GPA Response to “Build Your Grantwriting Credentials and Boost Your Income”
The recent article in TrendTrack by Diana Holder titled “Build Your Grantwriting Credentials and Boost Your Income” portends to address how an individual in the grants field can improve their status through professional development and credentialing. The article references two sources for salary data, payscale.com and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). The payscale.com datais based on questionnaire responses from 576 individuals and it is unclear who received the questionnaire and what their level of expertise or training may be relative to the grants profession. The 2016 AFP Compensation and Benefits Reportcovers the entire field of fundraising and according to the report less than 5% of respondents listed their primary responsibility as either “Corporate/Foundation Relations” or “Proposal Development” in the survey, which are typical areas reflecting grant professionals.
The Grant Professionals Association (GPA), https://www.grantprofessionals.org, has conducted a Salary and Benefits survey of grant professionals for 11 years. The 2017 GPA Salary and Benefits surveycollected information from 375 individuals who work as grant professionals. The average salary for full-time employed grant professionals is $63,630 according to the survey data. The GPA survey data supports the conclusion that years of experience positively impact earnings. It is also true that formal education (bachelor’s degree or master’s degree) positively impacts salary for employed professionals.
The article continues that one of the best ways to improve earnings for grant professionals is to get certified. However, the author points to a certificate of completion for completing a basic course on grant proposal development as a way to get certified. This perpetuates the false notion that completing a course of study is the same thing as a professional credential. The Grant Professionals Certification Institute (GPCI), http://www.grantcredential.org, oversees the Grant Professional Certified SM (GPC SM) credential, which is an objective measure of the level of experience and expertise in the profession as defined by the profession as a whole. This is the only competency based credential for those who research grants, prepare grant proposals, and manage post-award grant funds. According to the GPA salary survey, GPC credentialed grant professionals make an average of $11,316 (17.7%) more per year than their non-credentialed colleagues. More than 50% of respondents indicated that their income was higher after obtaining their GPC certification.
I have never taken the CFRE exam but I know people who have received this credential. From what I have heard, the CFRE is more focused on general fund development and has a small emphasis on grants. The GPC, however, is entirely focused on grants. It emphasizes everything on the grant spectrum from prospect research to federal guidelines to proposal development to foundation relations to grant management. In my opinion, the GPC is THE certification to have for those specializing in grants and the GPA salary survey supports that the credential leads to increased earnings for grant professionals.
The Grant Professionals Association (GPA) is an international membership association for everyone in the grants industry. GPA and its affiliates work to advance the profession, certify professionals, and fund professionalism. GPA offers continuing professional development through local chapter meetings, regular webinars, the GPA Journal, and an annual conference. The Grant Professionals Certification Institute oversees the GPC credential based on a body of knowledge for the profession. The Grant Professionals Foundation provides scholarships to individuals to advance their career in the grants profession. Find out more at http://www.GrantProfessionals.org.
Share this article
Want to keep up with the latest at GrantStation?
Sign up for our free weekly newsletter, the GrantStation Insider.