With Thanksgiving just over a week away, I find myself taking a few minutes to reflect on the nonprofits that provide services to those individuals in our community who need support. These organizations have diligently served our community through challenging times, some for many years. Their steadfast service and that of their talented staff, uplift our communities. While there are so many amazing organizations I could highlight, I am especially grateful for the following organizations…

Do you find yourself coming away from Grant Professionals Association (GPA) National Conference with new tips and tricks you want to explore or apply to your work? Did you attend a session that made you realize you wanted to know more about this topic? This morning, as I reflected on the past week, I found myself inspired by the knowledge and generosity shared in our professional community and a little lost as to what steps to take next. It’s the perfect time to reflect on the past year and ponder what you want out of the coming one. Let’s start with a general understanding of why professional development is more than a great trip to bourbon country, look at resources to help guide your path, and create tangible steps for you to grow with purpose in 2023.

As a first-time attendee at National Conference, I wanted to be a little more prepared than a booked flight and hotel reservation. It might be the grant professional in me, but I like to know what I’m walking into and have a plan. I talked with colleagues who have been to the conference a time or two and came up with some tips and advice to share to help you get the most out of our conference experience.

October brings many wonderful things – cooler weather, changing landscape palettes, and the sound of grant professionals cheering when they receive notice of awards for federal grants. If you recently received an award, go ahead and pat yourself on the back for your hard work and dedication to ensuring the proposal was top-notch – you did it! Many of us focus on the details of project design and pulling together the long list of attachments but might not be well versed in what to do after an award is announced. Don’t worry – here are a few guidelines and resources to have you prepared faster than you can say “pumpkin spice latte.”

Taking the Grant Professional Certified (GPC) exam can be a scary thought for many. Bad memories of past standardized test experiences, fear of failure, not knowing where to start, or lack of time may be reasons that are holding you back from taking the GPC exam. Earlier this year, I was in your shoes, because I took the GPC exam in July 2022. Let me help turn the big scary beast-the GPC exam-into a nice friendly teddy bear, figuratively at least.

Winning Wednesday! The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Mental Health Services recently announced awards for the fiscal year 2022 Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC) Planning, Development, and Implementation grants. The purpose for this program is to help transform community behavioral health systems and provide comprehensive, coordinated behavioral health systems by establishing new CCBHC programs. Assel Grant Services (AGS) worked with multiple client teams to prepare eight applications. As they say, you reap what you sow, and AGS’s busy spring alongside exceptional clients created the perfect environment for success. Of the programs awarded, AGS assisted six of these organizations with applications that received $19,786,522 in funding over four years. In addition, $2,952,874 was awarded on the Missouri side of Kansas City to address community crisis response. We are thrilled to see what these organizations will accomplish for our community in the coming years!

Kansas City University (KCU) recently received a grant for $1,478,351 from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to support project ENRICH (Educational Navigation for Rural and Interprofessional Community Health). The project’s aim is to improve the oral health of people in vulnerable, underserved, and rural communities by graduating primary care clinicians (dentists and primary care physicians) who can deliver dental services. Project outcomes include recruiting, matriculating, and graduating primary care dentists who themselves represent populations historically underserved, and who will deliver patient-centered dental care in rural and underserved communities.

National Endowment for the Humanities – Public Humanities Projects Attention humanities professionals! The National Endowment for Humanities (NEH) recently opened applications for the Public Humanities Projects program to bring ideas and insights of the humanities to life for general audiences. The NEH seeks projects that engage humanities scholarship to analyze significant themes in history, literature, ethics, and art history. Projects may include in-person, hybrid, or virtual programming. Applications for this program are due January 11, 2023.

Kansas City Actors Theatre, Inc. (KCAT) was recently awarded a $14,603 grant from the Missouri Arts Council (MAC) to support their 18th production season. KCAT’s mainstage shows in the coming season will continue to be produced at the City Stage in historic Union Station. This season, Kansas City Actors Theatre will be operating a 5-show season for the first time. In Season 18 (April 2022 – March 2023), KCAT will produce five live, in-person productions. The Season 18 lineup continues to speak to the guiding principles of classic and contemporary-classic theatre produced by the best local theatrical artists.