December 2015 GPF News

Thanks for meeting us in St. Louis!

What a fantastic conference the Grant Professionals Association held in St. Louis last month! Thanks to Kelli and Barb and all of GPA’s volunteers for pulling it together. We’re already looking forward to seeing everyone in Atlanta in 2016!

And, thank you to everyone who supported the Grant Professionals Foundation. The 2015 Silent Auction was a smashing success. You invested $6,569.21 to support grant professionals with scholarships in 2016. These funds will help more scholars attend their first conference, sit for the GPC, and remain or become members of the GPA and our chapters. Thank you! 


GPCI Announces 2015 GPC Exam Scholarships

The Grant Professionals Certification Institute (GPCI) is pleased to announce the 2015 GPC Exam Scholarship Recipients. Congratulations to all!

  • Lauren Collens, Albany, NY
  • Michael Gresek, Tamarac, FL
  • Linda Maddox, Atlanta, GA
  • Lindsy Halleckson, Minneapolis, MN
  • Bethany Turner, Prestonsburg, KY


Grant Expectations:

2015 Scholarship Awardees Share Their Insights                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Everyone at the Grant Professionals Foundation is grateful for the generous donors that help us achieve our mission to advance the grant profession by providing funding for scholarships. This month, Grant Expectations highlights the insights and thanks of three 2015 scholarship winners.

Looking Forward to GPA Annual Conference 2016

By Fielding Jezreel St. Louis Chapter Conference Scholarship Recipient

Fielding shares her conference takeaways and encourages 2016 presenters to engage attendees with tools that help us all “dive deep” into topics that matter to grant professionals everywhere. Click here to read more.

My Top 10 #GPAConf15 Insights

By Dr. Judy Riffle, Pam Van Pelt Memorial Conference Scholarship Recipient

Judy, a first-time attendee, writes about ethics, networking, and human libraries in her thank you blog. Read the details here.

An Award that was Really Rewarding!

By DeaRonda Harrison, GPF Conference Scholar 2015 – Peach State Scholarship

DeaRonda shares the impact “Gateway to Success” had on her, from consultant know-how to prepping for the GPC. Learn about her takeaways here.


Get Ready for the GPC Exam with CharityChannel’s New Book

Calling all GPA members! Save 25% and get free shipping when you order a copy of Prepare for the GPC Exam: Earn Your Grant Professional Certified Credential. If you’re thinking about taking the GPC exam, authors Pauline Annarino, Danny W. Blitch II, Kimberly Hays de Muga, and Leslie Mitchell have written an informative guide that will help you prepare! And, when you order, the GPF will receive 20% to support our work. Enter gpc-prep-preorder to receive the discount. Click here now to take advantage of this great offer (expires 12/18/15)!


We’ve Got a New Look

GPF is excited to share that our website redesign is done. If we do say so ourselves, it looks great! Please check it out and let us know what you think!


Share Your Love for the Grants Profession with a Gift to the GPF Today

It’s time for end-of-year giving. We invite you to show your love and support for the grant profession by supporting the I Heart Grant Professionals campaign.

With a donation of just $10 a month, you can help provide meaningful education and networking opportunities for grant professionals across the country. Your gift supports scholarships for GPA memberships, GPA national conference registrations, and the GPC exam that help to advance the profession—your profession.

Make an online donation to show your support of a grant professional or all grant professionals. You can do good deeds, change the world one grant at a time, show your passion for our profession, and celebrate your colleagues.

Click here to learn more about the I Heart Grant Professionals campaign and how to donate.

GPF accepts PayPal, credit/debit cards, and most other forms of payment. Join your colleagues! Use the notes section to show your support for one or all grant professionals. Show some love!

Looking Forward to GPA Annual Conference 2016

By Fielding Jezreel, Recipient of a 2015 St. Louis Chapter Conference Scholarship

I should start by saying that the GPA Annual Conference left me rejuvenated and excited to return to work with new contacts across the nation and with a long list of to-dos: demo grant management software systems so I can recommend one to my organization, reach out to those new contacts on LinkedIn and by email, get more involved with the local GPA Chapter, and come up with a 12-month plan for pursuing my GPC.

And as I reflect on the overall conference experience, I’m glad I made time to attend and am grateful for the scholarship I received and the donors that made conference scholarships possible.

One of the last sessions I attended surprised me—the session was not at all what I thought it would be, but like most sessions, there was at least one thing to take home to improve my work. The session covered about a dozen tools, each of which could be integrated into my work but for which I would need to do some significant reading to understand and effectively implement.

Working for a young nonprofit with rapidly evolving strategies and big aspirations means I spend more than my fair share of time anguishing over rushed planning processes and last minute programmatic changes. As the organization grows, focuses, and devotes more time to planning, evaluating, and improving processes, the tools discussed during the Saturday session will contribute to those endeavors.

In the meantime, I have a list of tools that I can begin to explore. Relatedly, I have a challenge to presenters of the GPA Conference 2016, pick your favorite tool or method and dive deep. Show participants how you use a tool or method. Engage participants in an activity that you use in developing some aspect of your grants program or process, be that in a leadership capacity, in the production of proposal components, or in the guidance of your professional direction.

On Thursday of the conference, I attended Beckie Murdock’s “Mapping Concepts for Grant Proposals.” She walked a crowded room through a mind mapping exercise that she uses with community groups to bring a diverse set of community stakeholders to the table to discuss a problem and corresponding solutions. Assigned to work in groups on a particular challenge, Beckie engaged us in “doing” instead of spending her hour and fifteen “telling.” Beckie showed us how we could use mind mapping to guide the production of a grant proposal that reflects the needs of a group and streamlines the implementation process post-award. The delivery of the materials made this session the most memorable of the conference for me.

