GPF Silent Auction 2018 – Let Your Imagination Run Wild!

#GPFSilentAuction2018: Let Your Imagination Run Wild! by Mark Beamis

Wondering about how to tell hundreds of grant professionals about your great GPA Chapter, your business, or the great work of grant professionals? Are you looking for a way to showcase your Chapter or business at the national conference in Chicago? Relax, we’ve got you covered at the eighth annual Silent Auction at the GPA National Conference in Chicago, Illinois, November 7-10, 2018:

The Grant Professionals Foundation strengthens nonprofits and advances the grant profession by providing scholarships for the Grant Professionals Association’s national conference, annual Grant Professionals Association and local chapter memberships, financial assistance for the Grants Professional Certification exam, and GPA chapter regional conference sponsorships. The annual GPF Silent Auction raises money that makes a difference for grant professionals nationwide.

This year we are asking GPA chapters, individual grant professionals, and businesses supporting nonprofits to donate an item to the Silent Auction that will be held throughout the conference. Join other Chapters and supporters by donating a gift card, item, a theme basket or collection of items to be auctioned off. Perhaps a gift card from a signature restaurant in your town along with passes to your museum. What about an experience you can’t buy? Perhaps you or someone you know has backstage access to a TV show taping or a cool tour that isn’t open to the public. Feel free to think out of the box! Easy to pack home baskets are always welcome. We’ve got some great trips and products already lined up, but we want to showcase your area too. Remember, people from across the country (and even international destinations) attend the conference. Auction items will be showcased online. Make your item the “hot-bidding” item that no one wants to miss out on!

Need ideas? The New England GPA Chapter has been donating baskets since the Silent Auction began, and over the years they have included items such as maple syrup from Vermont, blueberry jam from Maine, gourmet chocolate from Massachusetts, coffee syrup from Rhode Island, cheeses from New Hampshire, a gift certificate for the famous Legal Seafoods restaurant, a votive with a lithophone of the Boston skyline, and even a stuffed lobster toy.  Let your imagination run wild! Additionally, you’ll benefit from exposure of your chapter, business, or individual name to those who attend the event.  Donors will be listed and the merchandise you give will be on-line or on display throughout the Conference in Chicago.

We are truly appreciative of your support of grant professionals and nonprofits making the world a better place!



My Conference Reflection

by Laura Horochowski, AZ Founding Chapter Scholar

As I think of the Grant Professionals Association’s conference from my work office, I cannot help but think of all the Uber rides that were a part of the trip to San Diego. I was fascinated by the variety of drivers and passengers that were a part of the trip. There were the immigrants from Ethiopia, Venezuela, and Argentina. The young man from Haiti who was just finishing his work shift, studying law, and considering joining the Marines. The gentleman that pointed out all the party features of his SUV, black lights, and speakers, as he told us he usually drives celebrities. The young driver that complained of passengers who had dragged sand into his car, but who then remembered his surprise when a 16-year-old offered to put a towel down so she wouldn’t get sand in the car.

I found a similarly fascinating variety of people at the conference. As a new member of the profession and very much a part of the meandering that gets most of us into grant writing, I really enjoyed hearing about the different life paths and educational backgrounds that landed people in the grant writing profession. There were PhDs, scientists, social workers, Navy veterans, art historians, former business executives, and much, much more. I found the creativity to reinvent oneself, the ability to learn along the way, and the adaptability represented among attendees to be inspiring. The variety also gave me a hopeful outlook for the future. It showed me that being a grant professional can be creative, can lead to new opportunities, can evolve, and it can open doors.

Along with the great people, there was also plenty of interesting conference presentations and speakers. I particularly liked the idea of setting up a content library, analyzing where the gaps are in my professional knowledge and using that to plan for career development. The conference gave me a better perspective about my organization, my current position, where I can go, and plenty of topics from the presentations to digest, explore, and possibly implement.

Also, as people shared about how their agencies incorporated grant writing into their processes or for that matter, didn’t, I realized I work for a great organization – Child Crisis Arizona. I feel very fortunate to be a part of a very cohesive development department that truly works as a team, to have program staff that participate in creating proposals and feed us data and stories for reports, to have the support of management for professional development and a good work environment, and overall, an organization that works hard to implement best practices for programs and staff.

I highly recommend the conference. It is a great place to meet interesting people, and to learn about yourself and the grants professional’s world, plus an opportunity to experience the outside world.

Quality and Quantity of Sessions was Abundant

by Jane Arney, Peach State Scholar

The 2017 Grant Professionals Association (GPA) Conference, held at Paradise Point Resort in San Diego, was an incredible gathering of grant professionals in a spectacular setting! I was grateful to receive the Peach State Scholarship from the GPF, which covered my registration fees and made it possible for me to attend. My lodgings were at the off-site Hyatt Hotel since Paradise Point was full, but with a marina view and harbor seals outside my window, as well as a convenient shuttle to the conference every day, this was no hardship at all. The kickoff reception was friendly, the opening session included a hilarious rap, “Baby Got Grants,” and the keynote speaker, Tom Ahern, reminded us with humor to simplify our language.

My biggest challenge was narrowing down which sessions to attend since the quality and quantity of selections were so abundant. I decided to focus on the area of grants management. The choice of sessions in this area was especially rich, so sometimes I had to make tough decisions at the last minute. With the help of the handy conference app, I set my schedule on my iPhone, and viewing the presenters’ slides and supporting materials ahead of time helped me hone in on my choices. Some of the sessions I enjoyed were “Creating Order Out of Chaos,” “Field of Dreams: How to Build a Winning Grant Team,” “Nobody Knows the Troubles We’ve Seen: how to artfully educate colleagues and bosses on what we do.” Each of these sessions had amazing presenters with impressive credentials and stellar presentation skills, engaging their audiences with both humor and clarity. I learned a lot and took home several great tips and techniques that I will definitely apply to my job.

Even better than the sessions (if that’s possible!) was networking – actually meeting the people I’ve met virtually in #GrantChat and GrantZone!! A group of us who started a GrantZone discussion about Raiser’s Edge were able to schedule a meeting in the conference app and enjoyed a conversation about possible alternatives to the use of multiple spreadsheets, etc. The Georgia chapter enjoyed a convivial dinner out in Old Town San Diego, with Chapter President Meghann Adams leading us to a fun Mexican restaurant.

Overall, the GPA Conference far exceeded my expectations, and I recommend that everyone try to attend the next one!