Recently, when #fundchat and #grantchat teamed up to talk about professional certifications for nonprofit fundraisers/grant professionals, as always with both communities, a thoughtful dialogue transpired.
As a Grant Professional Certified (GPC) through the Grant Professionals Certification Institute, I find I am often in the minority within the #fundchat community since much of the discussion talks about the many aspects of fundraising beyond just grant seeking. However, it was not until a community member asked what a GPC was and said that they had even quickly looked on Google to try and figure it out but were still without a definition that I thought it best if share a bit more about what a GPC is.
In fact, I would encourage you to take a minute to reach through the recent Grant Professionals Certified Competencies #linkyparty that 5 GPCs recently did about the tested competencies for the GPC credential.
The competencies that are tested for those pursuing their GPC are their (with links to the recent #grantchat blog posts about each competency based on our recent GPC series):
- Knowledge of how to craft, construct and submit an effective grant application
- Knowledge of strategies for effective program and project design and development
- Knowledge of how to research, identify and match funding resources to meet specific needs
- Knowledge of organizational development as it pertains to grant seeking
- Knowledge of nationally recognized standards of ethical practice by grant developers
- Knowledge of post-award grant management practices sufficient to inform effective grant design and development
- Knowledge of methods and strategies that cultivate and maintain relationships between fund-seeking and recipient organizations and funders
- Knowledge of practices and services that raise the level of professionalism of grant developers
A potential GPC candidate must first submit an eligibility packet including professional letters of recommendation. If the eligibility packet is approved by the Grant Professionals Certification Institute, than the GPC candidate is allowed to sign up for the exam. The GPC exam process utilizes a multiple choice question format as well as a written portion. The written portion of the exam tests the potential GPC’s ability to:
- Make a persuasive argument
- Organize ideas appropriately
- Convey ideas clearly
- Use information provided
- Use conventional standard English
- Follow formatting requirements
As was pointed out during last week’s #fundchat and #grantchat, having a professional certification, whether CFRE or GPC does not ensure that the person working in the field is an expert, or necessarily the best candidate for a job or consulting contract. There are numerous barriers and individual reasons that have kept indivdiuals over the years from making the choice to go after their CFRE or GPC. However, having the professional certification does mean that there is a defined set of skills that they have been tested on and passed. While not perfect, it is a professional standard that many work toward.
I hope that now, the next time in your fundraising circles, maybe even at an AFP event, if you hear the GPC acronym used, you will share you new knowledge with your colleagues about what GPC stands for.