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Grant Professionals of Lower Hudson

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  • August 07, 2020 11:24 AM | Barbara Cervoni (Administrator)

    Grant Professionals of Lower Hudson (GPLH) members have been providing critical support for nonprofits in their struggles to acquire essential funding throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Through GPLH, members have also donated their services to help the nonprofit community identify and respond to an array of new COVID related opportunities.

    “Members of GPLH quickly rose to the occasion to navigate new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and to determine which CARES Act Programs were right for specific agencies. They also took up the task to try to close shortfalls that occurred when special event fundraisers (which many agencies rely upon for a significant amount of their overall fundraising revenue) had to be put on hold,” said GPLH Co-President Lisa Keogh. “We have heard from many GPLH members that the revenue secured through grant channels helped to keep the doors open at many local non-profit agencies.”

    GPLH Co-president Nancy Keane pointed out that many charitable foundations in the region also provided extra support for financially challenged nonprofits: "The financial sustainability of the Hudson Valley non-profit sector is more critical than ever and we are fortunate to have a supportive network of foundation and corporate funders.” She added: “Amid a flurry of COVID related relief funding with short turnaround times, GPLH members were quick to lend a hand to secure funding for numerous trusted frontline community organizations hardest hit by the pandemic.”

    GPLH members have been integrally involved with seeking COVID funds for nonprofits throughout the lower Hudson Valley in a number of different ways, including:

    • Identifying and sharing COVID funding opportunities with members and clients
    • Writing and submitting grants to mitigate the effects of COVID on nonprofit organizations
    • Drafting reports for secured COVID funds
    • Helping with PPP loan application preparation

    Collectively, GPLH members have raised millions for our agencies. Some successes include:

    • Caring for the Hungry and Homeless of Peekskill: $87,500: For food and food distribution coordination in Peekskill, from Mother Cabrini Health Foundation.
    • Cerebral Palsy of Westchester: $24,500: For PPEs, from Impact100 Westchester.
    • Community Center of Northern Westchester: $125,000: For food, from the Mother Cabrini Health Fund.
    • Greystone Programs: $11,626: Total received from several foundations including: Stewarts Foundation; Ulster Savings Foundation; Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley; Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan.
    • Lifting Up Westchester: $30,000: For PPEs and food, from Wells Fargo.
    • Poughkeepsie Farm Project: $9,900: From Dutchess County’s "Dutchess Responds" grant program.
    • WestFair Rides: $1,425: Total received from two awards, from the Field Hall Foundation and the Gilbert Fund.
    • YWCA White Plains and Central Westchester: $24,500: For PPEs, from Impact100 Westchester.

    GPLH’s members also provided essential support for nonprofits in other regions, including Connecticut. GPLH member Terri Eberle Katz reports that her Connecticut based agency "successfully secured COVID-19 response grants from six community foundations in Western and Central Connecticut and several corporate funders. These grants are helping to ensure that a children's behavioral health nonprofit can provide secure, confidential telehealth therapy and other supports to kids and teens in this area who are struggling without the structure of school, sports and other extracurricular activities."

    As an organization, GPLH quickly responded to the pandemic to assist members and their organizations. Over recent months, GPLH has:

    • Provided support and guidance to nonprofits seeking assistance with PPP applications
    • Donated 30 minutes of free consulting to nonprofits seeking COVID related assistance.
    • Held monthly ZOOM sessions to share grant opportunities and strategies, and to support peers and colleagues struggling to obtain funding.

    In addition, GPLH member Choice Words LLC partnered with the Ulster County Economic Development Office to host a free webinar on grant writing and research for nearly 60 nonprofit organizations.

    Questions about COVID funding? Contact Lydia Howie at HowieMarketing1@gmail.com
  • August 02, 2020 12:57 PM | Barbara Cervoni (Administrator)

    GPLH Board Member Alison Paul will be teaching a virtual course on Grant Writing Basics this fall through Westchester Community College.

    The class is for those new to grant writing or those who want to hone their skills. Topics include grant prospect research, the basic components of a well-crafted grant, many helpful hints and do’s and don'ts, plus tips on how to jump start a grant writing career.

    The class will meet from 6-9 pm on four Wednesdays this October: 10/7, 10/14, 10/121 and 10/28. 

