Grant Professionals of Lower Hudson
Nonprofit Westchester is a 2023 GPLH Gold Sponsor. We are pleased to share their mission with you.
More than 300 members strong, Nonprofit Westchester is the County’s only membership organization solely dedicated to advancing the needs and interests of Westchester’s nonprofit sector, the people and populations served, and the nonprofit workforce. NPW’s mission is to strengthen Westchester’s nonprofit organizations as they transform lives, empower communities, and drive positive change. NPW envisions a thriving Westchester County with vibrant nonprofits and resilient, inclusive communities.
NPW unifies the nonprofit sector to advance positive social and economic change through advocacy, education, awareness building, and public activation. Through research, community involvement, and input from members, NPW envisions and works to actualize what’s possible for the nonprofit sector and County.
NPW is a resource for a vibrant learning community, offering cutting-edge training and professional development opportunities for the nonprofit workforce at all levels. NPW tracks emerging trends to prepare the nonprofit sector to meet present and future needs. NPW pursues and fosters connection and cooperation between community stakeholders to ensure the most efficient service to people and communities in need and the greatest positive social impact.
Nonprofit Westchester seeks to be a trusted, vital partner in our community through principles and actions that honor and advance the work of our diverse member organizations. NPW provides a platform for all issues to be elevated and all voices to be heard reflecting a learning mindset where best practices are shared, thought leadership is developed and new ideas are embraced. NPW represents the work of the nonprofit sector and acts with transparency, respect, responsibility, and pride.
In June, GPLH held a webinar on helping people get career-enhancing credentials including GPC (Grant Professionals Certification) CFRE (Certified Fundraising Professional), and M/WBE (Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise.)
More About M/WBE
As a follow-up to the info presented in our webinar about M/WBE (Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise) check out these helpful resources:
Westchester County’s Office of Economic Development
This resource is valuable to those who are already registered and is also helpful to those who want to register. They will help you get registered, and will also add your business to their directory and interactive map, to help drive business to you.
The advantages of registering are many, even if your business is not based in Westchester. The website makes your business known to those seeking to hire M/WBEs. They send email notices about contract opportunities, as well as invitations to workshops, seminars, and training to help you succeed. The website has many helpful resources to help you get started, and they welcome assisting you. Contact: email@example.com.
WEDC (Women’s Economic Development Corp.)
As mentioned during the webinar, WEDC is also happy to help you register. According to Nikki Hahn, Westchester’s WEDC Executive Director, 50% of those seeking NYS M/WBE certification will not succeed because they completed the forms incorrectly. WEDC wants to help and have a great track record of helping businesses successfully get through the paperwork hurdles.
Interactive Map of Minority and Women-Owned Businesses Directory. Includes almost 2500 businesses listed from throughout the tri-state region. These businesses are registered with the Westchester County M/WBE program.
NYS M/WBE Directory. List of certified minority-and women-owned businesses registered with Westchester County’s Office of Economic Development, searchable by 15 categories to help you find the resource you are looking for – or to help those searching find you!
Westchester Contractor MBEs.
Black owned businesses in Westchester.
Remember, you can get credit for attending many GPLH webinars! And, if you’re a GPLH member, you can view recordings and handouts from past webinars, including this one, on our “members only” page.
GPLH Co-President Alison Paul will be teaching a course this fall: “Grant Writing Basics for Nonprofit Organizations.” Alison has raised millions of dollars over her 30+ year career working with nonprofits and in her grant consulting business.
The course will be offered through Westchester Community College from 6-9 pm on four Thursdays: Oct. 26, Nov. 2, 9 and 16. It will be held via ZOOM, so you can learn from the comfort of your home.
The course is ideal for those new to grant writing or those who work for a nonprofit and want to increase their skill set. Learn to write a grant to support a nonprofit’s mission and goals.
Participants will learn how to: find funders; understand the components of a strong proposal; write a basic budget; articulate realistic and measurable outcomes; construct evaluation plans. They will also learn how to get started as a grant writer.
The course is interactive. It will include many sample grants to review as well as access to a wealth of resources. The final project is a short letter proposal. We will read all proposals and then, in a friendly, constructive way, participants will vote yay or nay on funding – so you’ll experience being a grant reviewer as well.
The course is listed in the fall SUNY Westchester Workforce Development and Community Education catalog, on page 6, under Continuing Professional Education. (CE-GRANT 2000, #91829. $166) Click here to view the catalog.
To register online, visit www.sunywcc.edu/MyWCC.
