Our meetings typically last 90 minutes. We have a short business meeting (15 minutes or less) followed by a training topic.
Chapter meetings are held from 8:30-10:00 AM on the third Tuesday of every-other month. No RSVP necessary – just show up. Visitors may attend first meeting free. Please check the calendar for specific dates.
You are welcome to come a little early or stay after the meeting for networking with other grants professionals.
We enjoy unstructured social time relaxing with like-minded professionals. Our social events are a great opportunity to get to know fellow GPA members and build connections in our Central Iowa grant community.
Past Training Topics
November 2015 – Writing an effective needs statement
Almost every grant you write will ask for a needs statement. This is the portion of the grant where paint a picture of the problem that your project will remedy. By using data and other evidence, you will be illustrating your understanding of the community need for your project.
January 2016 – Answering the Sustainability Question
Do you find it difficult to answer the question, “How do you plan to sustain this program after grant funding ends?” Join us for a lively discussion on best practices and suggestions, featuring dialogue with the following individuals:
March 2016 – Using Results Based Accountability to Measure Program Effectiveness
Do you know the difference between these words — outcome, benchmark, result, goal, objective, target, measure, indicator? They are often used interchangeably and can be quite confusing.
Results Based Accountability (RBA) is a data driven, decision making process that can help measure the effectiveness of a program. Using RBA to write your grant can clear up confusion and help you develop meaningful program measurements.
Join us for a presentation on RBA and for a hands-on chance to work through the process.
May 2016 – When the application asks, “How will you evaluate your grant-funded program?”
Jennifer Farley, founder and president of Censeo Solutions, will be presenting information on answering this question in your grants, writing and developing a program evaluation, types of evaluation and methods of data collection. Censeo Solutions is a performance, data and evaluation management consulting company, based in Des Moines. Jennifer has worked with organizations for 13 years to evaluate programs and grants, manage projects, and utilize data to improve performance and increase impact.
July 2016 – A conversation with a local funder
Monica Fischer is a program officer for a private charitable foundation that gives anonymously. The conversation will focus on how she decides if a grant idea is viable or would be worthy to invest in. The format of this session will be a presentation with a lot of time for discussion and Q & A.
September 2016 – Project Management
Once we get the grant, grant writers often play the role of project managers. However, most of us have not had formal training in this area.
George Hollins is a lecturer in the Tippie College of Business and serves as President of On-Track: The Strategic Solutions Company, an Iowa City based business consulting and training company specializing in project management, leadership, innovation and strategic planning. He will share an overview of the basics of project management as well as items to consider as we go through the life of a grant.
November 2016 – Foundation Directory Online (held at Des Moines Public Library)
Stephanie Fruhling will guide us through a training on the Foundation Directory Online, with specific emphasis on the Grantmakers Database. The Grantmakers Database includes information on over 140,000 grantmakers, including foundations, grant making public charities, and corporate giving programs. The service also allows you to e-mail information to yourself, or save information to a flash drive.
January 2017 – Federal Grant Management
We will be learning about federal grant management and ISU’s implementation of the federal Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200). Whether you work at a small or large organization, have experience working with federal grants or not, this informative presentation will provide you with valuable information.
Becky Musselman is a Certified Research Administrator (CRA) and Certified Public Accountant (CPA). She holds bachelor’s degrees in Accounting and Management Information Systems, and a master’s degree in Business Administration. Becky’s first position at ISU was in the Internal Audit Office, and she has over 23 years of experience in sponsored programs, including previous ISU positions as a Sponsored Programs Accountant, Business Manager of a research institute, Manager of Sponsored Programs Accounting, and Associate Controller.
March 2017 – Networking
We have a wealth of knowledge among our grant membership. During this meeting we will spend time networking. Bring a question or problem that you need help with to discuss with your colleagues. We will spend the remainder of the meeting talking at our tables and working through those issues that you could use some help with.
April 2017 – Regional Conference – How to Write Winning Grants and Smile While Doing It!
Dr. Bev Browning, Author of “Grant Writing for Dummies”
As a high profile grants consultant, Dr. Bev is credited with more than $430 million in contract and grant awards. She is the author of 43 publications and is in high demand for facilitating training programs and delivering keynote speeches nationwide and internationally. Dr. Bev is a 16-year member of the Grants Professional Association and has taught grant writing and consulting courses online for Ed2Go since 2001.
