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Category Archives: Grant Expectations

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… Continue Reading

What the GPF Scholarship Committee Does for You

What the GPF Scholarship Committee Does for You (and What We Are Requesting in Return!) by Micki Vandeloo, GPC, GPF Board Vice-Chair, Scholarship Committee Chair This has been quite a busy year for the GPF Scholarship Committee!  In case you don’t know about the committee, it is charged with the following activities: Development of the Scholarship… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading

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,… Continue Reading

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!”… Continue Reading

Leap of Faith

By Amy Knudsen, MA, GPC; Planned Parenthood of the Heartland 2016 GPC Scholar During my senior year in college, I assisted in writing my first federal grant for an education program I developed while working at a homeless shelter. I could not have predicted that experience would have led me to where I am today, with… Continue Reading

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