    Details can be found in the fall 2020 WCC Workforce Development & Community Education catalogue. The course title is Grant Writing Basics, CE-GRANT 2000. It is listed in the catalog on page 3.

    For more information about the course, contact Alison Paul at apaulconsultant@gmail.com.

  • February 09, 2020 8:10 PM | Barbara Cervoni (Administrator)

    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 2020 GPLH Board of Directors. Starting with our Executive Committee:

    Returning for a second year as Co-President is Lisa Keogh, a founding Board member of GPLH. Joining her as our other Co-President is Nancy Keane, a GPLH member since 2017 and a Board member since 2018. Filling the Vice President role is Alison Paul, who is also serving as Program Co-Chair. Alison first joined the Board in 2018. Returning as Secretary is Joanne Stewart, who is also a GPLH Founding Board Member and Past President. Stepping in as Treasurer, in her first year on the Board, is Deborah Brown.

    Also new to the Board are Emily Cantres Marshall, Program Co-Chair; and Steve Densmore, Public Relations Chair.

    Returning Board members are: Barbara Cervoni, Website Chair, who joined the Board last year; Terri Eberle Katz, Intern Program Chair since 2019 and now also Social Media Chair; Lydia Howie, our Founding President and Immediate Past President, serving this year as Member Services Chair; and Carol Nordgren, Job Bank Chair, a Board member since 2017.

    Many thanks to this year’s outgoing Board members who generously gave their time and talents while they served on the Board: Christine Chenevey, Charlisa Garg and Fiona Matthew.

    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 in any way, we’d love to hear from you. To learn more, send an email to info.gplh@gmail.com.

  • February 06, 2020 6:30 PM | Barbara Cervoni (Administrator)

    The Association of Development Officers has graciously agreed to offer discounted tickets to GPLH members for their Annual Philanthropy Awards Breakfast, which will be held on March 4, 2020 at Tappan Hill in Tarrytown.

    Join us as we salute the 2020 Philanthropy Award honorees, recognize their efforts to make our community a better place and celebrate their extraordinary contributions.

    The 2020 Honorees are:

    • Outstanding Board: Ossining Children’s Center Board Of Directors
    • Corporate Partners: Shake Shack
    • Fundraising Professional: Ann Fabrizio, ArtsWestchester
    • Peter J. Gallagher Award For Leadership and Service: Adam Kintish, M&T Bank
    • Youth In Philanthropy: Matthew Pasquale, Founder, Autism Awareness Club

    Ticket Discount

    GPLH members have been offered tickets at the special ADO rate of $75 This is a  $25 savings on the non-profit rate and a $50 savings on the business rate.

    To receive this discount:

    There will be a GPLH table at the breakfast. To be seated at our table, include a note with your RSVP card. If purchasing tickets online, add your request to the “Company” field of the online form. Please also send an email to info@gplh.com so we can be sure you’re added to our table.

  • November 26, 2019 5:34 PM | Barbara Cervoni (Administrator)

    The Grant Professionals Certification Institute (GPCI) presented Lydia Howie, Founding President of the Grant Professionals of Lower Hudson (GPLH), with its 2019 Pauline G. Annarino Award, the grant writing industry’s highest national honor for impact on the grant writing industry and profession.

    The award was presented on November 8, 2019 in Washington, DC, at the national Grant Professional Association’s annual conference attended by 880 attendees.

    Ms. Howie was recognized for founding the Grant Professionals of Lower Hudson in 2008 (an organization that has grown to 234 members and “friends”) and for her many other contributions to the grant writing industry, including: regularly guest speaking on grant writing both locally and nationally; authoring numerous industry articles; encouragning and supporting more than 10 individuals who have become grant writers or consultants; promoting and assisting three others to obtain their Grant Profession Certification (GPC); and fielding hundreds of calls from nonprofit agencies, grant writers, and individuals considering a grant writing career.

    Through the Grant Professionals of Lower Hudson, Ms. Howie has firmly established a grant writing legacy in Westchester County. GPLH has become one of the major regional nonprofit support agencies in the County providing: quarterly education; a Meet the Funders event; an internship program to “breed” grant writers; free counseling to individuals interested in becoming a grant writer as well as to nonprofits who seek grant writing advice; job/consultant referral; speakers bureau; free website resources; and networking.