To register by phone, call 914-606-6830 and press option 1.
Email Alison at firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s the most popular webinar topic people request from GPLH? Without question, it’s Grant Prospect Research. We’ve had great presentations by seasoned grant writers with different approaches to finding funders.
But what you might not know is this: We keep all webinar recordings, handouts, and PowerPoints on our “Members Only Page.” A GPLH membership is worth it just to watch these two Prospect Research webinars on our website:
These are just two examples of the valuable recordings and materials on our Member’s Only Page.
Check them out! Webinars are listed in chronological order starting with most recent. To view past webinars, click here, then login to your GPLH account.
(If you’re not a member yet, you can join today and have ongoing access to this great resource.)
United Way of Westchester and Putnam is a 2023 GPLH Gold Sponsor. We are pleased to share their mission with you.
United Way of Westchester and Putnam (UWWP) mobilizes strategic partnerships and leverages resources to create a more equitable community by advancing education, financial stability, and health initiatives.
These include the 211 Helpline, the Ride United Last Mile food delivery program, the Education United After School program, the United2Read early literacy program for preschoolers, the Essential Goods for Basic Needs program (which donates $5-$6 million in new in-kind goods), and of course, grants and other investments in support of the programs offered by its nonprofit partners.
All of these efforts are designed to support the 40 percent of Westchester and Putnam households living in poverty or paycheck to paycheck, what we call ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed). Our work positively impacts hundreds of thousands of individuals every year.
To learn about becoming a GPLH Sponsor, download our sponsorship form.
We are pleased to announce that GPLH is now a GPCI Accepted Education Program provider.
The GPCI (Grant Professionals Certification Institute) establishes a mechanism for grant professionals to obtain educational opportunities that address the core grant competencies* that are necessary to achieve and maintain the GPC credential. Providers who are accepted into the program have passed an application process to ensure their training sessions cover these competencies and have been approved.
Approved programs will be listed on the GPCI website along other esteemed providers such as Grant Professionals Association, Assel Grant Services, MyFedTrainer, DH Leonard Consulting & Grant Writing Services, and Thompson Grants, among others. Fundraisers with the CFRE may also apply some trainings to maintain their credentials. We are proud to be included in this list, and to have received this stamp of approval for our educational programs.
For each of our programs that have been deemed eligible for GPCI credits, you’ll see the GPCI logo, as well as the number of GPCI Education points participants will earn.
GPLH is dedicated to helping fundraisers increase their knowledge of grant writing skills, strategies, and techniques. We provide educational programs, mentoring, and resources to assist those writing grants. We are pleased to offer webinar attendees the opportunity to maintain their credentials through this service.
The best way to understand the value of being a GPLH member is through the stories of members who have benefited from what we have to offer. So, we asked Molly Gibeau-Griffin, LMSW, Foundation Director at Jawonio, to share her personal perspective about what you gain as a GPLH member:
“When you join GPLH, you receive many different benefits. In addition to gaining timely and useful knowledge about grants and grant resources, you also become part of a supportive community of professionals who freely share their expertise, which help you to grow into the grant professional you strive to become.
I have been a part of GPLH on and off for over 10 years, spanning two different organizations I worked for: first as a grants consultant, then as a Director of Development and now as a Foundation Director.
GPLH has helped me find vital resources to help support my work in grant writing, and has also helped me form invaluable and supportive relationships with other grant professionals in the field.
Grant writing can be very isolating; this community experience has helped me to thrive and grow. Even though I have been writing grants for over 20 years, I continue to learn thanks to GPLH.”
If you'd like to share your personal perspective on the benefits of GPLH membership, we'd love to hear from you! Send us a note at email@example.com.
No matter how long you’ve been working as a grant writer, there can be times when experience teaches you a lesson about something you didn’t know. Maybe it was a situation you never encountered before. Maybe an innocent mistake taught you a lesson the hard way. One of the benefits of GPLH membership is that we can share these lessons learned along the way with one another.
In this blog feature, we aim to share lessons and advice based on experience, things you could easily miss. If you have a “lesson learned” story to add, please send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lesson Learned: Budgets for Federal and State Grants
For federal and state grants, check to see if the agency provides a budget template before you submit grants to them. If not, those budget pages may count toward their page limit. Agencies are strict on page limits and will disqualify your grant if you go over the limit.
A grant writer we know attached a budget supplied by the organization CFO to the federal grant they were submitting. The form looked very official and in fact had come from a different federal agency. The grant writer was unaware that the form did not come from the agency they were applying to, and mistakenly thought the agency had supplied a budget template.
