Building Beautiful Budgets: 47 Project Costs Revealed!

Recently, I served as the lead for building a grant proposal's budget. I like building beautiful budgets in Excel and I use formulas. This is something I have done for decades. After a few days of toil, I shared my budget draft with the writing team. Nearly every cost and estimate was questioned, which was not the problem, at issue for me - the team questioned my expense categories.

Evaluator, Program Designer, Duck Master, Oh My!: the Grant Writer's True Resume

“Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of a job ...” - Neil Gaiman
As I sat in front of the panelists, I knew that the likelihood of getting the job was slim. Grant writing? I barely knew what it meant. LOIs, periods of performance, 990s, and the other terms of our profession were strangers to me. So when I had to answer their question about my lack of experience, I let my analytical mind take over. I tore apart the definition of a grant writer, and gave them my true resume. 

Volunteer Relations Program - Spring 2017

Thanks to all of our GPA Volunteers! I hope you are proudly displaying your GPA vinyl sticker that was sent to you during National Volunteer Week in April. This was our little way of saying “Thank You” for all you do for our committees, chapters, SIGs, and Boards.

Managing Expectations with a Logic Model

Have you ever felt overwhelmed agreeing on a project work plan with your project team or while collaborating with partner organizations? Were there lots of great ideas discussed but with no clear direction? 

3 Compelling Reasons Strong Needs Statements Improve Grant Proposals

As grant writers, our magic power is the ability to convince others through compelling writing that an organization or project is:


The Road Ahead

The last issue of the GPA Grant News included the Annual Reports from GPA and our affiliates, GPCI and GPF. These reports provide a summary of the activities and significant accomplishments of your organizations during 2016. We are committed to building on these successes. Here are just a few of the ways we will be doing this during 2017.

Using Relevant and Current Data in a Needs Statement


Developing a strong statement of need that conveys to your reader just how critical your services are to the community is my favorite part of grant writing. It combines using data with personal stories, and if done correctly, spells out exactly the reasons why your services are integral to your community. As someone who enjoys pouring through local data and census tables, I particularly relish compiling data to show trends, needs, and opportunities for growth.

Making Time to Stay Current

Have you ever looked at the statistics and research you have been using in your statement of need for years and realize you have been using them for years?

But We NEED the Money!

One of my beloved clients told me he wanted to apply for a grant. I asked him to describe the community needs and his nonprofit needs. His reply, “We need the money. Is that not a need?

After taking a deep breath, I remembered an adage my career military husband says, “Well, that is a plan, but it is the wrong plan.” I did not reply with that statement, however.


The Art of Storytelling for Successful Donor Cultivation

I often find that many people struggle when trying to relay their nonprofit's story in 30 seconds or less. Maybe they are not good salespeople or maybe they assume everyone knows their organization's story already. I do not know, but I see it time and again. I do know, however, from 30 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, that a good story is key to successful donor and funder cultivation.