“To raise our own level of professionalism, as individuals we MUST read, attend conferences, read, participate in webinars, read, and—perhaps most importantly—mentor the next generation of nonprofit professionals. – Heather Stombaugh, GPC
Heather Stombaugh, GPC, and guest on #grantchat as we discussed Professionalism for Grant Pros, recently wrote a post about the GPC Competency related to Professional Development. You can read her full post here. Heather was right on point that it is an obligation to continue to improve our own personal level of professionalism.
As we discussed professionalism and the different approaches that the #grantchat community members take to improving their own professional development, it was interesting to hear what types of networks and learning opportunities the group prefers to participate in or belong to. The discussions with #grantchat -ters also highlighted the fact that the Grant Professionals Association National Conference (#gpaconf14) is only a little more than a month away.
There are numerous professional organizations that grant professionals belong to depending on their roles from the Grant Professionals Association to the Association of Fundraising Professionals to the Grant Managers Network. The conferences that these organizations provide are a wonderful opportunity to network with other grant professionals, share lessons learned, and consider trends in the field.
The agenda for this year’s Grant Professionals Association National Conference and featured speakers, including David Schoultz of the Gates Foundation is going to provide wonderful opportunities for professional learning and dialogue. The challenge for the results of the professional learning and dialogue that happen at conferences such as the Grant Professinals Association is to take all of the excitement and new ideas from the conference and put them in to practice within your own work. Too often, the notes from conference participation grow dusty in the weeks following the conference.
While making time in our calendar as grant professionals for focusing on improving the professionalism of our field and continuously increasing our knowledge and skills, I encourage you to also consider that you need to schedule time on your calendar for adapting and integrating the lessons learned in to your day to day work.