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A New Year and a New Plan for GPA

The GPA Board of Directors adopted a new strategic plan for GPA at their meeting in November 2017. This new plan was the culmination of months of work by the GPA Long Range Planning Committee, GPA Board of Directors, and GPA staff with the input of GPA members. The new plan will direct our activities and focus our resources over the next several years in four priority areas.

These four priorities for GPA are: 1. Establish GPA as the recognized authority and preeminent resource for the grants profession; 2. Provide education and professional development opportunities for the grants community; 3. Increase and retain GPA membership; and 4. Advance the governance and infrastructure of GPA. In the next few months I will share a few highlights of what GPA plans to accomplish in each of these priority areas. This month we start with establishing GPA as the recognized authority and preeminent resource for the grants community.

A clear message from members and others was the desire for an organization to take a leadership role in the grants community. There is a need to identify one organization that can speak with authority for the profession, answer questions and share information with the general public and the media, and advocate with grantmakers (both public and private). GPA is well positioned to be the leading authoritative voice for the grant life cycle. We will work to be recognized as the preeminent resource for both grantseekers and grantmakers.

This means we will be developing a marketing strategy and plan to promote the value of GPA as the Authority and “Go To” organization for the grants profession, government, media, and the public. This includes implementing the framework for a new GPA Governmental Advocacy program. GPA will continue our collaboration with the Grant Professionals Certification Institute (GPCI) and the Grant Professionals Foundation (GPF) to align our efforts to promote professionalism and a high standard of ethics in the grants profession. GPA will explore opportunities to engage grantmakers in GPA programs. This will lead to more collaborative  and partnership opportunities to promote GPA and the grants profession. We will develop best practices in grants. This will involve developing standard language about the value and importance of grants, including the economic and social return on investment for communities. GPA will share these best practices and the impact of grants information with the industry.  

As you might imagine, there are many activities that GPA will need to undertake just to begin our work on this first strategic priority. The GPA Long Range Planning Committee and the GPA Board of Directors are currently working on outlining the specific activities and assignment of these activities to GPA committees, task forces, and GPA staff for all of the priorities of the new strategic plan.

I will be sharing items from the other three priority areas in the coming months. We will also be publishing the full strategic plan and additional information about the plan soon. I welcome your feedback in the comments below, let us know how GPA can best serve grant professionals as The Authority.

Mike Chamberlain is an association executive with over 20 years of leadership experience with for profit and not-for-profit organizations, including one of the largest national medical specialty societies, an association management company and working as an independent consultant. Mike is a Certified Association Executive and has been employed with GPA since 2015.