The Every Chapter Challenge campaign is THE annual campaign to support grant professionals and advance the grants profession! Funds raised provide scholarships to support GPA membership, credentialing and Annual Conference attendance! Help us rebrand this campaign today!
The GPF Annual Campaign will be rebranded in 2019, and we need a new name!
The “Name the Campaign” Contest goes from now until December 31, 2018.
The winner will receive a year’s membership to the Grant Professionals Association (a $225 value)!
To enter, simply email your ideas (as many as you want to submit!) to
Only ideas submitted prior to 12/31 will be entered in the contest. 

At GPA, We Seem to Get Each Other

by Catherine High, GPC; Rosemary West Scholar

This was my first time at the GPA National Conference, and my scholarship from GPF was certainly a great help in persuading my agency to let me go. I don’t think that will be a problem in the future! I came back with so much information, and so much renewed enthusiasm for my job, that I am certain to be a regular attendee.

As a one-person grants office, I do it all, and my duties are expanding as we receive more grants from differing sources. So, I attended break-out sessions on all sorts of topics, from managing federal grants to fine-tuning my role within the organization. I even managed to attend a session on improving my writing skills. I only wish I could have learned more, but often, the sessions I wanted to attend were running concurrently.

I was very reassured that, although I am quite an anomaly within my organization, there are many people just like me in the grants field! Sometimes I feel a bit of a freak at work, but at GPA, we seem to get each other. My only real complaint was that the weather was not as warm as I would have liked – I did make it to the beach, but it was definitely not sunbathing weather.

I most certainly recommend the conference to anyone who is considering attending next year. I plan to be there. Within a few years, I hope to have built our grants office to the point where I can bring a colleague with me.

By the way, I have put my favorite ribbons outside my office, and people love them. I like them because they help me look more social, which isn’t always easy.

I Was With My People

by Lauren Petersen, 2017 Pamela Van Pelt Scholar

As the holidays quickly approach, and many nonprofit professionals reflect on the year past, it is the 2017 Annual Grant Professional Conference that comes to my mind first. It isn’t very often you get to spend days on end devoted solely to learning to perfect your craft, reflecting on your own habits, and sharing stories of the good, the bad and the ugly, with like-mined peers from around the country. But at the Grant Professionals Conference, that’s what it’s all about!

As a new-comer to GPA and a first-timer to the Conference, I cannot thank the Grant Professionals Foundation enough for awarding me the 2017 Pamela Van Pelt Scholarship. Each day was jam-packed from pre-conference leadership workshops and networking receptions, to countless top-notch learning sessions with grant experts who I wouldn’t have met otherwise.

Like many other attendees, I focused on attending sessions to fill my knowledge gaps and refuel my grant writing passion-tank. But choosing which session to attend was like being a kid in a candy shop – How could I possibly pick just one?  It wasn’t until after Tom Ahern’s Keynote, that it all clicked. It didn’t matter what sessions I attended, I was with my people, and every single offering was relevant to my day-to-day career.

Over the course of five days, 10+ sessions, and 18 pages of notes, the Grant Professional Association Conference in San Diego re-energized, renewed and got me ready to rock 2018.

I met peers from around the country who are dedicated to making the world a better place one grant at a time, just like me. (Crazy huh?) As the only grant writer in my organization, like many others I met, it’s often difficult to find local peers to reach out to for advice or just bounce an idea off of.  This conference provided opportunities to network and connect with other like-minded professionals, enabling me to take the pulse of what is trending amongst grant writers for tools, resources, technologies and best practices.

I picked-up countless new ways to describe my role: “Grant writers do more than collate information. We connect dots. We forge meaning.” or, “Grant writers are organizations legal and ethical hound dogs…”, and “We are professional scavenger hunters of past content”.

I identified and recommitted myself to my professional SMIT (Single Most Important Thing) – Balance. Because life is all about balance, both personally and professionally. It sounds simple, but especially in the world of grant writing, reality and theory are not always the same. Despite the externally perceived can-do spirit, flexibility and determination, balance requires fancy-footwork and an ability to know your own boundaries.

But most importantly, I was reminded why I continue to pine through pages of RFPs, scribble red ink on drafts for weeks on end and guzzle gallons of coffee (and wine): The world of a nonprofit grant professional is exciting; no two workdays are ever alike, and I love that about my career.  (And of course, I will never hear Sir Mix-A-Lot’s iconic song “Baby got Back” the same, thanks to a little grant writer magic! #BabygotGrants)