GPA/WVDO Grants Conference 2018 Schedule

Date/Time: Friday, Sept 28, 2018  7:45am – 3:30pm

Location: University Place Hotel - 310 SW Lincoln Street, Portland

Hosts/Organizers: WVDO and Grant Professionals Association of Oregon & SW Washington

Sponsors: Portland State University Foundation, Metro Presort, Grant Professionals Certification Institute, and Grant Professionals Association - International Headquarters

Theme: Building Equity and Impact through Foundation Funding


7:45 – 8:15am Registration & breakfast

8:15 - 9:15am   5-minute Welcome, & Keynote (Hanif Fazal, Center for Equity and Inclusion)

9:15 - 9:30am  Break

9:30 - 10:30am   Workshops (3)

10:30 - 10:45am   Break

10:45 -12:15  Funder Panel

12:15 - 1:45  Lunch (door prizes, Lifetime achievement award, GPA/OCF Equity Impact Grant Award)

1:45-2:00  Break

2:00 - 3:15  Workshops (3)

3:15 - 3:30  Lessons Learned

3:30 – 4:30  Connecting with Colleagues Happy Hour Event (Optional)


What does it take to advance equity and inclusion across an organization landscape?  What does real transformation require of leaders, organizations and partners? What is the role of funders in supporting meaningful efforts in advancing equity and inclusion? After working with a cohort of funders and over 50 organizations to explore these questions, the Center for Equity and Inclusion is finding answers; and a roadmap for advancing equity and inclusion.  Hanif Fazal, CEO of CEI, will share some of what CEI’s discovered and invites you to join him on this learning journey.

Funder Panel 

Grant makers will share how they are incorporating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) into their internal practices as well as their grant-making.  We’ll also hear what they look for in a DEI-focused proposal and their thoughts on the growing DEI focus among foundations.

Funders: Erin Dysart, Meyer Memorial Trust; Lizzie Martinez, MRG Foundation; Max Gimbel, The Ford Family Foundation; Kregg Arntson, PGE Foundation; Karen Kervin, US Bank

Facilitator: Rut Martínez-Alicea, Oregon Food Bank



What Funders See “Between the Lines”: Creating Budgets That Tell Compelling Stories

If you’re like most grantwriters, crafting the budget for proposals is your least favorite section. In this highly interactive session, you’ll find out how easy it can be to shape budgets that help funders value and embrace your work.  You’ll leave with a deeper understanding of what your financials say about your organization, and how you can help leaders align your budget with your priorities. Crater Lake 

Presented by Susan Howlett, author of Getting Funded: the Complete Guide to Writing Grant Proposals. Organized by Darcie Spar, Oregon Food Bank.


Writing Great Grant Applications

Tips on writing successful grant applications. In this hands-on workshop, you will learn best practices and then give feedback on proposal text in small groups. We’ll also share text from proposals submitted for the OCF-funded grant given out at this conference. Our grant review team will share strengths and areas for improvement that they observed in the applications, and you’ll have time for comments and questions. The actual grant award will be announced later in the day! Astoria

Presented by Theo Simmons, Portland State University Foundation; Arthur Davis, freelance grant writer and PCC instructor


You're a Grantwriter! Now What?

What job opportunities are out there in the grants world and how can you further your career?  Hear from experienced grant professionals about their career path, what skills they found useful, and what they wish they had known when they started out. Coos Bay 

Panelists: Kassie Clarke, Grant Expectations; Michael Paul, Providence Health & Services; Melinda Stoops, Concordia University. Facilitated by Kris Ashley, Belvedere Editorial & Research.


Fostering Relationships with Grant Funders

Learn how to communicate effectively and build relationships with grant-makers.  What are the do’s and don’ts of starting and maintaining a partnership with your funders?  How do you understand what the funder is REALLY saying? And what and how often should you communicate with them? Grant makers and grant recipients will share firsthand experiences and lessons learned in relationship building and management. Crater Lake

Panelists: Carly Brown, Oregon Community Foundation; Ingrid Carlson, Regional Arts and Culture Council; Vanessa L. Briseño, Catholic Charities. Facilitated by Maryn Boess, GrantsMagic U. 


