Earn Your GPC

Earn the GPC #earngpc SmartEGrants

By Bethany Turner

Does your organization receive grant funding? Do you work with grants in some capacity? Have you been in the grant profession for at least 3 years and have 5 grant awards? Have you ever thought of earning your GPC?

What is a GPC?

GPC stands for Grant Professional Certified. The Grant Professional Certified credential is a professional certification assessing the professional’s education, experience, professional development, and community involvement. A grant professional must pass the GPC exam to be recognized as a GPC. It is our profession’s equivalent to passing the bar to become a lawyer or becoming a Certified Professional Accountant.

The GPC exam is a generalist exam “measuring a candidate’s competency and skill in the grants profession.” The GPC exam is made up of two parts: a 90-minute writing prompt and a 150-160 multiple choice section. One must pass both parts of the GPC exam to become a GPC. You can take the test at a Kryterion Testing Center or it is offered once a year in conjunction with the Grant Professional Association National Conference.

Steps to Earn GPC:

  1. Apply for scholarship/ secure funds to take exam
  2. Take eligibility quiz
  3. Submit eligibility packet
  4. Schedule exam
  5. Study, study, & study some more
  6. Take exam
  7. Celebrate

Visit the Grant Professionals Certification Institute’s website for all information regarding the GPC.

My Journey

When I first learned about the Grant Professional Certification (GPC) through #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. This gave me a definite timeline to sit for the exam. I knew I had to take it by September 30, 2016, and that really gave me a lot of motivation.  

To be able to sit for the exam, I had to take the eligibility quiz, submit my eligibility packet, and then once it was approved, schedule my exam. I took both the multiple choice and writing prompt on the same day at a Kryterion Testing Center near me. The preparation alone to sit for the exam has made me a much better grant professional. It gave me the tools and confidence I needed to feel like a true professional.

Sitting for the GPC exam does take a great deal of preparation. I had to dedicate a lot of time to studying and preparing. Smartegrants’ Blueprints for the GPC course and #GrantChat played a very large role in my personal preparation. Below are a list of tools I used to help me prepare.

#1) Blueprints for the GPC – I attended the classes and Facebook Lives, participated in the private Facebook group, and made notecards from information provided.

#2) Read Grant Professional books & blogs 



#3) Attend Webinars 

#4) #GrantChat – I attended and participated in #GrantChat every week. You can read through all the transcripts of previous chats on the website.

#5) Resources on GPCI website – I specifically read through the study guide multiple times and made notecards from the information it contains.

#6) Worked as a Grant Professional – Nothing beats hands on experience.

All the time spent in preparation is more than worth it when you receive the letter that states you passed the exam and are now a GPC!

So when will you earn YOUR GPC?

P.S. Don’t make these 10 Mistakes When Preparing for the GPC.

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Bethany Turner is a Grant Professional Certified (GPC) and owner of bmtconsulting - funding your future (bmtconsulting.org). After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Studies from Ball State University, Bethany got her start in the grant professional as an AmeriCorps VISTA member in 2011. Since becoming a grant professional, Bethany has worked with many different organizations securing more than a million dollars in federal, state, and private foundation funds. These grant monies have been awarded for disaster response and rebuilding, humanitarian aid, grief counseling, arts and culture, arts education, drama therapy, historic preservation, and higher education. In 2015, Bethany earned a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Administration from Western Kentucky University. Bethany loves reading, traveling (anywhere and everywhere), and cheering on The Ohio State Buckeyes and Denver Broncos.

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