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Community Highlights: Meet Alisha Procter of Procter’s Literacy and Development Group

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alisha Procter.

Hi Alisha, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I am Alisha Procter, the Founder and CEO of Procter’s Literacy and Development Group. In my practice, I assist nonprofit organizations with the implementation of programs. I am an innovator and a creator who has several years of experience working in the nonprofit sector. My specialty is Adult Education and Literacy; however, I have clients from a variety of nonprofit genres and a few for-profit clients too. In addition to implementing programs, I assist nonprofit organizations by researching and writing grant applications. My clients are startup nonprofits looking for funding to expand their client base to help improve the lives of others. I am, by nature, a person who looks at the big picture and attempts to make the best of the situation by finding solutions. I have applied for more than $500,000 in grants during the pandemic.

My business actually took off during the pandemic, and I found myself trying to develop the best strategy for helping the inspiring entrepreneurs who have sought out my services. I am by trade an Adult Educator who has spent more than 14 years in the classroom. I transitioned into the field of nonprofit Adult Education, where I worked in many communities throughout Harris County. I have trained teachers and administrators and created programs for Financial, Health, and Family Literacy. The nonprofit work that I started in Harris County eventually brought me to Fort Bend County, Texas, where I worked as a Program Director for a local nonprofit agency.

Fortunately, I have taken all of the information that I have acquired throughout my career, helping build my own business and brand. I am grateful for all of the available pathways as stepping stones that have been the means for me to gain the knowledge necessary to become an entrepreneur. I value using all of my experiences to make someone else’s journey a little less complicated. My clients oftentimes do not know or understand all that is required of them as nonprofit startup agencies. I can help guide and direct my clients on the myriad of questions that often arise. I graduated in May of 2020 from the Leadership Institute for Nonprofit Executives (LINE) Program at RICE University. The knowledge and networking that I gained from the LINE Program have been instrumental in my ability to help entrepreneurs and socially conscious men and women confidently follow their dreams. I believe that the sky is the limit, and if you can dream it, you can achieve it.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Some of the obstacles that I have had along the way are self-doubt, poor time management, and being unsure of how to structure pricing; when I started my business a few years ago, I knew that I wanted to help people to find funding to start their own agencies. I wanted to help them to put together impressive programming that would grow exponentially into something bigger than they could ever imagine. I struggled with self-doubt on so many occasions by talking myself out of the idea and questioning if I am educated enough to make this happen for other people. I do not consider myself a negative person, in fact, it is just the opposite. I am never without a smile on my face and have plenty of energy to tackle the most daunting of challenges; however, I often doubted my core abilities. I used negative self-talk to plant the seeds of doubt. It was not until I decided that I would give my all by reading as much as I can about entrepreneurship, reading women empowerment books and watching videos, attending webinars, signing up for online classes, seeking advice from my network, and becoming more mindful of the greatness and power within myself. I had such an amazing shift when I started to see myself as worthy.

Time management has been another challenge, and I have had to learn strategies to correct the poor time management habits that I used to have. I turned everything around and began keeping an electronic calendar, writing myself notes, using the notes feature on the cell phone. All of these things became my tools for success. Lastly, a huge challenge that I had did not have a clear pricing structure. I did not have anything in writing and struggled with how and what to base my fees on. I asked my network, I researched online, and the best thing that I did for helping me with pricing was to join an online community of novice, seasoned, and somewhere in between grant writers. They have helped me to understand what it means to have price points, charging for your services, valuing your time investment, and providing an impeccable professional product. The obstacles were real and were not fun to go through, but I learned how to structure my pricing and would not change one thing about the journey.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I work with nonprofit agencies to create programs, and I write grants for funding. I am a former Adult Educator who has spent many years teaching English as a Second Language classes in the community college system. I have held many roles in my career in addition to teaching. I have worked in the nonprofit sector as a Literacy Specialist, Project Manager, and Program Director. I have managed groups of 300+ to 150+ volunteers and provided professional development for groups of adult educators as well. I use all of my past experiences in my business to help my clients to manage volunteers, from recruitment, training, and evaluation. Create and promote programming and all that is needed to run a successful nonprofit agency.

Can you share something surprising about yourself?
Something surprising about me is that I write for projects all over the world. I am part of an amazing nonprofit community called GRACE Cares, Inc. I never thought that I would be working on international projects, much less writing for international projects, but I do! And I love it. I write for projects in Africa, India, Guatemala, The Dominican Republic, and many more. I am honored to add the international perspective to my curricula vitae.

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