Creating Measurable Outputs and Outcomes

Chari Smith from Evaluation Into Action will share a process for creating measurable outputs and outcomes that can be applied to a wide variety of projects. Then we’ll discuss evaluation of DEI-related projects. Astoria

Presented by Chari Smith, professional evaluator. Organized by Jessica Yen, JHY Communications.

Developing Authentic and Sustainable Partnerships

Hear from pairs of nonprofits that have successfully built and maintained ongoing partnerships, including their experiences applying for grants to support their collaborative work. Coos Bay.   

Panelists: Kat Kelley, Catholic Charities; Judy Strand, Metropolitan Family Services; Lee Po Cha, IRCO. Facilitated by Tim Hecox, OMSI/Oregon Museums Association

Speaker Bios

Hanif Fazal

A nationally recognized facilitator, trainer, speaker and organizational development consultant, Hanif Fazal brings 20 years of experience, expertise, and commitment to advancing equity and cultural competency. In 2015 he founded the Center for Equity and Inclusion (CEI), an organization focused on advancing equity, diversity and inclusion efforts both locally and nationally. Under Hanif’s leadership, CEI has worked with leaders and staff in the nonprofit, for-profit, education, foundation and public sectors to integrate equity and inclusion principles and practices into all aspects of their organizations. Prior to forming CEI, Hanif co-founded Heart of Facilitation, a national facilitation training program for educators, social workers, and youth professionals. Additionally he co-founded the CEI Equity Certificate Program, a collaborative education initiative providing intensive professional development focused on equity and inclusion to educators across multiple school districts. A prolific speaker and trainer, Hanif has presented numerous times for conferences and groups locally and nationally. Most recently he has spoken at the Gates Foundation & Philanthropy NW's regional conference, been a two-time presenter at Courageous Conversations National Summit on Race, and was a speaker at at SXSW and PGE Conference on Diversity.

Susan Howlett   

Susan has been raising money joyfully for over 40 years, as a board member, development director, executive director, and – for the last 25 years – as a consultant to thousands of nonprofits across the U.S.   Core faculty in the University of Washington’s year-long Fundraising Program, Susan has also led the Puget Sound Grantwriters Association as a staff person and board member for over 25 years.  Her book, Getting Funded: The Complete Guide to Writing Grant Proposals, has been the most widely used grantwriting text in the country for over 40 years, and her book, Boards on Fire: Inspiring Leaders to Raise Money Joyfully, has been strengthening nonprofits since 2010.  Susan speaks, trains and consults nationally, known for her practical solutions and her liberal use of humor, stories, and chocolate.

Lee Po Cha, MBA 

Lee is Executive Director of The Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO). A tireless advocate, Lee provides a voice for Oregon's increasingly diverse communities through his service on numerous commissions and boards, including the Governor's Commission on Senior Services, co-chair of the New Portlander Policy Council, the Home for Everyone Board, past president of the All Hands Raised Board, and co-founder of the Coalition of Communities of Color. A former Hmong refugee from Laos, Lee came to Oregon in 1978 and received his MBA from Marylhurst University. He embodies the vision of IRCO as an organization committed to helping each immigrant and refugee family achieve their full potential in their new home.

Judy Strand, LCSW 

Judy is the CEO at Metropolitan Family Service, a private nonprofit that helps 10,000+ community members move past the limitations of poverty, inequity and social isolation. She joined MFS in 2005 as Chief Operating Officer, bringing 25 years of social work experience in nonprofits, and became CEO in 2012. Judy is active in local, state and national efforts to advance the MFS mission. Judy serves on: the Oregon Governor’s Commission on Senior Services; the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities CEO Council; the All Hands Raised Partnership Council, the Leadership Team of Successful Families 2020 and is an Oregon American Leadership Fellow.

Rut Martínez-Alicea   

Rut  joined Oregon Food Bank in July 2018 as the Director of Equity, People and Culture. Her professional career has been dedicated to understanding and dismantling systems of oppression with a focus on the intersection of racism and sexism. She has worked at emergency shelters, outreach programs, hotlines, facilitated support groups and provided training to volunteers and staff in the Portland area in addressing the intervention and prevention of domestic and sexual violence within the Spanish-speaking Latino community in the Portland Metro area.  Through more than 20 years in the field and in various roles in non-profits such as Catholic Charities; education (Portland Community College), and as an independent consultant, Rut remains focused on dismantling the systems of social inequities.

