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Goodbye, Becki Shawver

Dear CharityChannel colleagues:

I am saddened to report the passing yesterday of Rebecca Vermillion Shawver, editor of CharityChannel’s Grants and Foundations Review and contributor of a trove of tell-it-like-it-is articles on grantsmanship. Becki had been bravely battling brain cancer.

If you are a grant writer, chances are you had come to know Becki through her no-holds-barred articles she began writing for CharityChannel in 2004. She was one of the rare practitioners who was willing to share what it was really like working as a grant writer – sometimes so frank that we had to think about whether we could even publish a few of them. But publish them we did, and we are all better for it.

Because of Becki’s willingness to be so forthcoming, countless grant writers have become better at their craft. I will continue to recommend her articles to new and experienced grants professionals. They will remain relevant for many years to come.

Becki became editor of Grants and Foundation Review in 2009, succeeding Michael Wells in that position. Although her commitment was for just one year, she performed this volunteer role with dedication and skill until illness prevented her from continuing.

On a personal note, I shall miss my weekly telephone chats with Becki, where she would discuss the challenges of being a grant writer in a community college development office and knock around article ideas, using sometimes painful real-world examples as her springboard. It was in one of these chats when I first learned that Becki was a dedicated volunteer working with the AFS Intercultural Programs. She and her husband, Stephen (“my Stephen,” she would say, since my name is also Stephen), hosted twenty-two exchange students over more than a quarter century, becoming their American mom and dad. The outpouring from these students on Facebook, still pouring in following news of Becki’s passing, shows just how much of an impact she has made on the lives of so many of these young people.

Becki was the Director of Grant Administration at Brazosport College. Her duties included assisting college administrators, faculty and staff members in the development of federal, state, corporate and private foundation grant applications; developing the conceptual aspects of proposals through the proposal review process and the analysis of statistical data; developing proposal budgets and determining personnel, equipment, and other costs to be charged to funding agencies; researching funding opportunities; conducting proposal writing and other grant-related workshops for college personnel; assisting project directors in monitoring funded proposals; and publishing a grant blog.

She was an active member of the Grant Professionals Association and had earned her GPC credential. Additionally, she was a member of the Council for Resource Development (CRD) for community college fund development professionals. She was a past CRD Director for Region VI and a past member of the CRD National Board. She had presented numerous workshops at multiple regional and national CRD conferences.

Becki was a native-born Hoosier and was the author of What Funders Want: Developing Evaluation Plans to Support Your K-12 Grant Applications (LRP Publications).

If you would like to share a thought, please feel free to share in the Comments section at https://charitychannel.com/goodbye-becki-shawver (scroll to the bottom of the page).

Stephen Nill

About the Contributor: Stephen Nill

Stephen Nill founded CharityChannel in 1992 as a means of connecting his nonprofit hospital chain’s fund development staff over the Internet to their colleagues at other organizations. That first discussion community grew into what is today the oldest and largest community of third-sector professionals in the world, comprised of well over 100,000 participants worldwide. He has been working in the US and international third sector for more than 30 years. He has served as the Chief Development Officer at a major Southern California university, the CEO of a large health care foundation, a vice-president of fund development of a U.S. west-coast nonprofit hospital chain, as a founder and acting director of development of a parochial school in his community, and as a founder of an organization dedicated to providing food and clothing for homeless persons in Southern California.

14 Responses to Goodbye, Becki Shawver

  1. Dalya Massachi March 10, 2017 at 10:31 am #

    I am so sorry to hear this! I had the pleasure of working with Becki only a few times, but she was obviously a real professional and a great person. We will miss her.

  2. Stacey Abate March 10, 2017 at 11:28 am #

    This was devastating to read. I feel fortunate to have worked with her on CharityChannel articles and always admired her professionalism and calm presence. What a loss.

  3. Kelli Romero March 10, 2017 at 2:16 pm #

    The staff at Grant Professionals Association were saddened to hear about Becki’s passing today. Becki was one of the rare ones in this profession. She was always eager to voice her opinions and expertise. Whenever Brazosport College came up on the caller ID, I knew a few things: 1. It was Becki calling. 2. We would be on the phone talking for a while. 3. She was always quick to ask how I was doing and how my family was…she REALLY cared.

    Becki was also very instrumental in GPA forming an online community to help assist former members of CRD (after their association dissolved). And because of her encouragement, we now have GrantZone.

    She will be truly missed as one of my favorite members as well as an inspiration in this profession. Rest well Becki.

  4. Teri Blandon March 10, 2017 at 2:49 pm #

    Becki was warm and generous – with her knowledge, her feedback and her encouragement. When I first thought that I’d like to write a blog for Grants & Foundation Review, she was confident that I could do it – and had the patience to help me be success at it. Whenever I had writer’s block, she was there with just the right suggestion for a topic. No matter how busy she was, she always had the time for a friend or colleague. And she had courage – so many of her own article spoke truth to power, calling attention to something that we all knew was screwed up but didn’t have the guts to say.

    There’s a hole in my heart today. But there iare also memories of Becki that make me smile – and give me just a bit of courage too. Rest easy, Becki. And thank you.

  5. Judy Estes March 10, 2017 at 4:21 pm #

    Wow, this is sad news for her and her family and friends and colleagues. A very talented, smart lady, that much was evident. Her articles were some of the few that I took the time to read; they were that good. RIP Becki.

  6. Linda Lysakowski March 10, 2017 at 6:59 pm #

    Becki will be missed, I know she is in a better place now, but it still saddens family and friends to lose someone. She fought the good fight and I know having friends and family suppprting her helped her through the hard times, RIP, Becki

  7. Margaret L Masar March 10, 2017 at 9:37 pm #

    I am sorry to hear of her passing. I didn’t know Becki but I made a point of reading her articles. She always had good advice.

  8. Susy Lacer March 10, 2017 at 11:03 pm #

    I am so sorry to hear this news. Becki was an amazing, effective advocate for the grants profession; generous in sharing her expertise and experience. She will be missed.

  9. Katerina St Claire March 12, 2017 at 5:36 pm #

    I’m so sorry to hear this too. Becki was such an inspiration to all college funders when it came to finding the right match. She always gave great advice and her heart always shined through.
    I’m so sorry this news. Sending many loving thoughts and prayers to her family and friends.
    Kat

  10. Amanda Day March 13, 2017 at 10:38 am #

    I met Becki through her role with Charity Channel. She was definitely a force to be reckoned with, and I so admired that about her. Her passing is a huge loss for the grant community. My condolences to her family and friends.

  11. Martha Symes March 13, 2017 at 2:48 pm #

    While I never had the pleasure of meeting Becki in person, I have “known” her for years through Charity Channel. She was truly a remarkable person and her loss leave a great void in the grant world.

  12. Leslie VanHoy March 14, 2017 at 5:35 pm #

    What a loss for the profession and the world. I had the pleasure of meeting Becki through the Council for Resource Development. She was always generous with her expertise and encouragement through our listserv and conferences.

    Grateful for her contributions to my career,
    Leslie

  13. Stacie Marsh March 14, 2017 at 5:57 pm #

    I am shocked and saddened to hear of Becki’s passing. She was always so kind, patient, generous, friendly, and much more. She will be deeply missed.

  14. Diana Mann March 21, 2017 at 4:32 pm #

    Whenever I saw one of her articles posted I would think to myself, “Oh, goody! I wonder what she has to say.” I am so sad to hear that such a true grants professional and a truly cool person has passed. The world seems a bit dimmer today.

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