A Board's Eye View: Lessons Learned From Guiding and Serving on Nonprofit Boards

This session will detail the strategic approaches to navigating the often complex relationship between the Grant Professional and the Board of Directors. Various approaches will be discussed that will yield the following learning objectives:

a) Building professional expertise as a grant professional in the area of board relations
b) How the grant professional can develop the capacity to 'Coach-Up' to nonprofit senior management staff and the board of directors
c) How the grant professional can effectively educate leadership and the board of directors on the grants process
d) How the grant professional can become a leader in the grants process, guiding others toward a successful outcome for the nonprofit
e) How the grant professional can prepare and encourage the board of directors to become a helpful part of the grants process, developing relationships with prospective funders, while not stepping on each other's toes.

Participants will return to their workplaces with the tools and resources necessary to build an effective team of board members to support the donor relations process, while understanding what it takes to be true leaders in their grant profession. 

GPC Competencies Addressed:

Methods and strategies that cultivate and maintain relationships between fund-seeking and recipient organizations and funders
Practices and services that raise the level of professionalism of grant developers


Scot Scala, GPC, M.Ed., and GPA Approved Trainer is President of Scala & Associates, a consulting firm specializing in providing development services to nonprofit organizations. Mr. Scala works with clientele from throughout the U.S. and Uganda, Nigeria, Mexico, Dominican Republic, and in particular, Haiti where he conducts mission work in support of K-12 education and nutrition programs. He conducts frequent trainings, including for such groups as the GPA, AFP, and Soroptimist International.

Carolyn Caldwell, GPC is Principal of Raising Awareness, Raising Funds, LLC. Her grant writing experience includes identifying new funding sources and securing grant funds for nonprofits throughout the U.S. She has acted as grant reviewer for several state agencies, and has taught Grant Writing Basics and Logic Model principles. Carolyn earned the Grant Professional Certified designation in 2016. She holds bachelor's degrees in both Journalism and Theatre from University of South Florida.

A consultant since 2008, Lisa Sihvonen-Binder specializes in grants, development plans, and publications. She holds an MS, Nonprofit Management and Philanthropy, and a BA, Writing. Prior to consulting she worked for over 17 years in publications and program management for nonprofits and corporations. She is a board member of the Grant Professionals Foundation, an adjunct faculty member at Bay Path University and an editor of nonprofit management and fundraising books for CharityChannel Press.