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Category Archives: Grant Expectations

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!”… 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

GPF Silent Auction Team Hits a Home Run

By Becky Jascoviak, GPF Silent Auction Team Coach Aristotle said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” The individual “parts” that make up the Grants Professional Foundation are pretty incredible on their own, but put a group of passionate, service-oriented, step-up-to-the-challenge grant pros together on a team and you get a whole lot… Continue Reading

How My GPA Membership Scholarship Advanced My Professional Development Goals

By Carolyn Caldwell, GPC; Raising Awareness, Raising Funds, LLC 2016 Membership Scholar We all write proposals and complete applications as part of our daily work, so what makes applying for a scholarship from the Grant Professionals Foundation different from the rest? In my case, completing the application for a membership scholarship from GPF required me… Continue Reading

Keeping in Touch with Your Foundation Donors

By Teri S. Blandon, GPC, CFRE; Vice President for External Relations, PAI The 2016 election caused massive disruptions to many people, personally and professionally. As I work for a women’s reproductive rights advocacy organization, the election results caused us to pivot quickly. Immediately, we had to pull back our annual appeal letter (which was at… Continue Reading

After the Exam

By Bethany Turner, GPC of bmtconsulting GPC Scholar When I first learned about the Grant Professional Certification (GPC) through a #GrantChat, I knew I wanted to become a GPC. About a year ago I earnestly started preparing to sit for the GPC exam. I was fortunate to receive a scholarship from the Grant Professionals Foundation.… Continue Reading

Thank you GPF!

The Grant Professionals Foundation Board received the following thank you letter. The author preferred to remain anonymous, but agreed to let us share it on our blog. Dear Kimberly and the Board of the Grant Professionals Foundation, After 15 months of working as the full-time grant writer for my organization, I am only just beginning… Continue Reading

Giving Back and the Ultimate Transaction

By Nancy Battersby 2015 Leadership Member Scholar, St. Louis Chapter Early in my career, a mentor surprised me by referring to our agency’s work with our clients as the “ultimate transaction”. As employees, many of us thought we were performing selfless work that benefited others. My mentor pointed out that we were receiving unsuspected rewards… Continue Reading

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