Regional Conference 2023

Event Schedule

4.5 Hours GPCI and CFRE Credits

8:30 am

Welcome & Opening Comments

Allison Boyd, Jennifer Sudcamp, Ashley Perales

8:45 – 9:45 am

Keynote Session – The Future of Granting is Here: Introducing ChatGPT

Linda Beeman, GPC & Jared Keykurum

Ready to experience the cutting-edge technology of ChatGPT? Join this highly energetic and interactive session to explore the exciting possibilities this technology has to offer. Through live demonstrations, you’ll learn how to streamline the grant writing process, generating high-quality proposals to maximize your chances for success.

But that’s not all – we’ll also dive into ChatGPT’s important implications for the grant writing field. You’ll walk away with actionable insights that you can apply to your work right away. Come learn about one of the most powerful AI tools available today!

Session 1: 10:00 – 10:45 am

How to Build a Top Support Team for Your Grants Process…The Board

Scot Scala

The program will detail the principles necessary to effectively recruit, train, and work with board members to create a culture of philanthropy for the
nonprofit organization that encourages a successful grants process. Attendees will gain the ability to
return to their workplaces with the tools and resources necessary to build an effective team of board
members to support the organization’s grants process AND take a leadership role in the effort.

Harvesting Federal Grant Dollars for Your Organization

Stacy Fitzsimmons

Ever wondered what it would take to crack the code of federal grants and fund your programs with federal dollars?  In this session, a seasoned federal grant expert with extensive work in adult, continuing, and higher education will walk through getting organizational buy-in to identifying, preparing, and applying for federal grants. Come with questions and federal opportunities you’ve considered!  

How Project Management is Grant Management

Allison Boyd

Session 2: 11:00 – 11:45 am

Grant Assessment

Patrina Pelton-Smith

Grant assessment begins long before an organization finds the perfect grant! This session will assist you to determine whether a grant is a good fit for your organization, your organization is a good fit for the grant, and if your organization should pursue that funding stream.  Whether a veteran consultant or a new organization seeking funding, this workshop will offer information to help you assess your next grant.

The Answer is No: Strategies to Improve for Resubmission

Tracy Diefenbach

This workshop is designed to help participants better  understand why grant proposals are not funded and determine the next best steps forward. Participants will learn how to interpret and use reviewer scores and feedback to develop an action plan for revision and resubmission to submit a winning application. 

Storytelling in Grantwriting: How to Incorporate Empowering Language

Allison Jones

Using empowering language when writing about our clients wins just as much funding as using shaming language. Plus, nonprofits that use disparaging language about their clients have poorer outcomes. In other words, there is no reason to make our clients sound poor and helpless in our writing. But how exactly do you do that? This workshop will break it down for you:

  1. Self-Identification: Learn to use language that participants prefer when talking about themselves.
  2. People-First Language: Understand how to make personhood the most important characteristic of every person.
  3. Active Voice: Strategize how to make the participant the hero of their story and the organization the supporting actor.

This workshop will include hands-on writing practice on using these three principles of empowering language.

How to Plan Your 12-Month Grants Calendar in Under 60 Minutes

Dionna Arimes

In this 1-hour special workshop, you’ll learn why grants calendars are so important and how to actually start creating your own grants calendar today.

  • ​By the end of this one-hour workshop, you’ll learn: What is a grants calendar?
  • 5 reasons grants calendars are crucial
  • 5 steps to creating your own grants calendar 
  • How to create your grants calendar quickly with Instrumentl
  • 5 mistakes to AVOID when creating your grants calendar
Lunch: 12:00 – 1:15 am

Conference Comments, Updates, and Door Prizes

Lunch Session – Burnout and Self-Care

Dr. Tamara Beckford

Session 3: 1:15 – 2:00 pm

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work:

How Working as a Team Will Transform Your Grants Program

Tracy Butler, Ph.D.

Grant writers are often natural introverts and prefer to work alone. This presentation covers how grant writers not only should, but have to work with others in order to succeed in their work and garner more grant support for their organizations. It will cover who should they talk to, how to talk to them, and how often, in order to succeed.

Ethics in Grant Writing and Management

Cyndi MacKenzie

We will: define ethics and review the difference between ethics and morals; review the GPA Code of Ethics; discuss where and when, specifically, the Code of Ethics applies in a proposal; review examples of the most commonly asked ethics questions to the GPA Ethics Committee; discuss whose role it is to be concerned about ethics; review the complaint process for violating the GPA Code of Ethics; and review additional resources for grant ethics.

Examining Your 990

Linda Beeman, MBA, GPC

This workshop is designed to engage participants in hands-on learning through practical exercises and case studies. You’ll gain a clear understanding of how to research a foundation’s Form 990, what to look for, and how to use the information you gather to create successful grant proposals. Whether you’re a new or intermediate grant writer, don’t miss out on this valuable opportunity to expand your knowledge and improve your grant writing skills! Attendance limited to 12.


Session 4: 2:15 – 3:00 pm

Key Ingredients for Writing Successful Grant Applications: Logic Models and SMART Objectives

Julie Paynotta and Maggie Perry

In this workshop, we will focus on creating your key ingredients for a successful application unique to each funder using logic model(s) and SMART objectives. Your logic model, whether an attachment, or the basis for your narrative responses, sets the stage for SMART objectives that help your grantmakers understand what you are proposing to do with their funding. These SMART objectives also help set you up for successful, and relatively stress-free, grant reporting once funded.

How to Level Up Your Grant Prospecting in Under 60 Minutes

Dionna Arimes

In this 1 hour webinar (including time for Q&A), we will teach you how to develop advanced prospecting strategies, including how to expedite your research and help you devote more time to grant writing. ​At the end of the session, you will be able to:

  • Optimize your research by systemically narrowing down and prioritizing your list of funding opportunities ​
  • Build actionable insights using available data and information from funders
  • ​Develop new strategies to prospect funders

Growing a Grant Consulting Business While Maintaining a Personal Life

Stacy Fitzsimmons

For grant pros, time management is often skewed by deadlines and client expectations. Come learn Stacy’s top five lessons and mantras for attempting a personal life while growing a career.

3:15 – 3:45 pm

Closing Session – The Future of Philanthropy

Ronnie Hagerty, Ph.D., CFRE

Closing Comments

Allison Boyd, Ashley Perales

Thank You Sponsors