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Grants World in 2006
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Contributed by Michael Wells
As we wind down the old year, it’s a good time to look back and reflect on the changes in 2006. Our field, like the rest of the world, is rapidly changing.
One of the most significant events of the year was the passing of two giants of the grants world. They are both sorely missed by those who knew them and leave strong legacies in the grants profession and the nonprofit community.
Norton J. Kiritz, founder and president of the Grantsmanship Center, died in January. Probably more than any other individual, Norton helped establish grants as a separate field from fundraising, transforming the nonprofit sector by streamlining and demystifying the process of obtaining grant money. The Grantsmanship Center has trained over 100,000 people since 1972 in the art of writing effective proposals. Virtually every experienced grantwriter I know took the Grantsmanship Center training at some time. The Grantsmanship Center is in my opinion the premier national grant training organization. http://www.tgci.com
VC League, one of the five founding members of the American Association of grant Professionals, also died in 2006. VC was coincidentally a trainer for the Grantsmanship Center from 1898 to 1999. He was an author, mentor and role model for many aspiring grant and nonprofit professionals. Through his company, Vincente & Associates, VC consulted to over 2,500 organizations across the US and Canada. He was sought out as a trainer and evaluator of major federal programs nationwide.
In the world of mega-foundations, major joint initiatives were prominent. Warren Buffett announced plans to donate most of his fortune, some $30 Billion, to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Gates Foundation in turn announced a contribution of $40 million to the Hewlett Foundation to use in promoting education in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
The American Association of Grant Professionals (AAGP) moved to new offices, hired a full time Executive Director with support Staff, held its ninth annual conference in Nashville, and passed 1,000 active members (to about 1,200 now). http://www.grantprofessionals.org
The Grant Professionals Certification Institute (GPCI) began serious work towards establishing a recognized credential, similar to the CFRE in fundraising. Working with the Institute for Instructional Research and Practice at the University of South Florida, a series of “Subject Matter Expert” work sessions began in 2006 and will continue in 2007. The planned credentialing test launch is planned at the AAGP conference in Washington, DC in November, 2007. http://www.grantprofessionals.org/credentialing/cred_overview.php
The Federal government continued its inexorable march to moving all grant activities online. More and more agencies are only accepting proposals electronically. The Government Printing Office announced that it has discontinued distributing the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance as a paper version. The Catalog is now available online in searchable form, or downloadable as a pdf. file. Some federal agencies are no longer listing grant announcements in The Federal Register, but only through grants.gov or agency websites.
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