AGS’ Guide to GrantSummit: Kansas City by Kellie Brungard, GPC

Know Before You Go

This year, GrantSummit is bringing all the grant pros to our hometown, Kansas City, Missouri! Assel Grant Services (AGS) is based here in the Heartland Chapter with staff spanning Kansas to Virginia and from Ohio down to Kentucky. If this is your first time in Kansas City, keep reading for insider tips on restaurants and things to see.

I like to head into conference week with a grasp of the conference schedule, some sessions I would like to attend, and maybe a restaurant or two in mind to grab a meal with colleagues.

Prior to conference, you should have received an email invitation to the GrantSummit virtual platform. There is also an application for Apple and Google users. GPA has more information on these in the frequently asked questions section and a helpful YouTube video. The web- or app-based platforms allow you to register for sessions, join in attendee discussion channels, and check out the sponsor exhibits. In your downtime, peruse the Grant Professional Foundation’s Silent Auction. Funds raised will help the Grant Professional Foundation award scholarships to grant professionals attending GrantSummit, joining GPA, and getting their GPC credential. Get your bids in by 4:15 p.m. on Friday, November 3rd!

Explore Session Education Tracks

With 80+ sessions to choose from, looking through the offerings ahead of time will ensure you get the most out of your conference experience. GPA categorizes sessions into education tracks that align with your career path. Tracks include consulting, evaluation and collaboration, federal grants, grants management and budgets, proposal development and communications strategies, and prospect research and donor relations..

Some in-person sessions have capacity limits, so make sure to select a backup session in case your first choice is full. Rooms are first come, first seated; adding a session to your schedule in the app does not secure your seat but will show which courses are in high demand. Sessions are in-person, hybrid, and virtual; only online and hybrid sessions will be recorded and available to attendees for up to six months post-conference. GPA provides a continuing education tracker for GPCI and CFRE-approved courses.

Opportunities to Gather

Networking can sometimes feel daunting, especially if you attend by yourself or are a first-time attendee. There are several opportunities outside breakout sessions to get to know fellow grant professionals. Check out the welcome reception, morning walk/run group, and conference connect sessions for a low-stakes way to meet people. The networking lunches and exhibit hall can also be great for connecting. Several conversation threads are happening on the discussions tab of the conference app if you are looking for regional folks or want to engage with attendees virtually. Take advantage of how GPA has made it easy to meet fellow grant professionals!

Last but certainly not least, Assel Grant Services will be at the exhibitor’s hall. We have several staff attending the conference (and presenting!) this year and would enjoy the chance to introduce ourselves.

  • Human Library – ask an expert

Julie Assel

Thursday, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Come “Check Out” one of our grant professional experts! You will be given 15 minutes to pick the brain of said expert, then your time is up and the next person gets to pick the expert’s brain!

  • Pursuing Federal Grants: Understanding the Federal Budget Process

Julie Assel, GPA Approved Trainer and Julie Alsup, GPA Approved Trainer

Friday, 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

This presentation covers the federal budget process, how legislation influences funding opportunities, how to extract info from the budget, and congressionally directed spending.

  • The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Case Studies in Grant Management
    Whitney Gray, GPA Approved Trainer, and Julie Assel, GPA Approved Trainer,

Saturday, 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

A series of case studies that help grant professionals know how to practically and ethically handle situations when post-award grant management may involve unexpected challenges.

Get to Know Kansas City

This city has a lot to offer, from creative arts to die-hard sports; there is a plethora to see and do during downtime at GrantSummit. Staff recommendations include the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art and the National WWI Museum and Memorial for a bit of culture, the Green Lady Lounge and American Jazz Museum’s Blue Room for evening music, the Country Club Plaza neighborhood for shopping and restaurants, and of course, Boulevard Brewing Co. for Kansas City’s iconic brew. If you are looking for dinner recommendations, we have the Blue Nile Café for Ethopian cuisuine, Garozzo’s for classic Italian, Lulu’s Thai Noodle Shop for gluten-friendly Thai food, and Jack Stack BBQ for another Kansas City-style barbeque. If you are in the mood for something sweet, check out the Golden Scoop for ice cream with a purpose.

Last but certainly not least, Kansas City celebrates “Red Friday” as home of the Superbowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs, and Friday you may notice everyone around town donning Chief’s gear from head to toe.

This BLOG is aligned with the Grant Professional Certification Institute’s Competencies and Skills

Competency #7: Knowledge of practices and services that raise the level of professionalism of grant developers

Skill 7.1: Identify advantages of participating in continuing education and various grant review processes

Skill 7.2: Identify advantages of participating in professional organizations that offer grant developers growth opportunities and advance the profession