International Grant Professionals Week: We Deserve a Week!
By: Danny Blitch, MPA, GPC
A Deserving Profession
The grant profession deserves a week. The profession is important on several levels to nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and corporations. In 2015, when the International Grant Professionals Week/Day Committee brainstormed ideas for the first launch we quickly realized a day wasn’t going to cut it. Our realization leads to the creation of a week of special social media “events.” This year 2016, we have another full week of events planned.
Who’s the Authority?
When I served on the Grant Professionals Association Board and even before when I was a Director on the Grant Professionals Foundation Board there was a lot of talk of GPA as The Authority on all things Grants. I participated in committee calls, board meetings, association planning retreats, strategic planning sessions. We talked about our desire to be the grant authority.
I worked for nearly a year to establish a working group to tackle the issue. We organized our research and posted our findings and samples in Dropbox. Still it wasn’t enough. I wanted to do more.
Committees, Taskforces, Boards – OH MY!
My ‘want for more’ led me to form a Committee. We gained permission to do a #IGPW soft launch, a kind of test in 2015. The permission took nearly a year to obtain. We presented a plan to the GPA Board. They sent us back to the drawing board and we did it again. The soft launch had no budget, no huge Madison Avenue marketing consultant, no web presence, no partners and little chance. This year our Committee – graduated to an Ad Hoc Task Force, but not before GPA approved a marketing item in the larger GPA marketing budget.
The International Grant Professionals Week/Day Committee met every month and churned out so much content; the GPA CEOs took notice. With excellent staff support we built a web presence, created tweetables, toolkits, press releases, tons of blog articles, and found 33 of the greatest partners in the grant profession. Together with a powerful team of volunteer Social Media experts we created a marketing action plan that would rival the ad agency folks in Hollywood! Our 2015 soft launch enjoyed more than 836,500 impressions on social and traditional media.
Don’t Take Us for …
A day is nice. We deserve a week! Pardon the pun, but please don’t take International Grant Professionals week for granted. If you’re in a local GPA Chapter, encourage others to participate. If you’re a grant professional, full-time, part-time, seasonal, occasional or accidental share this article with your network. If you have a grant related business, make plans now to partner with us next year. If your nonprofit, government agency or paycheck depends on grant funds, join us as we celebrate the profession, partners, and the professionals who are “Changing the World One Grant at a Time!”
International Grant Professionals Week is the annual celebration to recognize and show appreciation to all grant professionals and their extended families. The grant profession consists of administrators, consultants, managers, grant-makers and grant proposal developers. We recognize them for their beneficial contributions to people, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations.
The 2016 schedule of #IGPW events include:
- Monday, March 14th – Grant Profession Education & Awareness Day
- Tuesday, March 15th – GPA Chapter and Community Event Day
- Wednesday, March 16th – International Event Day
- Thursday, March 17th – Thank you! Grant Entrepreneurs, Grant Makers, Partners and Volunteer Day
- Friday, March 18th – International Grant Professionals Day #IGPD
I believe the single greatest threat to the grant profession is our collective desire to be anonymous. The general public needs to know the work we do and the impact we provide to the world.
It Takes a Team!
My friends and collaborators in this mammoth effort are: Jo Miller, Janeen Gaskins, Kelli Romero, Karen Stokes, Pat DuBoise, Mary Quat, Marc Levin, Susy Lacer, Laura Scott, DeaRonda Harrison, Pat Christian, Heather Stombaugh, Amanda Day, Diane Leonard, Deb Cook, Johna Rodgers, and so many others. Thank you all.
If more people knew about grant professionals, our work, and our impact, there might come a time when grant funds are as plentiful as the needs of the people we are serving today. I can imagine it, can you? Tell somebody!
Be sure to take some time every day March 14-18, 2016 to acknowledge your chosen profession. How would you brand International Grant Professionals Week? Why?
Other ways to connect with the author, Danny Blitch, GPC:
With three of my colleagues, wrote a book about grants. The book, Prepare for the GPC Exam: Earn Your Grant Professional Certified Credential is a fun, upbeat In the Trenches manual, published by CharityChannel Press! Visit the CharityChannel bookstore: http://bit.ly/gpc-prep-db
GPA LIVE Webinar – April 14, 2016
“Learning to Answer the Sustainability Question” presented by Danny Blitch, MPA, GPC and Margit Brazda Poirier, M.S.
Blab March 16, 2016!