The agency the grant application was for does not count their forms toward the page limit, but the grant writer did not know the form they were using was not theirs. While the grant writer was diligent in counting pages, the application exceeded the page limit because the budget was not their form. Therefore, the application was disqualified. The grant writer will never make that mistake again and would like everyone to be aware of this scenario.
The GPLH Board of Directors is a talented, dedicated group of professionals who volunteer their time to ensure that GPLH is a vibrant and effective organization that brings benefits and enrichment to our members.
We are proud to announce our 2023 GPLH Board of Directors (* = new to the Board this year):
Immediate Past President: Nancy Keane
Learn more about our Board members here.
There’s always room for more talented and dedicated people! If you have interest in learning more about serving on the GPLH Board, or if you’d like to volunteer your time and talents to help as a committee member, we’d love to hear from you. To learn more, send an email to email@example.com.
One of our key missions at GPLH is to provide educational information, for grant writers interested in enhancing their skills, and for aspiring grant writers looking to learn more about the profession. Towards that goal, we offer numerous educational programs, resources on our website, one-on-one mentoring, and plenty of opportunities to network with and learn from experienced, successful grant writers.
John Scuderi, a member of the GPLH Board since 2021, made use of all of these resources when he decided to enter the grant writing field. In this article, he shares how beneficial all of these tools were to him as he launched his new career:
Since May 2, I have been the grant writer at Cristo Rey New York High School in East Harlem. My school, which opened in 2004, is one of 38 Catholic, college-prep schools in a coast-to-coast network that shares the same social-justice mission: to provide opportunities for students from low-income backgrounds to go to college, build careers, and climb out of poverty. Our school has been tremendously successful at getting our students to college, and our students have been tremendously successful at earning their bachelors’ degrees once they get there.
In my six months on the job, the school has secured $695,000 in grants. Most of these are renewals with funders who have been supporting the school for several years, but one is an $80,000, two-year grant that our school won in a competition against other Cristo Rey Network schools. The Director of Admissions and I collaborated on our school’s proposal, which was one of six chosen in a network-wide effort to boost enrollment. I also have submitted proposals for another $429,500 in renewals – all of which my boss expects will be approved. If my boss is correct, then my work will have yielded $1.1 million for the school in just half a year!
Grant Professionals of Lower Hudson is a major reason why I have been able to reach this point. The guidance, support, and professional development I received from the people at GPLH prepared me for success as a grant writer at Cristo Rey. Alison Paul, Joanne Stewart, and Lisa Keogh all deserve special thanks, but many others in the organization were patient with me and generous with their time, and their expertise contributed to my growth as a grant writer.
When I joined GPLH in 2020, my career was in transition. After more than 25 years as a sports reporter and copy editor at the Gannett-owned daily newspapers in Westchester, I was looking for a new role that would put my journalism skill set to good use. I was able to land a variety of freelance assignments, so my work was getting published in books, in newspapers, in a local magazine, and online. But it was always in the “gig economy.” I wanted something more sustainable, a second career that hopefully would carry me to a happy retirement.
Several unsuccessful job interviews went by as I continued searching for a full-time staff position. The passing years and repeated rejections took a bite out of my confidence. But after many, many discussions – with my career coach, a cousin who worked as a grant writer in New Jersey, and numerous professional contacts – I decided that grant writing might be the right fit. Unlike the journalism field, grant writing offered several professional organizations that presented numerous opportunities for networking. Still, I wasn’t fully convinced that I really belonged in the grant-writing world. We work in a fast-paced, tech-driven economy, and as a middle-aged person, I worried that a career change might not be a realistic goal for me.
In GPLH, I found a collaborative group of like-minded professionals who welcomed me as their peer. My age and lack of grant-writing experience didn’t seem to matter. Almost immediately after becoming a GPLH member, I was encouraged to join the Board as a way to gain contacts and increase my level of involvement. Alison Paul’s online grant-writing course (offered through Westchester Community College) strengthened the foundation I had started to build through seminars and webinars. Some GPLH contacts shared the stories of the paths their careers had taken. Others served as mentors and connected me to opportunities to apply for grants as a consultant.
With the help of GPLH, I grew to the point where last spring, Cristo Rey New York High School could see that I was the right candidate to fill its vacated position of grant writer. To all my good friends at GPLH, I send my sincerest thanks!
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Ossining, NY 10562
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