By Andrew Moran, Development Director, WestCare Nevada
From Nov. 2 – 5, nearly 1,000 grant professionals participated in the 2022 Grant Professionals Association (GPA) Annual Conference in Louisville, Kentucky held at the Omni Louisville Hotel. WestCare’s amazing team of grant writers participated in the conference and learned some new, exciting, and helpful tools to assist them in their roles.
Lisa Jackson, Vice President of Grant Development for WestCare Foundation, made sure that our team of 12 were taken care of for the duration of the conference. The conference ran for four days and every day was filled with a full agenda of grant-related topics. The exhibit hall was also open all day for networking opportunities and different sessions throughout the day.
The opening session began with the keynote presentation and annual meeting, which kicked off the conference in style with a creative rap to the beat of Salt-N-Pepa’s “Whatta Man” and went a little something like, “What a grant, what a grant, what a grant, what a mighty good grant.” Everyone in the crowd sang along, became full of energy, and almost fell over from laughter.
It was the perfect beginning to a wonderful conference. Some of my favorite breakout sessions were:
- “7 Methods for Grant Professionals to Prioritize Proposals for A Grant Team”
- “Success Starts at Square One: Leading Successful Initial Grant Meetings”
- “Opening Pandora’s Box: 10 Phases of Grant Management”
Because I was a newcomer, I also attended the “Research Grant Development 101/102” sessions. These breakouts introduced the group to this growing sector. We learned how to develop research grant writing tools to enhance our grants strategy and development skillset. Now, I can understand how grant management and ethics components impact research grant preparation and determine who funds research.
One session was called, “You Walk Away Without a Rose: Why You Get Turned Down for a Grant and What to Do.” This session gave us the top 10 reasons why grants get denied and what we can do to change that without frustration. The main idea that I took away was that you have to be motivated to improve the grant writing process, make connections with grant-funded programs, and craft language that enhances the applications that we submit.
Overall, it was an informative week and I look forward to the 25th annual GPA conference being held next year in Kansas City. It was beneficial visiting with WestCare’s grants team as we strategize about our upcoming grants. I’d like to thank the team for including me as I learned so much about the grant writing process and everything that is happening in the various regions that WestCare serves.