Many grant writers and grant managers take advantage of various association memberships in order to benefit from free or reduced-price professional development training. If you just hired a grant writer or grant manager, or assigned grant-related tasks to an existing staff person, don’t overlook the value of ongoing professional development. With many public and private agencies experiencing budget cuts, training is often either deleted from the expense line items or drastically reduced. In this blog post, I’ll share some nationally known sources for getting your grant administrators trained. You’ll need to go directly to the web link for each resource to determine membership fees/benefits and/or training registration prerequisites. Remember that this list is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to available professional development opportunities.
The National League of Cities (NLC) has an online directory of state municipal leagues. Grant writing workshops are offered intermittently by the NLC, as well as by the state municipal leagues.
- NLC Member Directory of State Municipal Leagues: http://www.nlc.org/about-nlc/state-league-programs/state-municipal-leagues/state-municipal-league-directory
The International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC) has a comprehensive listing of member associations in the United States and Canada. Grant writing workshops are often available with an association member. Type "grant writing" in the search box at the link below.
- IIMC listing of association members: http://www.iimc.com/index.aspx?nid=152
The Grant Professionals Association (GPA) uses its own members and government agency staff to provide professional development. Multiple grant writing workshops are offered at their annual conferences.
- GPA professional development offerings: http://www.grantprofessionals.org/professional-development
The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) holds an annual conference with liberal workshop offerings on financial management. In 2015, 16 sessions were offered.
- GFOA 2015 conference session listings (example of what to expect in future years): http://www.gfoa.org/conference-sessions
The National Grants Management Association (NGMA) offers a two-day annual grants training program annually targeting grants management professionals and practitioners.
- NGMA 2016 training program description: http://ngma.org/annual-grants-training
There are also dozens of non-association professional development courses for grant writers and grant managers. Before stretching your budget to send your grant writer or grant manager to local or out-of-state training, consider the following questions; your answers will support prudent spending and cost-effective decisions.
- Is membership required to attend?
- What is the difference between the member fee and the non-member fee?
- Is there a cost-savings to justify membership if an employee attends multiple sessions annually?
- Is the annual national conference the only venue that provides the needed training, or can this training be taken in-state by a member or association of the national chapter?
- What are the learning objectives of the training, and how do they fit into the employee’s annual performance improvement plan?
- If we don't have the funds in our budget to provide professional development, can we find sponsorship in the private sector to cover conference attendance and specialized training, in order to strengthen our public service mission?
If you're interested in improving your grant writing skills, click the button below to join one of my training webinars. The next one is coming up soon, on September 15, 2015: