Charlisa Garg, GPC
Principal Consultant, Middle Branch Consulting
March is a busy month for grants professionals!
In addition to dealing with our typical high-octane workloads (is anyone else as grateful to the caffeine gods as I am?), this week we are excited to celebrate the first annual International Grants Professionals Week (#IGPW) March 16-20, 2015. #IGPW is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the impact of grant professionals, administrators, consultants, managers, grant makers, and grant writers around the world. Simultaneously, the Grant Professionals Certification Institute is celebrating #31Days of GPC during the whole month of March to highlight the benefits of earning the GPC credential. It’s a good week and month to be a grant pro!
I have eagerly awaited each new installment of the #31DaysofGPC YouTube videos to learn why these grant professionals, some with more than 40 years of experience, chose to get credentialed and how they felt the process has benefitted them and the profession. It made me reflect upon my personal decision to sit for the GPC exam and on how becoming a GPC has helped both my professional development and the growth and reputation of my consulting practice. After a first career in advocacy and legislative affairs, a volunteer assignment at my community hospital opened my eyes to a new field that allowed me to utilize my writing and analytical skills while helping various nonprofits fund their missions. In my efforts to learn more and provide the highest quality services to my growing roster of clients, I discovered and joined GPA. I learned about the GPC and thought that earning that credential would be a way not only prove to myself (and my clients) that I was a proficient and skilled grants professional but also a way to differentiate myself from other consultants. Preparing for the exam pushed me outside of my normal scope-of-practice to learn more about the federal grants process and program evaluation while reinforcing my skills in program planning and budgeting. As a nonprofit consultant with a limited (read: non-existent) marketing budget, the GPC is a professional “seal of approval” (as stated in one of the #31Days videos). I feel it was and remains well worth its cost in time and fees to attain.
Watching the #31Days videos also made me consider how earning my GPC dovetails with the goals of #IGPW: to enhance the prestige of our profession and to celebrate and recognize the impact of grant professionals worldwide. What better way to achieve this than to strive for more and more grant professionals to gain their GPC credential?
Must a grant professional hold the credential to be successful and good at their job? No, but the GPC raises the credibility of the grants profession as a whole, and the more GPCs there are, the better the field is for all grant professionals. What’s more –
- I RECOGNIZE the value of my GPC on a personal and professional level.
- I APPRECIATE the thought and hard work of the Grant Professionals Certification Institute (GPCI) that went into planning and establishing the GPC in the first place.
- GPCI’s continued efforts to attract more applicants and to take the GPC credential to next level by exploring accreditation through the National Commission for Certifying Agencies will further ENHANCE the visibility of the GPC as a broadly recognized, objective and current benchmark of ethical grants professionalism.
As #IGPW comes to a close on Friday (International Grant Professionals Day!), I want to thank each and every grant pro reading this blog. I recognize what you do, and the impact you make every day. Your work is both powerful and priceless because you change the world one grant at a time. If you are not a GPC already, I urge you to consider sitting for the exam. If you are on the fence, or unsure of the benefit of earning your GPC, watch the #31DaysofGPC videos or send me an email. Let’s keep this conversation going.
Happy International Grant Professionals Week!