Tag Archive for: GPCI

GPC Exam Scholarship Reflection, by Liz Forster

GPC logo

Since I first started writing grants as a side gig in 2017 and met Diane Leonard, GPC, I’ve been dreaming of the day when I’d take my GPC exam. By 2023, I knew I was qualified but I still wasn’t sure I was ready to take the exam. I was busy with a full client load and the exam fee was prohibitively expensive after a year of intentionally sparse work as I transitioned to motherhood. So I applied for a scholarship and was blown away to be selected as one of only a handful of recipients! 

As someone who was mostly self-taught as a grant consultant, I was doing well but knew there was still SO MUCH I didn’t know. I knew that preparing for the exam would help me position my consulting business on a more solid foundation. I knew that it would give me credibility among fellow grant pros. And I also wanted to gain knowledge and credibility to advance equity in my local United Way’s grantmaking procedures (I had joined the board and felt that our process was much too complicated and was leaving out deserving nonprofits). 

After participating in a study group led graciously by Isabel Milkovich and studying as time allowed over several months, I took the exam on an exhausting day in November. In January, I heard that I passed! 

Taking the exam provided all the benefits that I expected, plus some unexpected gains! Since adding my credential to my GPA Consultant Directory Listing, I’ve received more new client inquiries from the directory in ONE month than I typically get in a year! I’m not positive if my GPC is the only factor in this new demand, but I’m certainly feeling a lot more confident these days as I continue to refine my business strategies. 

Thanks to the scholarship that enabled me to earn my GPC, I’m looking forward to an upcoming year filled with meaningful work with great clients. I remain so grateful and indebted to the many people who donated to make this scholarship possible – THANK YOU! 

7 GPC Scholarships Awarded

Seven Grant Professionals Certification (GPC) Scholarships were awarded through joint support from the Grant Professionals Foundation (GPF) and Grant Professionals Certification Institute (GPCI). Congratulations to our new scholars!

  • Erin Leigh Birch, Gallatin, TN
  • Dale Braden, Milwaukie, OR
  • Arthur Davis, Portland, OR
  • Amy Knudsen, Des Moines, IA
  • Anna Kraxner, Kansas City, MO
  • Cydney Peters, Houston, TX
  • Nicole Sibilski, Nashville, TN

The GPF is grateful to our donors, and volunteers who make all our scholarships possible!

Giving Thanks for the GPA, GPCI, and GPF

Giving Thanks for the GPA, GPF, and GPCI

By Pamela Sophiajohn, CFRE


Are you a heart-centered grant professional?

In Grant Writing Revealed, author Jana Jane Hexter defines heart-centered grant development as when are our technical skills and spiritual beliefs are married as we pursue personal, organizational, and community growth. Based on 10 core concepts, heart-centered grant development is a holistic way of approaching all grant-related activities that allow us to have a deeper connection to our work and the meaning behind it.


The concept of integrating our work and spiritual life is not a new one. But it is totally refreshing to me to have a book that so beautifully weaves together the humanity and spiritually of the grant profession. And as a result, I found myself being exceptionally thankful for Jana as well as the many other GPA members who have enriched my life with their work.


I don’t know who was the first person to envision a membership association or foundation for grant professionals. I also don’t know the many people who pioneered the incredible standards of excellence behind the grant professional certification process. But I do know that my life is so much richer because of the dynamic work of GPA, GPF, and GPCI – three sister organizations who collectively impact thousands of lives each year through award-winning grants written by GPA members!


As Thanksgiving approaches, I am taking the liberty to start this list of reasons about why I am thankful for GPA, GPF, and GPCI. And you are warmly invited to continue to add to the list in the comments below, and spread the good cheer!


  1. I am thankful to have experienced GPA colleagues who generously share their grant experience with me when questions arise.
  2. My heart is thankful for all the benefits of GPA membership.
  3. I have great thanksgiving for the standards set in GPA’s Code of Ethics, which have helped me to navigate challenging employee and client relationships.
  4. I welcome the insightful conversations we can have – in sessions and in hallways, at lunch and out on the town – with our fellow GPA members.
  5. I treasure the opportunities the GPA, GPCI, and GPF afford me as I grow as a person and a professional.


What are you thankful for?
P.S. If you, too, are grateful for GPA, GPF, and GPCI, please consider making a gift to the Grant Professionals Foundation. As a member of the GPF Board, I know firsthand that your gift will help us to empower grant professionals – new and old – in their ability to strengthen the impact of the nonprofit sector. GPF may be small in resources, but we are big in vision. And with your support, we will grow our foundation’s capacity to strengthen the work of grant professionals who make the world a better place, one grant at a time.