Tag Archive for: Grant Expectations

GPA Member Benefits are Endless

By DeaRonda Harrison

Taking the leap and sharing with my peers to work with nonprofits I could see the stare and gaze of concern in their eyes. In 2013, I attended my first GPA conference where I had never even written 1 grant, yet. I wanted to make sure I was making the right decision. This conference sealed the deal, and I knew this was what I wanted to do. The 2013 GPA national conference was my first BIG date with GPA, and I knew it was time to make a career transition and do more purposeful work. I desired to have a greater impact on people and just because you desire to do good doesn’t mean that it won’t come with challenges and I had to at least create a plan.

I joined GPA to surround myself with professionals that were experts in the field of grant writing. I knew it was a skill I wanted to pursue further as someone who was thrust into the industry; I thought it would be most advantageous to be around people that knew what they were doing and took their craft seriously. I desired to learn from those proficient in the field and little did I know it would be because of the GPA membership that I would acquire 90% of my clients as a consultant.

I get often asked where I get the majority of my clients, and I typically say through word-of-mouth, but through some shape, form, or fashion they have come from a GPA contact. It was not my intent to become a member to attract clients, but it has become a beautiful residue of my membership.

The GPA member benefits are endless. My membership has allowed me to create relationships with business professionals in the community to include other nonprofit associations and businesses. I have had the opportunity to work with successful grant writing firms as an independent consultant by making connections at both the national and regional GPA conferences.

GPA membership provides professional development. As the grant space shifts, I don’t want to get caught up in the way I’ve always been doing things but change and improve with the industry. The membership provides up to date training and webinars and addresses the concerns with solutions from professionals. I take full advantage of research tools offered to members through GrantStation and GPA’s own active Facebook-like community, GrantZone. In this forum, participants ask questions and provide suggestions to help each other and simply make new connections. Associating with other members who are willing to share their business practices and solutions is my top reason for being a member.

I am thankful that the association is ever evolving and comes up with new ideas and new ways to include and support their members. As a former regional board member, I enjoyed the opportunity to connect with other chapter leaders that share their successes with other regions. As a former chapter leader, I was able to garner new relationships with others that understand each other’s expertise to be able to serve nonprofits best because not one grant writer can be everything to everybody. I am grateful for the benefit the GPA membership provides with support from GPA staff, chapter leaders, and members.

Telling my peers that I was transitioning from government to solely work with nonprofits would usually lead the reaction “oh um that’s rewarding.” All I know is that I enjoy grant writing and even though it has its challenges and is not for the faint of heart I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. But with the change in culture and the direct impact of philanthropic efforts especially with the popularity of TED talk videos, it finally makes sense why someone would be interested in changing the world today. Ultimately, it resulted in a more positive reaction from peers of “what a rewarding and purposeful career.”


Conference Experience as a Scholarship Recipient

by Karen Watkins-Watts, GPC

First, my sincere gratitude to the Grant Professionals Foundation (GPF) for the scholarship enabling me to attend the 18th Annual GPA National Conference in Atlanta in 2016! Defraying the cost of conference registration (and other travel expenses) made the 2016 conference possible for me.

I had the privilege of attending several past conferences, however, with a district-wide budget deficit and year-end reduction-in-force in 2016, my organization set a policy prohibiting district funding for out-of-state travel. Notwithstanding, district leadership understood the tremendous benefit of this important professional development opportunity for me as Grants Manager. With the GPF award, they provided me the professional development days and some travel expense reimbursement.

The annual GPA conference has been and continues to be greatly valued by my organization’s (Brockton Public Schools in Brockton, MA) leadership and myself as a key grants professional development opportunity. Attending the national conferences has been pivotal to my growth as a grants professional! The workshops and dialogue with grant professionals from across the country have increased my knowledge and skills of best practices in the profession, has produced better quality proposals, and increased public and private grant resources for our large, urban district. Serving a diverse population of nearly 18,000 students, many of whom face poverty and myriad of socio-economic barriers, this work is especially critical, compounded by an increasingly challenging funding environment in the public education sector.

I also credit the GPA conference for elevating my professional status in the profession as GPC in 2009. I learned about the GPC credential at a prior conference, then subsequently studied with a cohort of fellow members from across the country and took the exam at the annual conference in Long Beach, CA.

