San Diego and “Baby Got Grants”

By TJ Hansell – Arizona Founding Chapter Scholarship

I know what you’re thinking…San Diego is pretty awesome, but “Baby Got Grants” is even awesomer. Yes, awesomer is not a word, but can any word really describe how awesome of an intro that was? I am sure a few of you are looking through your thesauruses and/or scrabble word list as I type this. Speaking of Scrabble, my grandmother was a spelling machine and would repeatedly laugh when she schooled me in Scrabble. I digress, but sometimes you just got to write what comes to mind.

Getting back on track. “Baby Got Grants” was the perfect introduction for a first timer to the GPA National Conference. That experience alone made the trip worth it in many respects, but the rest of the conference was amazing as well. Not only did I get to meet new people; I ran into quite a few familiar faces there. Arizona was certainly represented well in San Diego.

As a first timer, it was great to see so many grant professionals in one area. The wealth of knowledge, experience, and talent was unbelievable at times. When you look at some of the presenters and individuals presenting (Lucy Morgan, Bev Browning, Sharon Skinner, and others) anyone, even a seasoned grant professional, could pick up something to help them in the future. I know I definitely soaked in as much as I could over the conference schedule. The sharing of information was one of the best aspects of the conference. As a seasoned grant professional, I tend to think I know a couple things about grants, but I also know I really don’t know that much at times. The conference proved that and got me really excited about talking to many of you who attended.

I would not have been able to participate without the generous support of the GPF scholarship. Before I knew I was a scholarship recipient, it was a decision between attending myself or sending my team. Luckily, I didn’t have to make that decision, and all of us were able to attend. The scholarship not only helped me, but it helped two others gain valuable knowledge and relationships that will help for years into the future.

Now back to that amazing intro. I would love to see GPA encourage more of their members to come up with ingenious ways to make the grant world fun. I’m thinking “Grants, Grants, Baby” could be a sequel to “Baby Got Grants.” Just throwing that out there.

Helping a Beginner Get Off to a Good Start!

By Jana Gowan – 2017 Nora Stombaugh Memorial Scholarship

Thanks to a scholarship from the Grant Professionals Foundation, I was able to attend the annual Grant Professionals Association Conference in San Diego this year (November 2017).

I accepted a position as a full-time grant writer at a public university in December 2016 with a beginner’s awareness of grants. I had years of experience in development, fundraising, and education, mostly at a small nonprofit with a mission very close to my heart and only about a dozen colleagues. Transitioning to a larger institution with over 600 employees and thousands of students while navigating federal grant applications for the first time has stretched me. Thankfully, my predecessor was a member of the GPA, so I was able to plug into this invaluable resource from the beginning.

The GPF scholarship made it possible for me to attend the annual conference. From the first event, I appreciated the sense of community encouraged by the association. Working as the only grants professional at my organization can be isolating, so one of my favorite parts of the conference was simply getting to meet fellow grants professionals and ask questions. I learned the most from these casual conversations during meals or mixers.

Of course, the conference sessions were beneficial too. In fact, there were so many offerings relevant to my work, that I am very grateful for the shared handouts on the Google Drive folder. From the sessions I was able to attend, I learned how to offer more effective training for my non-grants colleagues, build better relationships with the development team, and craft a stronger evaluation plan as just a few examples.

Thank you to the Grant Professionals Foundation for the scholarship and the opportunity to attend this conference. It was the perfect ending to my first year as a grants professional as it will help me start the second year on the right foot with sharper focus and a network of support.

International Grant Professionals Day 2018


International Grant Professionals Day – March 9, 2018

Overland Park, KS: The Grant Professionals Association (GPA) announces the fourth annual International Grant Professionals Day to be held on March 9, 2018. International Grant Professionals Day increases awareness internationally of the work grant professionals perform as well as celebrates the work of grant professionals, who serve as administrators, consultants, managers, grant-makers, and writers.

Every day, grant professionals work diligently, usually behind the scenes, to seek grant opportunities, administer projects and implement important programs for the benefit of society’s disadvantaged and underserved people. These talented professionals are dedicated to providing the highest standard of ethics, quality program development, thoughtful project implementation and wise financial stewardship. Often, those standards extend beyond the mere financial and include capacity support, long-term solutions to challenges, fundraising assistance, expert project management, sustainable programming and so much more.

“Please join me in celebrating International Grant Professionals Day. Grant professionals are actively involved in making things happen in our society, from public works to helping the less fortunate. All of us are impacted by the hard work that grant professionals accomplish to make our communities better. Please take some time to thank a grant professional today.” stated Jo Miller, GPC-President of GPA.

Events planned for March 9, 2018 encourage grant professionals and their organizations to celebrate themselves, the profession and highlight important issues faced by grant professionals.

GPA is a professional organization that builds and supports a community of grant professionals committed to serving the greater public good. We have partnered in this effort with GPCI, the grant profession’s organization that is dedicated to promoting competency and ethical practices within the field of grantsmanship, and the Grant Professionals Foundation (GPF), the fundraising partner ensuring that resources are available to train, credential and advocate for all grant professionals.

For more information, visit the International Grant Professionals Week web page at

For Immediate Release Contact:

Kelli Romero, Membership & Marketing Director

Grant Professionals Association

(913) 788-3000