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March 11th is International Grant Professionals Day!

Yes, it’s real, and I want to tell you why we celebrate…

My friend and fellow grant pro, Amanda Day, says it best. Here is her article, originally published in the Grant Professionals Association March 8, 2022 newsletter:

“Too often, grant professionals find themselves shoved in a cubicle, forgotten by bosses and boards, at least until it’s time to talk funding. Ask most colleagues what grant pros spend our days doing, and they will tell you we write. And sure, we do a lot of writing. But we do so much more than that.

Grant professionals are called upon to match funding opportunities to community needs. We are skilled at prospect research. To prove that community need, we must find data and stories in support of our case for funding, and that requires more research. Not all program directors are experienced in program development, and often times it’s left to the grant pros to build a program from scratch to improve those aforementioned needs. Along with that, we create goals and objectives, determine evaluation methods, build logic models, collect documentation, and build budgets – though most of us do not have accounting backgrounds. Or in my case, not even an accounting class to my name.

And then there are the management skills needed. When funding is received, we often oversee the programs, submit funder reports, track the spending, and all that jazz. It is a dance like no other, juggling a thousand different chainsaws all at once. And don’t get me started on the “other duties as assigned” aspect of our job description. If you have a knack for prose, chances are you have been asked to develop award applications, write newsletter articles (or manage every aspect of your organization’s monthly newsletter), draft a speech for the mayor, or create copy for your nonprofit’s annual report, website, or donor request letters. I’d love to say that was an exhaustive list, but we cannot forget the joys of pitching in to answer the phones, plan an event, host a meeting, or take the Comcast customer complaints because your city oversees their franchise agreement. Oh, the things I could tell you about that particular duty…

Whether you write one grant a year or more than 100, you are responsible for funding the good works of your organization and the community you serve. In our line of work, we help educate children, heal the sick, improve our environment, feed the hungry, build parks, house the homeless, and so much more. We are leaders within our organizations, communities, and profession. We speak out against inequities in the funding realm. We mentor those who have recently joined the grant field. Simply put, we are professionals deserving of recognition for a job well done.

Celebrating International Grant Professionals Day (IGPD) is one such opportunity for recognition. It is a means to tell your boss, your board, your colleagues, your family, and anyone else who should know about the impact you have on this earth. If you’re anything like me, you find it hard to toot your own horn. But IGPD is a day to lift the profession as a whole, so others know about the grant pros worldwide who each make an impact in their corner world.

IGPD first began in 2015 thanks to the efforts of the Grant Professionals Association and their many supporting partners. In 2022, we celebrate on Friday, March 11th. So join me in shouting from the rooftops about the impact the grant profession has on this earth. Send emails, post on social media, have lunch with your fellow grant peeps, and buy grant swag from the Grant Professionals Foundation and sport it proudly. Celebrate BIG! Because if you are a grant pro, you are freaking awesome.”

Author Bio: Amanda Day, GPC is the cofounder and cohost of Fundraising HayDay, a podcast about grants and such. She is a 20+ year veteran of the grant profession, having served as a grants administrator for local governments, started her own consulting business, and trained thousands in the field of grant writing and management. Amanda is a GPA Board Member and former President of the Grant Professionals Certification Institute.

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Grants Guide on iPad

Learn the exact steps that helped raise over 30 million in grants for my clients.

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