ALA First-Timer: Practical Professional Development

Program teaches tips on crafting a successful grant proposal

July 1, 2014

Sharon Skinner, national president of the nonprofit Grant Professionals Association (GPA), presented tips for writing a successful grant proposal at a June 29 program at ALA Annual Conference. Skinner’s advice provided skillful guidance for any grant-writing novice. For experienced writers, she offered reminders and tools to get at the heart of any proposal.

These skills are especially relevant today, as library budgets diminish and many of us form partnerships to provide services, programming, tools, and equipment for our users. Skinner discussed these partnerships during her introduction, telling attendees that this type of team approach is a smart way to tackle new library initiatives. Why not leverage community partnerships for increased success in the grant-writing arena as well?

Skinner suggested that librarians and potential grant writers join forces to serve on grant-review teams and become certified in grant writing. The experience of evaluating grants—learning about scoring rubrics and guidelines—would only strengthen the skills required for writing your own proposals, she said.

For more information about certification and grantsmanship as a profession, visit GPA’s website.

JENNIFER WHITLEY is media coordinator at Tanglewood Elementary School in Lumberton, North Carolina.

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