff members on a variety of green initiatives, I was ready to roll out the green plan to all staff and needed some support in inspiring everyone to be as motivated and empowered as those of us already committed to the cause.
I had read Sarah's writings during the early phases of the green work, and felt that she was a natural fit for this important step. We chatted on the phone a few times and she coached me through the next part of the process, culminating in a visit to our museum where she spoke at an all staff meeting, inspiring people about the value of the work being done.

Her approach of meeting people where they are and encouraging them to take the next step was extremely well-received and helped me move the messaging beyond the green team and out to the staff as a whole. Sarah is approachable, thoughtful, intelligent, and extremely dedicated to making museums green and sustainable. Her work reminds us that we can all make a difference, and that we are all the experts in our own fields, empowering us all to take action where we can and further the cause."

     -Emily Silet, Manager Educational Exhibitions, DeCordova Museum & Sculpture Park, MA