Ingrid Carlson   

As a Grants Officer with the Regional Arts & Culture Council serving the Portland tri-county region, Ingrid Carlson works with the community to successfully interact with RACC grant programs, which provide resources to artists, arts organizations, and artistic projects that advance access to a wide range of arts and culture and promote RACC’s core values. In her work, she develops and administers grant program guidelines, applications, and policy, while supporting applicants through the process and looking to the development of the Portland area arts ecology.

Vanessa L. Briseño   

Vanessa is the Director of Grants & Partnership Development at Catholic Charities of Oregon. She was previously Director of Development for The Los Angeles Trust for Children's Health, Grants & Operations Manager for  211 California - United Ways of California, and a Program Officer at the Annenberg Foundation.

Maryn Boess 

Over her 25+-year nonprofit career, Maryn Boess has been an on-staff grantwriter; a grants consultant (winning $42 million for her clients over 10 years); a grants trainer; a grants reviewer, author, speaker, mentor and coach; and – since 2006 - even a grantmaker. This 3-D background brings a unique insider's perspective to the practical, inspiring trainings on healthy, successful grantsmanship she shares with thousands of people each year through GrantsMagic U ( A true dual-citizen of the grants world, Maryn may be the only person holding membership in both Grant Professionals Association (for grantseekers) -  and Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (for grantmakers).

Tim Hecox 

Tim Hecox is Federal Grants Coordinator at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) and Board Chair of Oregon Museums Association (OMA). Throughout Tim’s 10 years at OMSI he has worked on a wide-variety of federally funded projects supported by the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Outside of OMSI and OMA, Tim is an active participant with the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) Diversity Committee (DIVCOM) and Association for Science-Technologies Center’s (ASTC) Advocates for Diversity Community of Practice. Tim has a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources Planning and Interpretation from Humboldt State University.

Melinda Stoops, MA

Like most grant professionals, Melinda entered the world of proposal writing through the side door after completing an MA in Museum Studies at San Francisco State University and a BA in Art History at Eastern Washington University. Working in fundraising for the arts and higher education for the past decade has taught Melinda that there is an infinite number of good ideas and a finite amount of funding. Her job as Sponsored Projects and Grants Officer at Concordia University Portland is to work with creative, innovative people to make those good ideas great enough to win awards. As a learner, information hoarder, and relational problem solver, grants and research administration offer new, interesting challenges every day. Each proposal is an opportunity to meet needs in ways that are more equitable and inclusive, and each report shares the story of what is best about our community and the work we do together.

Michael V. Paul 

Michael is a Foundation Relations Director at the Providence Foundations of Oregon. At Providence, he operates regionally, supporting the fundraising efforts of 10 foundations that are attached to 10 hospitals and centers throughout the state. He has written grants for the past five years, and in another life, was a Program Officer at a small foundation. Aside from work, Michael is an avid soccer-player, coffee-drinker, and reader of books.

Kat Kelley   

Kat is the Program Manager for El Programa Hispano-UNICA and for Catholic Charities’ Pope Francis Center for Social Justice. Kat is originally from rural Colorado and has lived in Oregon for 14 years.  She has been a social worker for 11 years and has been working with the Latino community for the last 5 years.  Kat has a particular passion for working with survivors of domestic and sexual violence as many, many of the people she loves are survivors.

Arthur Davis, MBA, GPC 

Arthur Davis is an experienced grant writer in the workforce development, human services, arts, and education sectors. Arthur learned grant writing while earning his MBA and Certificate in Nonprofit Management at Portland State University. He teaches grant writing at Portland Community College and has led grant writing workshops at Central Oregon Community College, Oregon Alliance of Children’s Programs, and Columbia County Cultural Coalition. Arthur serves as the conference planning and strategic relations coordinator for Grant Professionals Association of Oregon & SW Washington where he previously served for three years as board treasurer. Arthur holds a Grant Professionals Certification (GPC) Institute credential.