Since joining GPA and the GPA Massachusetts Chapter in 2007, I have served in a leadership capacity including responsibilities as Secretary, Vice President, and President. Then Immediate Past President, it was important that I attend the 2016 conference (and the Chapter Leadership session), to represent our chapter and to gain and share ideas from other chapters and chapter leaders. We had successfully convened our first New England Regional Conference in June of 2015 and had begun discussion on our next conference. We were eager to build on our success and learn from other chapters. The regional event is vital to the growth of our chapter and its presence throughout New England (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine, and Connecticut).

I am extremely grateful for the work of the GPF to advance our profession and privileged to be an awardee of the 2016 GPF scholarship!

Amy made the leap to attend the 2017 National GPA Conference in San Diego


2017 Susan Kemp Memorial Scholarship

by Amy Shankland, GPC

Once upon a time there was a grant professional named Amy who loved her career. She joined the Grant Professionals Association in 2007, became active with her chapter, and attended every national GPA conference starting in 2009. Amy even obtained her GPC in 2010. An unexpected job change in 2015, however, brought a halt to her conference attendance. While she still did some grant work, it wasn’t enough to justify attendance to her employer.

Every day she went to work but missed using her grant skills and experience. Amy also missed her grant professional friends. She made do with the occasional webinar and local GPA meeting, but she knew she was missing out on the big picture for her development.

One day, Amy made the leap to become a full-time grant consultant. She had an amazing client and wanted to become the best possible development director for her organization, the Link Observatory Space Science Institute. She applied for a scholarship from the Grant Professionals Foundation in order to attend the 2017 National GPA Conference in San Diego.

Because of that, Amy received the Susan Kemp Memorial Scholarship and was finally able to return to the conference to get the latest information on trends in her field. She flew to San Diego in November and was thrilled to be reunited with her grant “peeps” from all over the country. Amy enjoyed her morning walks from the Hyatt to the conference hotel, Paradise Point, and loved her first ever visit to San Diego. The perfect weather, sunshine, and beautiful surroundings kept her alert and open to learning, despite the three-hour time difference.

Because of that, Amy attended workshops that gave her valuable information she could use right away for her organization; networked with others who worked in the science field; and gave her own workshop showing attendees that grant professionals really are superheroes! Amy discovered she loved healthy California food, right down to her last bites of quinoa, rice porridge, and steel cut oatmeal.

Finally, she returned to Indiana with incredible enthusiasm and is already implementing what she learned to help Link Observatory Space Science Institute become Indiana’s Space Center. Her bosses were quickly impressed with her new knowledge and expertise.

THANK YOU, Grant Professionals Foundation!

Most Useful and Pertinent Conference Ever

By Polly Bates; St Rose Dominican Health Foundation

2016 Pamela Van Pelt Conference Scholar

Receiving the Pamela Van Pelt Scholarship last year allowed me to attend the Grant Professionals Association conference for the first time. After a 25-year career spent writing and editing a wide variety of communications, I found myself in a new position that was focused solely on grants. As the grant officer for the St. Rose Dominican Health Foundation, I am responsible for conducting grant funding research, preparing and submitting grant proposals, working with program staff to ensure contract compliance, attending program audits, reconciling grant payments, and developing an annual program plan. A year ago, most of these duties were still new to me. Attending the GPA conference greatly sped up my learning curve and deepened my understanding of the overall grant process. By far, this was the most useful and pertinent professional conference I have ever attended. Whether it was a keynote speech, a workshop, or a reception, I learned so much from the varied experience and perspectives of accomplished practitioners.

Each day was packed with relevant information—on program design and evaluation, persuasive writing, the sustainability question, and ethical considerations. A panel of local funders provided a wealth of guidance: get local employees to engage in what you do; build connections because “relationships determine results”; don’t ask questions that are answered on the organization’s website; leverage collaborations to solve big problems; put your request succinctly and clearly outline the problem to solve; remember that “people don’t give to you, they give through you,” and no one wants to be treated like an ATM. All the speakers were generous with their knowledge and advice. In fact, the atmosphere of the conference was so friendly and congenial that it was easy to meet new people and have interesting conversations. I also enjoyed meeting other grant professionals from my state of Nevada and going out to dinner with them. I was so inspired by the conference and the people I met there that I have decided to pursue the Grant Professionals Certification. It’s wonderful to embark on a rewarding new career, and I’m grateful for the scholarship that helped jumpstart my interest.