In case you are thinking about presenting in 2016, I’ll close by offering up a number of tools and strategies that I’d love to dive deep into at the GPA Annual Conference 2016: SWOT analyses, GIVES strategies for Fundraising, Porter’s Generic Strategies, crafting values statements, Return on Investment evaluations, Sustainability Matrices, Hedgehog Concepts, Gantt Charts, Strategic Planning Cycles, and Strategy Screens.

See you in Atlanta!

My Top 10 #GPAConf15 Insights

By Dr. Judy Riffle, Pam Van Pelt Memorial Conference Scholarship Recipient

Santa Cruz Grants & Consulting, LLC


Thanks to the Grant Professionals Foundation and generous peers, I was a first timer this year at the annual GPA conference. This experience led to so many ideas about diversifying my consultant offerings, and reinforced my love of the grants world. As a former educator and administrator, I never wanted to feel I was an expert in any area. When I feel there is nothing left to learn or a different way to view something, it will definitely be time to crawl under a rock. Every moment of the conference provided something worthwhile to my career and future.
Grant professional rock stars are just real people like us and have so much to offer. The #HumanLibrary at the conference was a great way to get one on one mentoring. GPA, please bring it back in 2016!

The ethical arena of grants has SO many gray areas. Make it a habit to regularly review and reflect on the GPA Code of Ethics: Go over it with clients and people in the nonprofit world. Incorporate it into your grant related presentations and workshops. #JustGoogleGPACodeofEthics

Networking, networking, networking. I met so many social media friends in the flesh, made great new friends, and discovered how willing grant pros are to share their expertise and tips. #grantchat

Don’t underestimate the #power of partnerships and mentoring. Dr. Beverly Browning and Kimberly Richardson made it clear how even an informal mentoring relationship started at a GPA annual conference can lead to new endeavors, introductions, and much needed advice. Instead of swimming in isolation as the intense work of grant writing often involves, branch out and collaborate. Nonprofits should form more partnerships as well in order to succeed in the crowded landscape of fundraising. Win more grants by remembering this!

You don’t have to write in a strict Ph.D. style to get articles accepted into GPA publications. Plus GPA will support you along the way! Newsletter submissions can turn into strategy papers, journal articles, books, or future presentations/workshops. #GPANewslettersStrategyPapersJournal

Present at #GPAConf16 in Atlanta and get a significant registration discount. Feel the fear and do it anyway!

The Chapter Leadership Pre-Conference workshop provided useful tips for recruiting, retaining, and making members want to volunteer such as Claim to Fame announcements, hot buttons, and using exciting themes for chapter meetings. #LearnHelpMeet

I learned about excellent digital #productivity tools to check out such as Nozbe, Evernote, Hootsuite, Harvest, Time Master, TimeClock Pro, FreshBooks, Foundation Center maps, Google Scholar, and Natural Reader (text to speech). For example, put an RFP into Natural Reader to listen to while exercising or gardening instead of reading it and trying to stay awake!

Grant Pros are some of the most giving people on earth. We should all feel free to share our knowledge, expertise, and referrals to others in our profession. For instance, international grant writers provided me with tons of tips for my daughter’s new nonprofit, ‎Obwaagazi Children’s Foundation, in Uganda. #It’sNotAboutTheCompetition

Peter F. Drucker: “When you find a unique opportunity to make a real difference, you focus on it and constantly reassess results.” The conference revitalized me to hone my craft and to focus on careful reflection in all areas. #LifeLongLearning

In closing, I cannot wait until #GPAConf16 in the wonderful city of Atlanta. A year seems such a long time to wait………are we there yet?



An Award that was Really Rewarding!

By DeaRonda Harrison, MBA – Consultant, June First Firm LLC

GPF Conference Scholar 2015 – Peach State Scholarship


The GPA Annual conference is always the highlight of my grant year. The conference kicked off with a hit linking up Special Interest Groups! I always look forward to the SIG session and the Consultants SIG did not disappoint. Those in the group were open and honest in telling us what to do and what not to do. There were members with over 20, 30, and even 40 years of experience in the room and I absorbed it all. The key takeaway for me, partner with others in your field in order to expand your services to help more people. I truly believe in partnerships and this solidified that belief for me.


I enjoyed learning about the benefits of earning GPC and pursuing writing in the GPA newsletter, which later could become a contribution to the GPA Journal. What I loved most was learning from other seasoned grant professionals’ experience to avoid difficulties in my own practice. I saw that the role of mentorship highlights that it is really about relationship building and being more than a mentor—being a giver, being an inspiration. I enjoyed networking with like-minded professionals, because unless you do it you don’t understand this work. The GPA conference encouraged me to keep moving forward and taught me who to call when it is time for me to partner with another professional.


Tinsear Forrest kept it real in the “Are you Grant Ready,” session and Amanda Day whipped me into shape by putting the GPC on my radar. Heather Stombaugh taught me that I’m not a magician even though my clients may feel this way. And Kimberly Hays de Muga and others showed me that even I could put an article in the newsletter that could be the start of an eventual scholarly article in the GPA journal.


I’m glad I was there and didn’t miss this year. As this year’s theme states, “Gateway to Grant Success,” this conference continues to help me achieve success as a grant professional.