Chari Smith   

Chari Smith, founder of Evaluation into Action, believes program evaluation should be accessible, practical and usable. She provides evaluation services including design, data collection, analysis, reporting, and usage. She has taught several workshops helping nonprofit professionals understand the value and use of program evaluation.

Theo Simmons, MBA 

Theo is the Development Coordinator for Corporate and Foundation Relations, Portland State University Foundation. He is experienced in grant writing, grants management, and prospect research.

Max Gimbel 

Max joined the The Ford Family Foundation in May 2012, following five years as a facilitator and trainer for the Ford Institute Leadership Program throughout rural Oregon and Siskiyou County, Calif.  He is responsible for helping rural residents lead in building their community’s future by nurturing relationships, creating connections, building capacity and striving to model a community-building culture. He has a passion for inclusive, engaging and productive group processes, and aligning values with actions. Originally from the East Coast, Max holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in Spanish from the University of Oregon.

Lizzie Martinez

Lizzie is Incoming Board Chair for the MRG Foundation. She has been volunteering with MRG for the past five years. She works as the Director of Development and Marketing at Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon, a statewide anti-hunger nonprofit focused on policy and systems change. She first became interested in issues of social justice while volunteering in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Since then, she has dedicated her career to fundraising and communications for social justice nonprofits, from national service advocacy to Latino communities to housing. She also serves on the Board of Willamette Valley Development Officers where she co-leads a Fundraisers of Color affinity group.

Erin Dysart

Erin joined Meyer Memorial Trust in 2016 when the foundation launched its new strategic grantmaking approach. She is a member of Meyer’s Building Community portfolio team, which emphasizes systems change and funds equity-focused work in a number of fields across Oregon’s social sector. Erin’s connection to that sector began many years ago with an AmeriCorps stint in Clackamas County, followed by work with adjudicated youth there. She later managed scholarship programs for nonprofit international exchange organizations, including work on the U.S. State Department’s Fulbright Program, before shifting to philanthropy in order to support justice building efforts in her adopted home state.


Kassie Clarke 

Kassie founded Grant Expectations in 2011 to provide comprehensive grant and proposal writing, as well as implementation services for health, educational, and social service organizations. Throughout her career, Kassie has managed large federal and state grants/contracts, primarily focused on healthcare transformation and policy implementation. She has worked directly with providers, clinics, hospitals, emergency medical service (EMS) agencies and other healthcare stakeholders, analyzing new policies and creating programs that best fit their unique needs. She is an experienced writer who has drafted and monitored legislation and rule making at the state and federal level. Kassie developed several grant writing training series for basic and advanced writers and has trained over 600 individuals on how to write grants. Over the last 20 years, Kassie has secured and implemented over $100 million in grants and contracts for various organizations throughout the nation. Kassie is a certified paralegal and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in American History from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Kregg Arntson

Kregg manages Portland General Electric’s Corporate Social Responsibility department and serves as executive director of the PGE Foundation. Kregg oversees corporate and foundation grantmaking, corporate sponsorships, volunteer engagement, employee giving campaign and safety/energy education programs, as well as PGE’s sustainability initiatives and reporting. Kregg is a graduate of Boston University’s School of Management with a degree in business administration and finance. Among his many community volunteer activities, Kregg serves on the boards of Portland Opera and Grantmakers of Oregon and SW Washington. He served as chair of Regional Arts and Culture Council’s 2016/2017 Work for Art campaign. Currently, he’s a member of RACC’s Arts Education Committee and Creating Connections Pilot Team, an Oregon-led national arts research initiative.


Karen Kervin

Karen is the Northwest Region vice president and community relations manager for U.S. Bank.  She joined U.S. Bank in 2013 and currently leads the regional Community Possible program, developing relationships with and facilitating grant opportunities for nonprofits in the Greater Portland/SW Washington and Greater Puget Sound regions. Karen is Vice Chair and Board Trustee for the Portland Community College Foundation and recently accepted a governing board member leadership position with the Regional Arts & Culture Council’s Right Brain Initiative. She earned a B.A. in English from the University of Washington and a Graduate Certificate in Professional Communication from Portland State University.