My Top 10 #GPAConf15 Insights

By Dr. Judy Riffle, Pam Van Pelt Memorial Conference Scholarship Recipient

Santa Cruz Grants & Consulting, LLC


Thanks to the Grant Professionals Foundation and generous peers, I was a first timer this year at the annual GPA conference. This experience led to so many ideas about diversifying my consultant offerings, and reinforced my love of the grants world. As a former educator and administrator, I never wanted to feel I was an expert in any area. When I feel there is nothing left to learn or a different way to view something, it will definitely be time to crawl under a rock. Every moment of the conference provided something worthwhile to my career and future.
Grant professional rock stars are just real people like us and have so much to offer. The #HumanLibrary at the conference was a great way to get one on one mentoring. GPA, please bring it back in 2016!

The ethical arena of grants has SO many gray areas. Make it a habit to regularly review and reflect on the GPA Code of Ethics: Go over it with clients and people in the nonprofit world. Incorporate it into your grant related presentations and workshops. #JustGoogleGPACodeofEthics

Networking, networking, networking. I met so many social media friends in the flesh, made great new friends, and discovered how willing grant pros are to share their expertise and tips. #grantchat

Don’t underestimate the #power of partnerships and mentoring. Dr. Beverly Browning and Kimberly Richardson made it clear how even an informal mentoring relationship started at a GPA annual conference can lead to new endeavors, introductions, and much needed advice. Instead of swimming in isolation as the intense work of grant writing often involves, branch out and collaborate. Nonprofits should form more partnerships as well in order to succeed in the crowded landscape of fundraising. Win more grants by remembering this!

You don’t have to write in a strict Ph.D. style to get articles accepted into GPA publications. Plus GPA will support you along the way! Newsletter submissions can turn into strategy papers, journal articles, books, or future presentations/workshops. #GPANewslettersStrategyPapersJournal

Present at #GPAConf16 in Atlanta and get a significant registration discount. Feel the fear and do it anyway!

The Chapter Leadership Pre-Conference workshop provided useful tips for recruiting, retaining, and making members want to volunteer such as Claim to Fame announcements, hot buttons, and using exciting themes for chapter meetings. #LearnHelpMeet

I learned about excellent digital #productivity tools to check out such as Nozbe, Evernote, Hootsuite, Harvest, Time Master, TimeClock Pro, FreshBooks, Foundation Center maps, Google Scholar, and Natural Reader (text to speech). For example, put an RFP into Natural Reader to listen to while exercising or gardening instead of reading it and trying to stay awake!

Grant Pros are some of the most giving people on earth. We should all feel free to share our knowledge, expertise, and referrals to others in our profession. For instance, international grant writers provided me with tons of tips for my daughter’s new nonprofit, ‎Obwaagazi Children’s Foundation, in Uganda. #It’sNotAboutTheCompetition

Peter F. Drucker: “When you find a unique opportunity to make a real difference, you focus on it and constantly reassess results.” The conference revitalized me to hone my craft and to focus on careful reflection in all areas. #LifeLongLearning

In closing, I cannot wait until #GPAConf16 in the wonderful city of Atlanta. A year seems such a long time to wait………are we there yet?