An amazing Silent Auction!

Simply amazing! Our annual Silent Auction in Atlanta was without a doubt a wonderful success. Thank you to the entire grant professional community. We hope you are enjoying your books, wine, jewelry, gift card/certificate, or other item you took home. If you won a trip to Costa Rica, South Africa, or some other exotic destination, think of us at GPF as you are relaxing on a beach or exploring some other fabulous destination.

The financial gifts you made help us provide even more scholarships in 2017 for your fellow grant professionals to attend #GPAConf17 in San Diego, earn GPC status, join GPA, and hold regional GPA chapter conferences.

We hope to see you in the NEW YEAR and at the GPA National Conference November 8-11, 2017 in San Diego!

Happy Holidays!

The Grant Professionals Foundation Silent Auction Team

Keeping in Touch with Your Foundation Donors

Teri BlandonBy Teri S. Blandon, GPC, CFRE; Vice President for External Relations, PAI

The 2016 election caused massive disruptions to many people, personally and professionally. As I work for a women’s reproductive rights advocacy organization, the election results caused us to pivot quickly. Immediately, we had to pull back our annual appeal letter (which was at the printer) and completely rewrite it to reflect the new reality. On an organizational level, we have had to significantly revise our 2017 program plan, which will impact our upcoming foundation proposals and reports.

The election may have caused similar disruptions in your nonprofits. While there are a lot of unknowns about what the future brings, there are concrete things you can and should be doing to maintain positive relationships with your institutional donors.

  • Talk with the community you serve. The campaigns were extraordinarily acrimonious, and stirred up a lot of negative feelings and uncovered deep schisms in our country at many levels. How has this played out in your community (however you define “community”)? Whether you operate locally, state-wide, nationally or internationally, no one has been left unaffected by the campaigns and election. Your nonprofit is on the frontline — what are you learning about the people you serve that could be useful to your funders?
  • Check in with your program colleagues. What worries the program experts about the incoming Congress and Administration? How are your programs and community likely to be affected by policies at the state and national levels? Perhaps there was some good news in your state elections — for example, some jurisdictions increased the minimum wage which will positively impact many of the groups we serve. Make sure you are aware of any discussions going on about how your nonprofit may have to change or adapt your programming in the coming months.
  • Talk to your foundation donors. Almost all of our foundations are now talking internally about how their strategy will shift in light of the Trump-Pence administration. While these discussions will likely take some time, you have a golden opportunity to position your organization as a provider of important and useful intelligence. Thinking back to my first bullet point — what do you know about how the community is feeling/reacting? What is happening within your community to address the issues churned up by the election? And pulling in the information referenced in my second bullet point — what is your nonprofit doing about it? In the case of my organization, we were able to pull together an analysis of the probable funding cuts and policy changes that will happen after the inauguration, and distributed it to our top funders. (The best part is that this was the idea of our Programs staff!) We intend to keep them updated as new information becomes available. We received several emails in response expressing how much the program officers appreciated the information. This wasn’t about asking for money (that will come later); it was about making sure our funders had accurate and timely information they can use when discussing their own strategy.

You are not powerless — you have important information about how upcoming policies and funding decisions affect real people. Use it to advocate for the people you serve by sharing it with your donors. It will position your organization as a provider of services and intelligence.

After the Exam

BethanyBy Bethany Turner, GPC of bmtconsulting
GPC Scholar

When I first learned about the Grant Professional Certification (GPC) through a #GrantChat, I knew I wanted to become a GPC. About a year ago I earnestly started preparing to sit for the GPC exam. I was fortunate to receive a scholarship from the Grant Professionals Foundation. This gave me a definite timeline to sit for the exam. I knew I had to take it by September 30, 2016, and that really gave me a lot of motivation.

To be able to sit for the exam, I had to take the eligibility quiz, submit my eligibility packet, and then once it was approved, schedule my exam. The GPCI outlines all the steps and the timeline you need to complete them on their website. Since I had to take the test by September 30, 2016, I scheduled my test at a Kryterion Testing Center near me. The hardest part of scheduling my exam was deciding when I wanted to take it. Kryterion Testing Centers have options all day long. I took both the multiple choice and writing prompt on the same day.

I thought I would feel a huge relief after the test was over, but I more felt anxious and extremely tired. I took the exam on a Thursday, and it took me the whole weekend to feel energy again.

But after taking the exam, I still celebrated with Starbucks and a steak dinner cooked by my husband.

When I received the email to let me know I had passed the GPC exam and become a GPC, we celebrated even more. I sent texts to my family and a few close friends and then made the announcement on my favorite social media sites. I spent part of the day updating my professional profiles, resume, email signatures to include the GPC. My husband brought me flowers. That evening we went out to dinner, GPC’s choice, and got dessert. During that day when I would think about passing the exam, I would just smile to myself. It still brings a smile to my face. I felt a huge sense of relief and accomplishment after I received the official email.

I had lots of people cheering me on through the process, and I appreciated all of their support! Many are GPCs. Knowing that these grant professionals who have gone before me and become GPCs were encouraging me on made such an impact.

Sitting for the GPC exam does take a great deal of preparation. I had to dedicate a lot of time to studying and preparing. The preparation alone to sit for the exam has made me a much better grant professional. It gave me the tools and specifically confidence I needed to feel like a true professional.

Bio: Bethany Turner is a Grant Professional Certified (GPC) and owner of bmtconsulting – funding your future. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Studies from Ball State University, Bethany got her start in the grant professional as an AmeriCorps VISTA member in 2011.Since becoming a grant professional, Bethany has worked with many different organizations securing more than a million dollars in federal, state, and private foundation funds. These grant monies have been awarded for disaster response and rebuilding, humanitarian aid, grief counseling, arts and culture, arts education, drama therapy, historic preservation, and higher education. In 2015, Bethany earned a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Administration from Western Kentucky University. Bethany loves reading, traveling (anywhere and everywhere), and cheering on The Ohio State Buckeyes and Denver Broncos.