Skeptical to Enlightened

By Matthew Fornoff; Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona

2016 Conference Scholar

I don’t like to label myself as a grant writer. Until I took my current position just over two years ago, I had only assisted writing a couple grants. So of course, the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona (CFB) – an organization I’d been trying to get back into since I left my graduate school internship with them – hired me as the full-time, lead grant writer with a goal of bringing in $5 million in grant funding.

Actually, that timeline excludes a few steps, as you probably expected. A better starting point to explain is February 2007, when the U.S. Peace Corps flew me and a few others to Malawi for a two-year attempt at saving the world. Most Peace Corps volunteers are full of a noble, sacrificial energy and belief that they can truly make the world a better place. (And they often do, but usually not in the way they expect.) Generally speaking, Peace Corps volunteers implement ambitious, effective projects that make for heartwarming stories in their hometown newspapers. After two years, the volunteer leaves the tiny rural village in which they’ve been living – a community that faces deep systemic poverty, limited resources, and usually widespread chronic illnesses. Then the borehole that the volunteer helped fix breaks again. Or the school text books the volunteer acquired fail to find their way back to the school. Or the small business the volunteer helped a single mother establish doesn’t flourish. Even when you implement a successful project, you will experience some of this. And it begged the question: how can one person go into a community and truly contribute to improving the lives of the people who live there without fear of working in vain?

At least partly this is the question that led me to pursue a Master of Public Health degree. I wanted to plan and implement programs that could change behavior and systems in a lasting way. I wanted to know how to work with individuals or small groups or big groups to identify needs, resources, and solutions, and then how to put together the jigsaw puzzle of variables that would make their lives and the world a better place. During two years in academia, I studied the core tenets of public health, supplemented by focused classes in behavior change theory and program planning and implementation. After graduation, someone hired me to develop programming around local food systems in a town on the U.S.-Mexico border. This was the experience that the CFB saw and that they apparently desired in a grant writer.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: The grant writer does 90% of the steps in the proposal development process, including all the writing, drafting the outputs and outcomes, and pulling together the budget. When the grant is awarded, program staff have limited, if any, familiarity with the information in the proposal because they had limited, if any, involvement in the process, including discussing with the grant writer how many trainings or participants should be included or where or how often activities would happen. Of course, none of us enlightened GPA members do this. We’ve either learned differently from the beginning or been reformed. For me, it was the former.

In graduate school, I learned to plan programs based on a proven behavior change theory and framework using a needs assessment that I conducted with direct input from the community. During my time in the border town, I put this into action, learning to distinguish the safe and structured academic experience from the messy, protracted real world. When I was hired as the Grants Program Manager, I could not imagine planning a program without close collaboration with at least one program staff (and usually more) and at least one finance staff (usually more). Often that team consisted of 6-8 people. The CFB has dozens of programs and subprograms and a budget in the tens of millions. In no dream world could I craft a grant proposal in a silo. Even though I had the title, I wasn’t a grant writer. I was a critical thinker, a problem-solver, an evidence-based program planner, interested in figuring out how we can solve the root causes of hunger, food insecurity, and poverty.

I was skeptical of the development team – this group of people who (in my mind) said what they needed to say or shook the hand they needed to shake to get the money in unrestricted dollars in the door. Maybe the cared about the cause; maybe they only cared about the size of the check. But did they really know what our program staff was doing each day? Did they know how to teach a Spanish-speaking single mother how to install drip irrigation in her potted tomato plants? Did they understand the struggles local farmers face just trying to make a living and, even so, how difficult it is for them to change their habits in order to make their operation more productive?

On top of that, I’m skeptical about professional associations and national conferences. I’ve been to a few that are pretty good, but usually, they’re an opportunity to get out of the office for a few days and reenergize, and maybe to visit a new city and socialize with coworkers in a different setting.

The GPA has changed my views on both these points. I’ve learned that most of us enlightened grant writers are critical thinkers and problem solvers. That winning grant awards is fun and what keeps us in business, but that the merit of the program and whether it works is almost as valuable, if not more. I’ve learned that my development team colleagues value me as a link to deeper information about our programs, and they are making stronger efforts to interact and learn directly from program staff. Further, at the risk of sounding like an advertisement, the GPA conference is the best national conference I’ve been to. Every breakout session is informative and applicable, the networking at the conference is outstanding, and the continued connections afterward help to keep that energy fresh throughout the year. Receiving the GPF conference scholarship definitely eased the burden when I went to persuade my supervisor to pay for my membership and conference expenses.

