By Lauren Daniels, GPC; Writing Services
When I decided to enter the grant writing profession, the first thing I did was look for a group or association of colleagues. To me, being a professional meant linking to an association. I found a local group that in turn led me to the American Association of Grant Professionals. (You can tell by the name that was a while back.) I had been writing commercial proposals, but I found a mentor (one of my first colleagues) that guided me through the transition of working with nonprofit and government applicants. That personal involvement set me on a new path. I have been fortunate to be in a profession that has allowed me to have my own profitable business. It didn’t happen overnight but once established, proposal development and project management spawned a satisfying career.
A component of being a professional is the obligation to assist or “bring along” those new to the profession. The recent death of Michael Wells highlighted a benefit of being a part of a group of colleagues. As comments about Michael appeared on Grant Zone, the idea of memorializing him through a scholarship was presented. How fortunate we are, as a profession, to have already institutionalized a charitable nonprofit entity, the Grant Professionals Foundation (GPF), that allows us to collectively honor and remember colleagues. We remember them by supporting others through professional development activities such as providing registration fees for the national conference, annual membership dues, and GPC examination fees, or through assisting chapters with regional conferences. GPF services extend to providing a venue for chapters to support their own members through their own objective scholarship program. I especially enjoy hearing the names of the scholarship recipients, while also remembering or honoring those that inspired the rest of us. It is further gratifying hearing those same recipient names mentioned again over time as chapter leaders, national committee members, GPC credentialed professionals, and GPF, GPCI, or GPA board members. To me, this demonstrates investment in a legacy rather than simply making a donation.
To support my profession, I contribute annually to the GPF. This is a part of my yearly charitable giving. For me, it is a privilege and reflection of my gratitude for the good things that I have received. We as colleagues have a couple of options for supporting GPF. We can participate collectively through the Every Chapter Challenge or individually through a personal donation. Recently, GPF has added a monthly giving option for those who prefer distributing their giving over a longer period. I invite you to support our profession by remembering GPF in your annual contribution habits. Remember that Giving is a Privilege.