Every Chapter Challenge: Ready, Set, Challenge, Benefit!

Danny Blitch, MPA, GPC

Grants Manager, City of Roswell, Georgia


June 2015

Each year since 2008, the Grant Professionals Foundation has relied on the philanthropic and competitive spirit of GPA chapters and members to fund programs to advance the grants profession. Funds raised through the Every Chapter Challenge not only provide funds for scholarships, but also help GPA chapters to acknowledge, retain, and recruit their leaders and members.

Last year was the most successful Every Chapter Challenge to date, thanks to members from 25 chapters who raised $7,400. The 2014 chapter participation rate was just shy of 60%. The Star Chapter Award for the most funds raised was presented to the St. Louis Chapter, which raised $1,225— the highest total secured by a chapter in the history of the Challenge. The GPF is very fortunate to have such incredible support.

Ready! The 2015 Every Chapter Challenge is a year-long nationwide fundraising effort encouraging all 43 GPA chapters to support the Foundation and achieve a challenge goal of $250. The competition for Star runs from January 1 until the GPA Conference in St Louis, Missouri (which is November 11-14, 2015). GPF will announce the results of the competition and present the Star Chapter award during the conference!

Set! The proceeds from the Star Chapter competition and the Every Chapter Challenge 2015 campaign make possible the Foundation’s efforts to promote grant education/ professional development, assist more grant professionals to obtain GPC credentials, and grow the GPA membership (by awarding dues scholarships at both the National and Chapter levels).

Challenge! The “Challenge” is participation by 100% of GPA’s local Chapters. Currently, there are 43 active Chapters in about 30 states. Jerry Dillehay, a Founding Chapter Arizona GPA member and longtime supporter of the Foundation, issued the challenge with his initial $250 gift in December of 2007. The gantlet was thrown, the challenge was officially on, and the Every Chapter Challenge was born!

Benefit! The ECC2015 benefits GPA members and the grant profession – ensuring grant professionals attend the national conference for professional development; ensuring GPA Chapter’s retain/acknowledge local leaders, retain quality GPA members, and recruit new GPA members; and, the Foundation educates grant professionals about fundraising methods and development practices.

GPA is the authority on grants and is doing their part by engaging members, strengthening the profession through high-quality strategy papers and the GPA journal, all the while adding new chapters. The Foundation is supporting the advancement of the profession and strengthening nonprofits through education and awareness. The GPCI is further professionalizing the field through credentialing and promoting ethical best practices. The Foundation’s fundraising efforts improve communication, encourage collaboration through regional conference sponsorships and advance the profession’s body of research. We are all working together with the same goal in mind – to advance the grant profession!

Last year, the Foundation partnered with several GPA Chapters to host 11 conference scholarships: the Arkansas Chapter Scholarship sponsored by The Kester Group and the Arkansas Chapter of GPA, the Susan Kemp Memorial Scholarship provided by gifts from friends and admirers of Susan Kemp founded by Dr. Beverly Browning, the Peach State Scholarship provided by the Georgia GPA Chapter, a Jerry Dillehay Scholarship sponsored by the Founding Arizona Chapter, two South Florida Chapter Scholarships sponsored by the South Florida Chapter, one St. Louis Chapter Scholarship sponsored by the St. Louis Area Chapter, and the newest edition to our line up the Pam Van Pelt Memorial sponsored by the Nevada Chapter Scholarship.

New for 2015! GPF is using a single application for all the conference scholarships this year. The scholarship review committee with work with applicants and donors/ chapters to ensure the best fit for each applicant and the scholarships available.

The Foundation is interested in collaborating with every GPA Chapter to host conference scholarships. GPF hosted scholarship application processes in the past and employs a well-tested online scholarship application, scoring rubric and impartial scoring committee to make award decisions. GPA members and non-members can apply today for a scholarship on the Foundation’s website.

Many of our scholarships cover hotel, lodging, meals and travel, and most scholarships pay for the recipients’ registration fees only, but the costs are significant: Early-Bird Registration Rates (ends 07/31/15) are $549 for GPA Members; $783 for Non-members; or $449 for Students. Encourage your colleagues to visit our website: https://grantprofessionalsfoundation.org

Ready, Set, Challenge, Benefit!

The challenge is set, the benefits have been enumerated, and the scholarship application is online. Will you and your chapter friends join me by making a gift in 2015. Will this great and noble profession continue to thrive without you?

On your mark, get set…!