I told my supervisor recently that I have no interest in becoming a fundraiser. I understand why grant writing is part of development, but I have no desire to sell proverbial candy bars door-to-door. With grant writing, I have to really understand the problem and the need, and I get to really think about how that problem can be fixed and who can do it, and we get to come up with a concrete action plan with measurable outcomes, so we can see if we’re actually doing it. Only in the past year or so have I begun to self-identify as a grant writer now that I understand my role more clearly. And, even though my office has no windows to the outdoors, I can’t do this job in a silo. The cross-sector team that makes me an effective grant writer includes several people in my organization, and now it includes the GPA and the network I’m building through my involvement with the association.

Privilege of Remembering Through Giving

By Lauren Daniels, GPC; Writing Services

When I decided to enter the grant writing profession, the first thing I did was look for a group or association of colleagues. To me, being a professional meant linking to an association. I found a local group that in turn led me to the American Association of Grant Professionals. (You can tell by the name that was a while back.) I had been writing commercial proposals, but I found a mentor (one of my first colleagues) that guided me through the transition of working with nonprofit and government applicants. That personal involvement set me on a new path. I have been fortunate to be in a profession that has allowed me to have my own profitable business. It didn’t happen overnight but once established, proposal development and project management spawned a satisfying career.

A component of being a professional is the obligation to assist or “bring along” those new to the profession. The recent death of Michael Wells highlighted a benefit of being a part of a group of colleagues. As comments about Michael appeared on Grant Zone, the idea of memorializing him through a scholarship was presented. How fortunate we are, as a profession, to have already institutionalized a charitable nonprofit entity, the Grant Professionals Foundation (GPF), that allows us to collectively honor and remember colleagues. We remember them by supporting others through professional development activities such as providing registration fees for the national conference, annual membership dues, and GPC examination fees, or through assisting chapters with regional conferences. GPF services extend to providing a venue for chapters to support their own members through their own objective scholarship program. I especially enjoy hearing the names of the scholarship recipients, while also remembering or honoring those that inspired the rest of us. It is further gratifying hearing those same recipient names mentioned again over time as chapter leaders, national committee members, GPC credentialed professionals, and GPF, GPCI, or GPA board members. To me, this demonstrates investment in a legacy rather than simply making a donation.

To support my profession, I contribute annually to the GPF. This is a part of my yearly charitable giving. For me, it is a privilege and reflection of my gratitude for the good things that I have received. We as colleagues have a couple of options for supporting GPF. We can participate collectively through the Every Chapter Challenge or individually through a personal donation. Recently, GPF has added a monthly giving option for those who prefer distributing their giving over a longer period. I invite you to support our profession by remembering GPF in your annual contribution habits. Remember that Giving is a Privilege.

A Little Snow Didn’t Stop This Test Taker

By Dale Braden, GPC; Gethsemane Grant Consulting Service and Oregon Health & Science University

2016 GPC Scholar

A short version of my background…I’ve worked at Oregon Health & Science University a total of 20 years. Over the last 11 years, I have helped a total of 63 investigators process over 300 different grant applications. I’ve processed small foundation applications to multi-project federal NIH P01 applications. I manage the entire grant process…I read and interpret the RFA, let investigators know the submission timeline, what sections are needed for the application, help prepare the budget, assemble the entire application, route for institutional approvals and ensure the application is complete and submitted on time. Until a year ago, I also managed the post-award processes including financial projections for funded projects.

My goal is to start a part-time consulting service for now eventually growing to full-time consulting. I have been a GPA member since May 2015. I attended the national conference in St. Louis in November 2015 and went to the session explaining about the GPC. I learned that the GPC is a valuable credential for an independent consultant.

It seemed like studying for the exam was the next step to take after the conference. I spent most of 2016 preparing to take the exam. It made sense to me to study for the exam. I enrolled in the “Blueprints for the GPC” course through SmartEGrants. Some of the material was review; some of the material was new to me. For me, the time spent studying was valuable.

I learned about the scholarship opportunity from the GPA website and was excited to apply. I was very happy and honored to be selected to receive the scholarship. The scholarship added inspiration for me to study and pass the exam.

