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Focus.  Connect.  Achieve.

Development by Design, LLC

Through customized technical and leadership skills training, Development by Design helps FOCUS your team on exceeding goals.  We perform assessments with you and your team to help CONNECT your organization with your greatest challenges, identify your most valuable assets and to determine the opportunities that are worthwhile in pursuit of your goals.  We provide a critical eye to help transform your organization and provide an execution plan designed for sustainability and growth.  In short, we are here to help you ACHIEVE your mission.


Focus. Connect. Achieve.

You are on a mission, and staying long-term focused while reaching short-term goals can be difficult.  We get it.  We have seen many leaders derailed by handling issues, and when that happens, entire organizations can stray.  At Development by Design, we help get your organization back on track by creating a realistic execution plan and assisting your team to stay focused on achieving milestones that move you forward toward your goal.  Your mission is our mission.


Success in business, non-profit or otherwise, requires you to connect dots.  It’s about connecting your issues with solutions, your employees with a mission and your mission to resources in the community.  With over 20 years experience working with businesses and non-profits, the principals at Development by Design have a unique ability to make those connections with you, both internally and externally.  From problem solving to fundraising to setting attainable goals, we are with you moving your organization forward.


The keys to success are reaching your short-term goals, hiring the right people for your organization and raising the money you need to achieve your goals.  While this sounds obvious, many organizations lose sight of it, and forget to hold themselves accountable for failures, and to celebrate successes.  Development by Design helps you set clear expectations so that you never lose sight of your goal, and never forget that reaching the top of a heap is achieved one step at a time.



Training & Development - Customized for Marketing, Sales, Fundraising and Communication Professionals

  • Coaching: Our approach to coaching is focused on getting you to show up consistently and powerfully in your work and life. What does this mean? It means we help you with a huge variety of challenges from communication issues, poor time management and procrastination to effective delegation, strategic planning, and leadership development. We use DiSC for all levels of the organization. Everything Workplace: Conflict, Leaders, Management, Sales, and 363 for Leaders, as well as Five Behaviors of A Cohesive Team (Trust, Conflict, Commitment, Accountability and Results). 

  • Team training topics include Everything Workplace Soft-Skills - all with the goal of becoming more effective in the workplace. 

Professional Grant Services for Nonprofit Organizations.

  • Development by Designs' professional grant writers support nonprofit organizations every step of the way in obtaining grants and will help you develop a strategy for maintaining the relationships to renew them.

  • A professional grant writer will help your organization save time and money by developing successful grant proposals so your staff can focus on essential daily tasks.

Contact Development by Design, LLC for a free consultation about our services.


Michelle Cole is a builder, although early in her career she didn’t know it. Managing a Counseling Center in rural North Carolina, Michelle noticed that many women she came in contact with were victims of domestic violence. Locally, there were zero resources to serve these families. Michelle founded the Domestic Violence Resource Center of Alexander County, North Carolina by seeking an umbrella organization and working collaboratively to win a grant to fund start-up costs. She then formed the 501(c)(3), recruited a Board, educated  the community through various presentations and created the plan to serve victims

This ability to identify a need, to focus a team around solving it, and then to create and execute a plan that fills that need, has served Michelle and organizations well.  More though, she then connects the mission with the resources needed to pay for the solution, and in the process serves countless individuals by improving their lives.

Michelle set up successful programs at various education institutions and nonprofit organizations, and today remains a consultant in their ongoing achievement. Her experience with corporate fundraising has been focused on strategy and execution planning that resulted in increased revenue. This was realized through national partnerships, collaboration and a commitment to customer service.

Michelle’s is a member of Grant Professional Association and her role as a principal at Development by Design continues her work as a problem solver, helping organizations identify a need, focus on a goal, and then showing them how to connect the dots to fulfill that need.


What They're Saying

Service Do you use your gifts to serve others?
Quote   ‘Let your life speak.’

From the Religious Society of Friends  

(Historical Quaker Tenet)

The above tenets remind me of Development by Design LLC. They are passionate about their mission to empower organizations to reach their full potential. I have truly enjoyed working with Michelle Cole and Lisa Lopez.  These two extraordinary women “speak truth to power” and will help transform your company. High Point Friends School is in a better place because of Development by Design as they have helped us become stronger competitors in the independent school market of education.

- Darryl Cotton, Head of School, High Point Friends School

“I would like to take this time to say, ‘Thank You’ to Development by Design for all that you have done for us here at ‘Dream Big Performing Arts Academy’.  You have given the board members along with myself more knowledge and help then we ever could have imagined.  When beginning this journey of starting a non-profit business working with families through Art, Music and Dance who would have ever dreamed that it would become so important to so many.  This has been a dream of mine for so many years and now that it is all starting to come together I know in my heart it will affect all those that come into our facility. Thank you for your time and generous heart, making this a reality for us in this community.”

- Misty Donathan, Director, Dreaming Big Performing Arts Academy

“Michelle’s excellent client orientation and development expertise helped PTB’s clients develop capacity in institutional advancement and college foundation offices.”

- Paul Bucci Owner, Paul T. Bucci, PhD LLC

“I approached Lisa Lopez at Development By Design because I needed someone I could trust to edit, fact check, and build a bibliography for my latest book. Lisa helped me by lending fresh eyes to the project and lending her research and technical writing skills. I thoroughly enjoyed working with Lisa. She is flexible, she has an authentic commitment to the client, and a really high commitment to customer service. I would recommend Development By Design to anyone who requires dedication, commitment, excellence and great results.”

- Trudy Bourgeois, Center for Workforce Excellence

Michelle Cole's passion shines through as she seeks to help individuals and organizations achieve their goals and their full potential. You can count on Michelle for expert counsel in fundraising, big-picture thinking, and effective ways to challenge the status quo. I highly recommend Development by Design LLC.


- Lynne Garrison, President at Garrison Consulting Group, LLC


Working with Development by Design has been a complete joy. The Town of Sedalia, NC approached Development by Design to help us find funding for our future bike and pedestrian path. In addition to researching, identifying, and applying for several funding opportunities, they created a strategic fundraising road-map for our Town Council and Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee to follow over the coming years. As a representative of the town, I most often find myself gravitating toward those who strive to be professional and are sincere in helping you to achieve your goals. This is what we’ve found in Development by Design. Lisa Lopez has provided fresh eyes to our project and have come up with new, innovative ways to engage the leaders of the project and to the Sedalia community. I would recommend Development by Design because of the passion and commitment they would give to you as a client.”

- Cam Dungee, Town Clerk, Town of Sedalia, North Carolina


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