Be the Shining Light in Your Profession (Keynote Speech)
In 2015, Dr. Bev trademarked Bethe Shining Light™, a motivational keynote speech theme that evolved into a journaling workbook and workshops for individuals seeking personal and professional life-changes
Logic Models—What are they and how do you create one?
Dr. Browning will offer an overview of how to develop a logic model and how the logic model can be used in program planning and evaluation. This hands-on session will offer concrete, useful examples which will help you during those deadline-driven times.
Creating a Persuasive Evaluation Plan
This session will dovetail off of the morning’s session on Logic Models. Dr. Browning will demonstrate how grant evaluation plans recapture data and highlight project accomplishments.
May 2017 – The Future of State and Local Funding
Our guest speakers will discuss the status of funding streams that affect the non-profit sector. As timing would have it, our guests will have just returned from a trip to Washington, D.C. and may be able to impart information that they learn on their travels.
July 2017 – Advanced Excel Training
Using data properly is an important part of a grant submission. Excel can be your best friend during those critical moments, if you know how to use it properly. Marian Godwin will be sharing some tips and tricks with us. Please feel free to bring your laptop to follow along, if you wish.
September 2017 – Writing the Right Grants: Why and How Your Organization Should Create a Proactive Grant Writing Strategy
Finding potential grants that do not fit well your mission is easy, but finding grants that serve your mission and expand your capacity can be a challenge. This session will provide best practices that will assist in the development of a mission-focused, sustainable and successful grant seeking capacity that will serve well your mission and enhance your relationship within the grant making community.
November 2017 – Panel Discussion: Dissolving the Mystery Behind Getting Your Grant Noticed by the Media
Perry Beeman, Managing Editor, Des Moines Business Record
Tom Torpy, Managing Editor, KCCI-TV
Phil Roeder, Director of Communications & Public Affairs, Des Moines Public Schools
January 2018 – Using data to support grant proposals
State Data Center, State Library of Iowa
Gary Krob provided a general overview of the resources and support that the State Library provides, as well as common resources utilized for data searches.
Ryan Murphy & Donna Burkett
Iowa Workforce Development, Labor Market Information Division
Ryan Murphy and Donna Burkett discussed Iowa Workforce Development’s Labor Market Information site (www.iowalmi.gov). Murphy and Burkett also reviewed IWD’s data tool (Tableau) and explained what labor market information is available and how to access it.
March 2018 – Round-table discussions
Round-table discussions – choose two. We spent 30 minutes at one table and then rotated to another table. Table topics were led by GPA members.
May 2018 – Networking
Deann Cook & Al Lorenzen
Next Level Nonprofits
They presented an interactive hour on networking to our group, leading us through a discussion where members were able to ask questions and do role-playing.
In the grants world, we all know how important it is to make contact with funders and others in the community. But sometimes it can be hard figuring out just how to reach out. Topics covered –
July 2018 – International Grants
Mandela Scholars Discussion
Attendees gained a new and international perspective on the impact of grants. Twenty-five young business and nonprofit leaders who were selected to study at Drake University for six weeks through the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders shared their experiences and expertise. Visiting under a U.S. Department of State grant, the Fellows spent the summer engaging with Des Moines business, nonprofit, and public sector leaders to learn U.S. best practices and share their experiences with our metro community.
September 2018 – Building a Grant Budget
“Five common mistakes in grant budgeting” with Danielle Johnson, Finance Director, United Way of Central Iowa.
Overseeing the budget for a $20+ million organization is no sweat for Danielle Johnson. Complex grant budgets are her specialty. This session included a fun, interactive training on the ins and outs of grant budgets.
November 2018 – “Wherefore ART thou, grant dollars?”
Writing a grant for the Art Center might seem like it would be all about the art. The things that we don’t think about, like windows and carpet, are critical to keep a building thriving. The grants team from the Des Moines Art Center discussed their successes and challenges with locating funding. The meeting began in Levitt Auditorium with a group discussion. We then moved into a tour of the Art Center where the grants team showed us the areas they have funded with grants.