    Ms. Howie was the first in Westchester to earn her Grant Professional Certification - the “CPA” of the grants industry. Since 1999, she has been owner of Howie Marketing & Consulting, a grant writing firm that has raised over $40 million for area nonprofits.

    About the Grant Professionals Certification Institute

    The Grant Professionals Certification Institute (GPCI) administers the nationally recognized Grant Professional Certified (GPC) credential to grant professionals who meet eligibility requirements and successfully demonstrate proficiency in the required competencies. The GPC certification is based on rigorous standards and ongoing research to meet real-world demands of grant professionals. GPC-credentialed grant professionals demonstrate excellence in the grants profession.

    About the Pauline G. Annarino Award

    The Pauline G. Annarino Award acknowledges the efforts of an agency, group or individual who has elevated the status of the grants profession by promoting, steering, and/or marketing our profession as a significant contributor to our society. The awardee’s contributions have had a lasting impact on the grants profession and will serve as a foundation for the growth of the profession.

  • October 16, 2019 6:14 PM | Barbara Cervoni (Administrator)

    Grant Professionals of Lower Hudson is hosting two conference calls to discuss the mechanics and actual writing of the Impact100 Westchester Letter of Inquiry application. The LOI's are due 1/17/20.

    GPLH is providing these sessions as a free community service to Westchester County nonprofits. Part of our mission is to help increase the likelihood of grants being funded. These sessions are being held independently of Impact100 Westchester.

    The sessions are not “mandatory,” and participation will not influence Impact100 Westchester’s review of your application. However, over the past few years, many organizations whose grant writers or other staff members participated in one of the support sessions ended up as semifinalists and finalists. 

    The sessions will be led by Joanne Stewart, Owner/President of goodworks Advisory Group, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in Grant Writing, Marketing and Communications, and Board Development for nonprofit organizations. Joanne is currently GPLH Secretary, and is also a GPLH founding Board Member and Past President.


    • Wednesday, December 11 at 8:30 AM
    • Monday, December 16 at 4:30 PM

    (*One session per participant please)

    TO REGISTER: Email Joanne Stewart at jstewart@goodworksadvisorygroup.com. Please include your name, agency, email address and the session you plan to participate in. The dial-in information and a copy of the questions will be sent to you prior to the conference call.

  • August 03, 2019 11:40 AM | Barbara Cervoni (Administrator)

    GPLH Board Member Alison Paul will be teaching Grant Writing Basics this fall, in Valhalla, NY, through the Continuing Education Department of Westchester Community College.

    The class covers the basics of how to write a strong grant proposal, with a close look at each section, especially needs, writing realistic measurable objectives, and evaluation. The curriculum covers core components of a strong proposal, letters of inquiry, letter proposals, and online grant applications.  The program includes how to find grants to apply for, do’s and don’ts, how to launch a grant writing career, and more. The culminating activity is putting on a "grant reviewer hat" and evaluating proposals written by peers.

    The class will meet from 6-9 pm on four Thursdays this October: 10/3, 10/10, 10/17 and 10/24.  There will be a short dinner break mid-way - no starving grant writers allowed!

    Details can be found in the fall 2019 WCC Workforce Development & Community Education catalogue. The course title is Grant Writing Basics, CE-GRANT 2000. It is listed in the catalog on page 5, under Careers in Business.


    • Phone: Registering by phone is the easiest method. Call 914-606-6830, then press 1.
    • Online: Find the course at  www.sunywcc.edu/My/WCC. You will need to create an account.

     For more info, contact Alison Paul at apaulconsultant@gmail.com.

    About the Instructor: Alison Paul is a fundraising consultant and freelance grant writer who has written grants for the arts, advocacy, children, the environment, human services, social justice, and other causes.  She assists clients with grant writing, prospect research, assessing grant readiness, editing, and creating fundraising plans and cases of support.  She was a grant writer for 10 years at the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns, raising over $12 million. As Executive Director of the Pelham Art Center she was involved in all aspects of fundraising and management. She worked previously as Director of Education at the South Street Seaport Museum and The Hudson River Museum.  

