Leap of Faith

Amanda RipstraGrant Expectations

By Amy Knudsen, MA, GPC; Planned Parenthood of the Heartland

2016 GPC Scholar

During my senior year in college, I assisted in writing my first federal grant for an education program I developed while working at a homeless shelter. I could not have predicted that experience would have led me to where I am today, with 25 years of grants writing and 10 years of grants management behind me. I am grateful grant writing gives me an opportunity to use my knowledge and skills to contribute to organizations I am passionate about and to the wider community. As my career progressed, I have long wanted to become more involved with the local grants community. I am fortunate to have found a home with GPA, which provides me opportunities to network with other grant professionals and engage in active learning with chapter meetings, webinars and conferences. Most importantly, I love connecting with people who understand jokes about logic models and character limits and supports grants as a profession.

In addition to networking, joining GPA was also the kick I needed to sit for the GPCI exam. Despite being out of school for MANY years and swearing off exams for the rest of my life, I wanted to take the exam to show my dedication to my profession AND for validation of my chosen profession. However, I kept putting it off until the time was right. After joining GPA two years ago and with the encouragement of my peers, I took the leap of faith last year and decided to apply for a scholarship for the exam. To my surprise, my application was approved. I submitted my packet in September and there was no more procrastination. I took the exam in January 2017 and am happy to report that as of February 1, 2017, I am now a certified grant professional.

I am ready for the next chapter in my professional career and am grateful to GPA for the opportunity to provide a standard of excellence for the grant profession.