FOUNDER & CEO
Amanda appears in the Top 100
Innovators & Entrepreneurs magazine.
Amanda Stonerock is the founder and CEO of Stonerock Business Solutions, a reputable firm based in Billings, Montana. With a proven track record of nearly 20 years in the field of grants and government contracts, Amanda leads her team and clients towards achieving successful business development. She is dedicated to helping organizations, particularly nonprofits in the corrections, education, criminal justice, substance abuse, mental health, and homelessness sectors.
Under Amanda's leadership, Stonerock Business Solutions has become a one-stop-shop for fund development, strategic planning, and program execution. They assist small businesses in establishing themselves, promote sustainability through evidence-based research tools, and growth and expansion endeavors. Amanda's commitment to creativity, innovation, expediency, commitment, strategy, and vision ensures that clients receive comprehensive support tailored to their unique needs.
Grants are at the core of Stonerock Business Solutions' services, encompassing research, writing, execution, implementation, management, and closeout. Amanda's expertise as a professional grant writer and seasoned development director allows her to navigate the complexities of the grant application process successfully.
Sustainability planning is another key aspect of Amanda's approach. Whether conducting a fund development audit or assisting new business start-ups, she emphasizes long-term thinking and the importance of considering how current decisions impact future outcomes. The goal is to equip clients with the skills and tools needed for self-sufficiency and long-term growth.
Amanda's remarkable achievements include securing over $12M in funding since June 2022, with submissions totaling over $42M. Stonerock Business Solutions has served 64 clients since its inception, with 27 of them remaining active today. Over the past two and a half years, the company has undertaken more than 240 projects and services.
Amanda's journey as an entrepreneur began with a desire for flexibility while raising her four children. Over the last 2½ years, she has transformed her vision into a thriving business. By expanding beyond billable hours and hiring contracted staff to execute, Amanda achieved an astounding 9,155.75% (92.56 times) revenue growth from the first year to the end of her third year.
Amanda's career history reflects her dedication and rise through the ranks in various fields. Notable experiences include selling books door-to-door in Ohio, excelling in international admission and advising at a local university, and her pivotal role at Alternatives, Inc., where she was director of development. Her tenure at Alternatives, Inc. provided valuable grant writing experience and laid the foundation for her success as a business owner.
Amanda holds a master’s degree in public relations from Montana State University Billings, earning her the MSPR designation. She is currently pursuing a professional fundraiser certification (CFRE), slated for completion in 2024.
We spoke with Amanda learn more about the world of business development and grant writing and what makes Stonerock Business Solutions unique.
Amanda, what inspired you to start Stonerock Business Solutions?
When I embarked on this journey, I was a single mother raising four children while juggling a full-time job. Seeking a change from a 24/7/365 on-call schedule, I set out to create a job that would accommodate my responsibilities and allow me to enjoy life. Over the past 2½ years, what began as a pursuit for flexibility has blossomed into a thriving and fulfilling career. While I may not have initially identified myself as an entrepreneur, I recognized that my skills could benefit a broader audience. My experience as a director of development for a local nonprofit provided a strong foundation. Since 2015, I had been deeply involved in grant writing, fund development, program implementation, and reporting, all within the context of managing staff and overseeing a substantial $3 million budget for the nonprofit organization. I am grateful that even after branching out on my own, the organization I departed from continues to engage my services, allowing me to maintain the work I am passionate about for that organization while also working with other clients, making a larger impact.
What makes Stonerock Business Solutions unique?
Our approach is characterized by a significant embrace of technology, particularly in harnessing the power of AI and streamlined systems to enhance the client experience. However, what truly sets us apart is our distinctive philosophy. While many in our industry tend to view grants and contracts as short-term solutions to immediate needs, our emphasis goes far beyond that. With all our clients, we prioritize sustainability planning over mere grant writing. Unlike traditional contract procurement or grant writers who primarily focus on securing a specific dollar amount, our approach is centered around a more comprehensive perspective. We ask not only, "Can we secure funding for the project?" but also, "How can we ensure its sustained success?" Our commitment lies in establishing long-term strategies that go beyond initial funding, fostering the growth and longevity of our clients' endeavors.
Can you share one project you’re currently working on?
One of my current projects is the Yellowstone County Confluence, which addresses the pressing challenges of substance use, mental health, and homelessness in our county. Collaborating with the local organization, Gratitude In Action, we have convened approximately 140 service providers, along with public health and the school district, to begin the work of developing a strategic plan for Yellowstone County to address crime, homelessness, and other social issues. Our goal is to foster collaboration among these stakeholders, moving away from competing for resources and towards a sustainable and impactful plan. While its demanding work, witnessing tangible outcomes makes it both challenging and enjoyable for me.
Lastly, Amanda, what do you enjoy most about your work?
In a nutshell, it's all about impact. I have the unique opportunity to gain insights into a wide range of professions, from agriculture and beef production to substance abuse and housing. It's like being a paid professional student, which I find quite fascinating.
Founder and CEO
Stonerock Business Solutions
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