Grant Development Services: About GDS

Who We Are

Grant Development Services (GDS), a division of Metasoft Systems Inc., is a team of skilled and experienced consultants, grant writers and researchers committed to helping clients realize their fundraising goals. GDS offers a portfolio of fundraising services and support to non-profit and charitable organizations throughout North America. GDS helps clients realize their fundraising objectives, addressing a critical shortage in organizational personnel, training or resources needed to successfully access funding.

GDS clients include:

  • Colleges, Universities, School Districts and Private Schools
  • Hospitals, Health Care Providers and Medical Researchers
  • Faith-Based and Missionary Organizations
  • Aboriginal Agencies and Band Councils
  • Social Services Agencies
  • Economic and Community Development Organizations
  • Emergency Shelters and Hospices
  • Environmental Conservation and Protection
  • Physical Fitness and Wellness Agencies
  • Literacy Development Organizations
  • Arts and Culture Organizations

GDS - Competitive Advantage

The clearest advantage to hiring a fundraising consulting group lies in cost savings and better stewardship of resources. The annual cost to contract for specialized fundraising services through Grant Development Services is approximately 30% less than maintaining an employee’s salary, overhead and benefits.

Beyond the direct expense, an in-house individual fundraiser is still only one individual. Working with a consulting group multiplies your fundraising advantage by drawing on the skills and experiences of an entire department of experts. More significantly, the majority of entry-level development staff stay in their position 18 months or less, on average. This raises the costs for a non-profit to recruit, train and retain competent development staff on an ongoing basis.

A full-service consulting group mitigates these problems by offering clients a highly diverse team of professional fundraisers, with a broad range of experience and specialized skills sets – and who are ready to respond to client requests and inquiries at a moment’s notice.

What We Do

  • Strategic Development and Fundraising Plans
  • Foundation Prospect Research & Identification
  • Case for Support & Letter of Inquiry Development
  • Grant Proposal Development
  • Online Application Development
  • Application Review & Analysis
  • Training, Mentorship & Strategic Facilitation
  • Interim Staffing Solutions (development, marketing & communications and more)

Why Should Clients Use GDS?


  • Multiple experts available in one location
  • Condensed project timelines


  • 50+ combined years of specialized fundraising knowledge
  • access to of-the-moment industry intelligence


  • Access to superior fundraising tool (FS)
  • Expands & Enhances existing Organizational Capacity


  • Cost-Effective Solution
  • Reduces Overhead & Staffing
  • Delivers results!

GDS Advantage vs. Solo Providers

Consider: GDS Solo Provider
A team with extensive experience and expertise using Foundation Search. Yes No
An entire team working for them: researchers, writers, business development specialists—all targeting funders on their behalf. Yes No
Experience in narrowing their search to find foundations likely to support their mission. Yes No
With an extensive client portfolio in Canada and the US, GDS keeps them abreast of fundraising trends. Yes No

Our Team

Delivery of GDS fundraising consulting services and strategic support is the responsibility of an expert team of consultants, grant writers and researchers. The GDS consulting team exhibits a wide diversity of skill sets, as well as significant experience in all aspects of fundraising campaign planning, development, execution and ongoing management. In addition to the ongoing contribution of its senior consulting team, GDS leverages the skill and experience of Metasoft’s Fundraising Support team to more effectively identify donor opportunities on behalf of clients.

Trevor Skillen, Founder, President, and CEO of Metasoft Systems Inc.
Trevor Skillen is founder, President, and CEO of Metasoft Systems, providers of FoundationSearch, the leading foundation fundraising resource for nonprofits. In addition to providing executive level support, mentoring, and assistance to FoundationSearch clients through Grant Development Services, he has also served as volunteer and fundraising advisor to numerous non-profit organizations over a 20 year period, including Treasurer and Vice-Chair, BC Software Association; Board Member, St. Claire School; Chair and Fundraising Committee Member, Delta Heritage Airpark; Director, BC Aviation Council; Endowment Committee Director, BC Aviation Council; and Fundraising Committee Member, Western Canada Wilderness Society.

Adele McCann, Manager, GDS
Adele joined the GDS team after working as a Development Representative for Metasoft. In her current role with GDS, she works closely with non-profits to ascertain their fundraising goals and help strategize how best to meet their challenges. Adele holds a BA with an English Literature major and a Film Studies minor from the University of British Columbia. She continued her studies in Dublin, where her passion for helping nonprofits began. She led volunteer fundraising for St Vincent de Paul and now works actively within the Vancouver Arts Colloquium Society to help document their work through writing and video. In her free time, Adele enjoys creative passions, including drawing, painting, and writing.

Melodie Murray, Consultant
Melodie has 23 years’ experience in the non-profit sector, where she has provided support, feedback, advice and project management to help organizations achieve their funding objectives. She has a solid track record of foundation and corporate proposal writing, relationship building and problem solving, with an outstanding history of managing projects from initial conception to implementation. Melodie has worked with various local, national and international organizations within the environmental, arts, sport, social services, and education sectors. In her free time, she can be found in the company of her family, recreating in the outdoors, or enjoying a strong cup of coffee.

Justin Habashi, Consultant
Justin has served in a variety of roles within the nonprofit sector. He started his career filling part-time fundraising and marketing roles while finishing his undergraduate degree at the University of British Columbia and later extended his reach into politics and advocacy work. With a background in communications and outreach strategy, he brings a wealth of knowledge on how to best position an ask and form foundation outreach campaigns. When he isn’t talking with clients, he enjoys hiking, cycling, building websites, and volunteering in the Greater Vancouver area.

Meghan Trenaman, Research Specialist
Meghan started at Metasoft as a Development Representative, where she worked with FoundationSearch prospects and clients to develop their fundraising and donor prospect research strategies. Her non-profit experience includes volunteer assignments with BC Children’s Hospital Foundation and Royal Inland Hospital. She holds a Diploma in Events & Conference Management from Thompson Rivers University. Meghan is an accomplished soccer player who enjoys spending time with her family and – particularly – her pet cat ‘Kitty’.

David Landers, Consultant
With over two decades of experience as a non-profit executive, David Landers combines knowledge and expertise in fundraising, organizational development, and strategic communications to help his clients succeed. From 2007 to 2014, David served as deputy director for Seattle-based Philanthropy Northwest, a regional network of foundations, donors and corporations, where his accomplishments included leading fundraising campaigns, cultivating stakeholder relationships, and managing programming and operational expansion. David is now a freelance writer providing customized services, from writing articles and online content to developing case statements and communication plans, for both non-profit and corporate clients in the United States and Canada. A recreational triathlete, David lives in Vancouver, BC.