It has been many years since I have taken any kind of exam so I was pretty nervous about it. The day before I was scheduled to take the exam, Portland was shut down by snow! The Portland State University testing center was closed. The day of the exam, it was not snowing, but the roads were still bad. The news said there were no closures though which was a relief. I made it in to the testing center without any incident.

I felt like the multiple-choice section went pretty well. I was nervous about the written section. The applications I process are for medical research. I’m not a scientist and lack the knowledge to help write the grants. The class I took included a practice writing prompt, and I received excellent feedback on my practice attempt. When I finally sat down and read the exam writing prompt, initially, I didn’t really understand the scenario I was presented. I had a fleeting thought that I should just skip the written part!! I think it was brief anxiety induced writer’s block! I was determined to pass and knew that I had to complete the writing section in order to pass. So, I pressed on.

I was relieved to have the exam in my past instead of my future. The next day, the testing center was closed again due to snow!! During the month before I received the notification that I had passed, I waivered back and forth between thinking I should start preparing to retake the written part to having confidence that I had done well enough to pass. I was elated when I read the email and found out I had passed!

Passing the exam has given me renewed confidence I can become a successful grant consultant. My current next step is taking the SmartEGrants “Grant Consulting Essentials” course. The class is providing information, inspiration and resources to help me figure out how to transition into grant consulting.

One of the opportunities I’m considering pursing is to find a consultant who is willing to sub-contract with other consultants. I believe the credential will be valuable in helping other consultants and potential clients know that I am a skilled and qualified grant professional. I believe the GPC will be instrumental in helping me reach my goal of becoming a successful grant consultant. I am grateful for the scholarship which afforded me the opportunity to take the exam.

A Conference for My Career Path

By Rachel Smoka-Richardson, MFA, CFRE; Senior Development Officer, Institutional Giving at Minnesota Public Radio

2016 Conference Scholar

Graduating from college with a double major of theater and English, I knew two things – that I wanted to write for a living and that I needed to work in the arts. But although I love performing and writing, I also enjoy critical analysis, and started looking for a career that provided that balance.

Grant writing seemed to be a perfect meld of creative and analytical thinking, and over the past 16 years I’ve been lucky and grateful to work for two large theaters and a public radio station. I use my talents and passions to support organizations I truly believe in. And I get to write and solve problems every day.

Last summer I attended a marketing and development conference for public media, and I was disappointed that most of the fundraising sessions were geared towards membership and individual giving. I was hungry for professional development in my own field, and it seems most grant writing classes are aimed at beginners.

The conference had just concluded, and I was in my hotel room waiting to go to dinner, when I received an email that I had been selected for a 2016 GPA Conference scholarship. I was both shocked and delighted. My frustration for the just-concluded conference quickly turned to excitement for the upcoming conference aimed specifically for my career path.

In true grant writer fashion, I submitted a federal grant application about 30 minutes prior to my ride to the airport. The two weeks prior to the conference had been a frenzy of meetings, draft approvals, and budgeting – with little sleep. But it was wonderful to meet new friends who understood exactly what I had been going through.

My favorite part of the conference was the very first session when we broke into our special interest groups. I met so many arts and cultural grant writers in a short amount of time, and since the session took place so early in the conference, I could connect with my peers in every session and at dinner.

Overall the conference was outstanding, filled with excellent breakout sessions, incredibly smart and talented people, and delicious food. I went back to Minnesota with new ideas and a fresh outlook. Thank you so much to GPA and the foundation for offering this experience – and for making grant writing a priority.


Not a Popularity Contest: Winning Tips for GPF Scholarship Applications

By Judy Riffle, Ed.D. – GPF Board Member and Marketing Committee Chair

I received a Pam Van Pelt Memorial Conference Scholarship from GPF in 2015, and felt honored and privileged to attend my first annual GPA conference in St. Louis. As soon as I met the people behind GPF, I felt an instant, warm welcome instead of a closed group, clique-type attitude. That is why I’m surprised when people tell me they won’t apply for a GPF scholarship because only certain popular people will receive one or that they’ve tried so many times they’ve given up. We ARE grant professionals—why in the world would we let that stop us? I can assure you—it is not a popularity contest. I give back to GPF willingly as a scholarship recipient, because I believe in our cause, and because I am part of a fantastic, dedicated, fair group of grant professionals.

On May 1, 2017, we will open our GPA conference scholarship applications to coincide with the annual conference registration opening date. The annual GPA conference will be in San Diego November 8-11, 2017. Mark your calendar, and be sure to apply for one of our scholarships. The following tips from GPF Board Members, the GPF Scholarship Committee, and #grantchat participants apply to all our scholarship opportunities.