  • July 17, 2019 6:27 PM | Barbara Cervoni (Administrator)

    Our regularly scheduled Grant Connections conference calls, held on the first Wednesday of every other month, are generally open to GPLH members only. However, our August call will be open to all grant professionals!

    The call will follow our usual format. There’s no planned speaker. It’s an open-forum discussion led by the GPLH members who have phoned in. One of our two Co-Presidents will moderate.

    It's a great networking opportunity and a chance to:

    • Get answers to your pressing questions
    • Run an idea past other grant writing professionals
    • Vent about a frustrating situation
    • Etc.......

    It's always an informal, 30 minute conference call. Call from your home, car or office. Stay on as long as you like: for 5 minutes or for the entire half hour. Just bring your questions or industry news and a cup of coffee.

    Join us in August! No need to RSVP. Just dial in:

    Date: Wednesday, August 7

    Time: 8:30 am

    Dial-In Number:  515-739-1403

    Access Code: 621-539

    Questions? Contact us at info.GPLH@gmail.com

  • June 27, 2019 6:25 PM | Barbara Cervoni (Administrator)

    We recently distributed a survey to GPLH members, seeking feedback about how we’re doing, and asking members what they need and want. In addition to receiving excellent ideas for future program topics, we learned a lot about who GPLH members are, and why they value our organization.

    We learned that our members:

    Would recommend GPLH to a friend or colleague: 100% of respondents agreed they would recommend that their friends and colleagues join GPLH.

    Have many years of experience: 57% of respondents have been writing grants for 11 years or more. Another 13% have 5-10 years experience.

    Have many other skills and are rich in experience: Many respondents are doing more than just grant writing. They are involved in a wide range of fundraising and related tasks, including Grants Management (71%), Special Events (32%), Marketing/Communications (32%), Individual Giving (21%) and Major Gifts (14%).

    Participate in other professional organizations: We asked whether our members are involved with other professional groups for grant writers or fundraisers, and many are: 63% belong to the Association of Development Officers, 47% are Association of Fundraising Professionals members, and 31% belong to the Grant Professionals Association.

    Respondents also shared specific comments explaining why GPLH membership is valuable:

    • GPLH offers important opportunities for professional skill development and valuable peer support.
    • The organization is run professionally.
    • Worthwhile to attend talks and for mutual support.
    • It is truly an asset and a resource. And the networking is powerful.
    • I attended my first in person workshop last week and it was really positive and great to meet other grant writers. The topic was very good too. I also attended one of the informal conference calls about 2 months ago and that was also very helpful to my job, I got some helpful tips.
    • Great resources, job bank, good networking.
    • Wealth of information and good networking with other professionals.
    •  GPLH is a terrific resource for grant writers, for networking; members have a lot expertise they are willing to share.
  • May 27, 2019 8:48 PM | Barbara Cervoni (Administrator)

    A big congratulations to the recently announced 2019 IMPACT100 WESTCHESTER winners, many of whom were assisted by GPLH members!

    We are delighted to report that Gilda's Club Westchester was one of the three $100,000 transformational project grant winners, for their proposal in support of a Teen Cancer Center. Gilda's Club Westchester is a client of Howie Marketing & Consulting, the firm owned and operated by Lydia Howie, GPLH founder and current Co-President.

    The other two Transformational Project Grant Winners ($100,000 each) were:

    • Make the Road New York: Immigrant Families Center @ La Casa Azul
    • Westchester Jewish Community Services (also a GPLH member): The Center Lane Pride Program.

    Three Core Mission Grants ($12,333 each) were awarded to:

    • Lifting Up Westchester: Pathways to Self Sufficiency (client of Howie Marketing & Consulting)
    • YWCA White Plains & Central Westchester: Sister’s Village Economic Development Program (another Howie client)
    • Hudson Valley Community Services: Project Reach Out Van Replacement. (HVCS participated in a GPLH members IMPACT100 training session.)

    Also: A $15,000 Focus Area Grant, given for the first time this year, was awarded to Prison Communities International: Rehabilitation Through The Arts

    A HUGE congrats to all the nonprofit winners, and the amazing GPLH members who helped make it happen! And thank you to IMPACT100 WESTCHESTER for being such a wonderful supporter of these important programs helping residents of Westchester County.

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