Jenelle joined Ruff Start Rescue as Grants & Donations Manager in December 2020 after volunteering for the organization as a foster for several years, helping cats, kittens and dogs find their “furever homes,” doing some volunteer grant writing and pitching in to help build the cat boarding room and outdoor enclosure.
With fourteen years of experience as a fundraising professional and grant writer, Jenelle works to identify and connect institutional funders with Ruff Start, writing professional proposals and managing awards in support of all the organization’s current activities and future goals. She also oversees the volunteers who record donations, helping ensure accuracy, integrity and donor stewardship.
Jenelle also works with a free dental clinic in St. Paul, MN, as a Grants Manager, and has experience writing proposals in support of the arts, higher education and human services. She has recently been chosen as a grant reviewer for the Minnesota State Arts Board, and gave a grant writing workshop for Americorps VISTA volunteers. She holds a B.A. in English with a Writing Emphasis and a Minor Degree in Music from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN.
With a deep love for the innocent and helpless, Jenelle has always been drawn toward animals and protecting them from suffering. She particularly enjoys fostering when Ruff Start takes in hoarder cases or large transfers of animals from high kill shelters out-of-state. She’s driven by witnessing the healing power of love in her fostering work, and the joy brought to her life by her rescue cat and three dogs who share her home in Coon Rapids, MN.