Wearing Multiple Fundraising Hats: Exploding the Myth of the Sequestered Grants Professional

The stereotype of grants professionals is that we sit in our grants caves alone and separated from the rest of our department. When we write proposals and reports, collect and maintain much of our organizations' data, and help turn the mission of our organizations into tangible programs, this stereotype is often true.

But after talking to several of my colleagues, I have discovered that many grants professionals do much more than manage grants. Many of us wear multiple fundraising hats: we also manage corporate and individual giving, fundraisers, and more.

It is time for the grants professional community to talk about what roles grants professionals actually play in our positions on fundraising teams. Many of us are integrated into multiple fundraising roles, figuring out as we go how to use our grants skill sets to best serve our team and organization.

This panel will explore the multiple roles of the grants professional in fundraising teams. It will challenge the cliché of the introverted, reclusive grants professional, and will counter it with a presentation of grants professionals who are also enthusiastic fundraisers and team players.

Learning Objectives:
- to synthesize the various roles presented in the panel discussion into a new understanding of what it means to be a grants professional
- to apply panel takeaways to other fundraising teams

Benefits to the Grant Professional:
- learning how other grants professionals operate in their fundraising shops
- expanding the idea of grants management skills as transferrable skills
- reconstructing the model of the grants professional to be more inclusive and team-centric

GPC Competencies Addressed:
Organizational development as it pertains to grant seeking
Practices and services that raise the level of professionalism of grant developers

Molly Throgmorton is Development Coordinator at Walton Arts Center. In her two years as a fundraiser and grants professional, she has helped raise and steward over $5 million in grants, $900,000 in corporate support, and $100,000 from fundraising events. Her background is in education, with four years of teaching experience in higher education and English as a Foreign Language. She came to fundraising for the grant writing and stayed for the parties.

Andrea Ferreira, MPH is a seasoned professional in the nonprofit world with a track record of program management,
fundraising and development, grants, and training in a range of healthcare, human service, and education organizations. In
addition to her experience in all areas of grant development, she has helped the non-profit organizations with which she has
worked to develop, fund, manage, and evaluate the impact of their projects and programs. She has been a member of GPA for 10 years.

Robyn Gibboney, PhD, GPC, Director of Grants, has worked at Cincinnati Museum Center since 2012. She is responsible for raising about $800,000 a year in private, corporate and government grants. GPA leadership positions include serving on the Publications Committee since 2010, as president of the Mid-South chapter when she lived in Memphis, and as immediate past president of the Greater Cincinnati chapter. She also does freelance grant writing, part-time, through Gibb's Grants & Consulting.

Caroline Pollock Bilicki has a proven track record in research, relationship-building, policy development, and project planning, management, and execution. A passionate volunteer and consummate problem-solver, Caroline has served multiple organizations and boards throughout the years, including Silicon Valley Webgrrls, SFWoW, OIPA, GIPNA, Women in Planning + Development, 826CHI, Raise Your Hand Coalition, Illinois PTA, her local school council.

Melissa Ralston has twenty years of experience in grantwriting, fundraising, event planning, and community engagement. She has a BA in Journalism from the University of La Verne, a Certificate in Fundraising Management from the University of Washington, and a Master's in Public Administration from Seattle University. She is currently the Corporate & Foundation Manager at FareStart in Seattle. She has a knack for building strong case statements and staying below 2000 characters.

Prior to joining MicroEdge, Annie spent more than 10 years at the Ford Foundation where she managed grantmaking in the Human Rights unit working with the Women’s Rights and International Human Rights portfolios. Annie holds an MBA from Pace University and has been an active volunteer with the All Souls Church, Monday Night Hospitality Soup Kitchen since 2004, and the Challenged Athletes Foundation since 2012.