Adhere to the GPA Code of Ethics.

We are looking for details on the applicant’s professional background in the #grants field.

Micki Vandeloo, GPC, GPF Scholarship Committee Chair: Keep an eye out for applications and due dates. Read the application questions carefully before answering.

Heather Stombaugh, GPC, GPF Board Chair: What are you doing for GPA or GPF now (serving local chapter as officer or committee member, writing GPA News articles, serving on a national committee or Board, mentoring a new grant pro, etc.)? What will you give back to the profession after receiving a scholarship?

The two biggest application mistakes are a lack of editing and failing to produce a compelling need statement. Use your grant skills! Watch grammar, spelling, & proof your work. A strong need or argument is not because you or your organization cannot pay for it (not because you need the money). Put your personal reflections into the narrative, and make the need logical.

You are a grant professional—write the scholarship application like you would a grant application and put your passion, creativity, storytelling, and editing skills into it. It’s free money, people!

Bethany Turner, GPC: Be sure to really describe your “why.” Why are YOU in the #grantprofession? Why do you do what you do?

Fear may be the biggest barrier to people applying for our scholarships. You don’t need to be a GPC to apply. GPF is not a clique, and the application process is not a popularity contest. Applications are reviewed fairly on their merit and to the degree questions are answered thoroughly and compellingly. It’s not about who you know; many GPF scholarships have been awarded to strangers by the Scholarship Committee and GPF Board. Case in point-me. Feel the fear and do it anyway!

Note: In 2017, we will

  • Award 18 scholarships (directly from GPF)
  • Administer 7 national scholarships (“endowed”)
  • Administer 15 scholarships (through GPA Chapters)
  • Award approximately 4 regional sponsorships

Total = 44


A Very Fortunate Series of Events

By Liz Ratchford; Keystone College, Director of Grants
2016 Susan Kemp Conference Scholarship Recipient

Like many of my fellow grant professionals, I did not start off my career in the grant world. I don’t think any of us when asked as a child what we wanted to be when we grew up answered: “grant professional!” But through what I consider a very fortunate series of events, I was asked by the small community I live in, with my husband and two daughters, if I could write a grant to help rebuild a park that had been destroyed by a winter flood. I had some experience as a technical writer before becoming a stay-at-home mom so I thought sure, I would like to help rebuild the park where my children play.

So now 21 years later, I am honored to work in this profession that is responsible for so many great projects and programs coming to fruition through the work we do every day. That park grant and the completion of the project to rebuild that park led to me becoming a full-time grant professional for a government organization.

I am now at a nonprofit, private college in the northeastern tier of Pennsylvania. Keystone College is a small, rural college, in the heart of the Endless Mountains region. I love the work I do, I love that every day I learn something new, I tackle a new challenge, and I get to work with professionals that have a passion for the work we can do together.

Being the director of grants at an educational institution afforded me the opportunity to become a member of the Grant Professionals Association. The college believes in education and life-long learning, so even though financial resources are limited, our president believed it was important for me to be a member of this professional organization.

The college faculty, staff, and administration are committed to educating our students and keeping the cost of a post-secondary education affordable for the students we serve. This vision is something I truly believe in and so I work to obtain grant funding to serve our students, staff, and faculty. I am so fortunate to have found that I have skills and talents that allow me to be a successful grant professional.

My next goal after becoming a member of the GPA was to attend an annual conference and improve my professional skill set (because we are always about articulating our goals and objectives). Since the college’s resources are limited I decided I would apply for a Grant Professionals Foundation (GPF) Conference Scholarship.

I submitted the scholarship request and hoped I had made a convincing argument for my need and my institution’s need for the support. I was so honored to receive the Susan B. Kemp Scholarship.

I had a wonderful experience at the conference in Atlanta! The networking, educational sessions, workshops, grant vendors, and especially volunteering at the auction were professionally enriching experiences.

I came back to Keystone energized and ready to take on any new grant challenge that came my way to serve the college and our students! My attendance at the conference was only possible because of the GPF scholarship. For the first time in my grant career I was in a room of professionals that understood the joys, challenges, and disappointments we encounter as part of our work. It was a pleasure to spend a few days with you in Atlanta, and I hope to see you all again very soon.