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“In It to Win It – Grant Writing, Management, and Everything in Between”

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Conference Agenda

Download the most up-to-date PDF of the agenda here, including room numbers.

7:45-8:15 AM

Check in & social time
Enjoy coffee and tea while networking with other attendees.
Breakfast will
not be served. There are restaurants on-site if you want to come early and purchase food.

8:20 AM

Welcome and Introductions

8:30 AM

IGNITE the Grant Profession

Using the Ignite presentation style, each topic is presented in five minutes, with 20 slides that automatically advance every 15 seconds. This fast-paced format allows for nuggets of information on varying topics. The overall format includes time for questions after the presentation. The IGNITE presentation will cover:

  • Surviving the First Year of Consulting
  • Grant Writing Tips from Stephen King’s On Writing
  • Apps for Hapless Grant Pros
  • Surviving an OIG Audit
  • Logical Logic Models
  • The Power of Relationships in the Grant Field

Morning Breakout Sessions (choose one per time slot)

Sessions will be offered concurrently in separate rooms.

 9:15  Presenter: Amanda Day Presenter: Johna Rodgers

Grant Writing 101: Telling Your Story

There is an art to telling your organization’s story in a grant proposal. Learn about the main sections of a grant: needs statement, goals and objectives, methodology, budget, introduction, and evaluation. The details found in each section weave a narrative that paints the total picture for your funder. Whether you have a grant application with space for 30 pages or 1,000 characters, you need to write succinctly, clearly, and with appropriate grammar and spelling.

Nobody Knows the Troubles We’ve Seen

No one understands what we do. Or why we need data. Or why we ask questions. And they don’t want to know or understand. They—our bosses and colleagues—just want us to “write the grant” and get the money. “Nobody Knows” provides tools and practical, real-world strategies to artfully help grant pros get the information we need to write fundable competitive proposals and gently educate those around us about what we do every day to save the world.

 10:30  Break. Switch to your next session choice  
10:45 Presenter: Amanda Day Presenter: Johna Rodgers

Grants Management (Not) For Dummies

You got the grant. CONGRATULATIONS! Are you prepared to keep track of it all? Learn about the joys of implementing your project, reporting your progress, spending the money, and keeping track of all the rules and regulations. This introduction to grant management workshop is a great course for those who are new to the profession and want to know what they are getting themselves into after writing a successful grant proposal. Come with questions and “you see what happened was” scenarios so we can all learn together.

Unstuck – How to write a grant when you’re stuck

The clock is ticking. Loudly. And you can’t seem to write a decent sentence. You’re starting to panic. We’ve all been there. At one time or another, every grant professional is “stuck.” In fact, some of us know of no other way of being—those moments when we struggle through the ideas and conversations and research to finally put our hands on the keyboard. In this session, we’ll use a bit of humor and a lot of empathy to examine the causes of stuck-ness and provide a wide range of strategies to get us all un-stuck. Participants will complete a self-assessment of writing prep styles and consider alternatives to their current practices.


 12:00  Lunch will be catered by Panera. Participants will have the choice of five lunch options. Participants will choose their lunch option at the time of registration.

Afternoon Breakout Sessions (choose one)

Sessions will be offered concurrently in separate rooms. 

 1:00 Presenter: Amanda Day  Presenter: Johna Rodgers
   Granting It Old School

There are grant tech tools to make so many aspects of your job easier, but what about those free old-school, tried and true methods? How do you keep track of it all when you don’t have a budget to buy all the bells and whistles? Come prepared for a laid back, interactive discussion on methods that keep you organized and sane in this crazy profession of ours. Be prepared to share how you use post-its, white boards, and handwritten notes, and other supplies to manage it all.

 Finding Funding That Fits

It’s not a myth. Finding the right grant opportunity is often more difficult than actually writing and submitting the proposal. In fact, it’s one of the most time-consuming and frustrating parts of the process. In our session, we’ll discuss where to look and what to do when you’re faced with an overwhelming amount of (often unhelpful) information. With just a few strategies, your grant hunting—or funder fishing—will have you reeling in the possibilities.


Break and afternoon snack. Cookies and fruit will be served.

Move to the Funders Panel


Large Group Session

For this session, we will meet as a large group to hear from some of our community's most-influential funders. Come prepared to ask questions during this interactive session.

2:30 - 4:00 Meet the Funders – Panel Discussion
  • Emily Bahnsen, Kum & Go
  • Alejandro Orozco, Bankers Trust
  • Sean Pelletier, EMC
  • Gina Rooney, Wellmark Foundation
  • Sunni Swarbrick, Story County Community Foundation
 4:00  Conference concludes


Copyright © Central Iowa Chapter GPA, All Rights Reserved.

Office: +1 515-246-2513
Email: Ramona Gaukel

Ramona Gaukel, GPC 
President, Central Iowa Chapter
Grant Professionals Association

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