Join us at the Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center for Cheryl Kester’s Keynote address, “Fundamentals of Being a Grant Professional in Changing Times,” a Funders Panel that will focus on “How the Principles of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are Impacting the Philanthropic Landscape,” and afternoon breakout sessions geared toward early as well as mid-advanced career level grant professionals. Concurrent Session Topics include:

  • Basics of Program Budgeting: the Grant Professional’s Role
  • Writing to Win Federal Grants When Everything is Changing
  • Dissecting the Grant Agreement: Legal Aspects of Grant-Seeking and Management
  • All Systems Go! Preparing Your Organization for Successful Grant Management

Chicago Area GPA chapter members and AFP members: $90 early bird (April 15); $125 (thereafter)-must use provided promo code Non-chapter members: $115 early bird (April 15); $150 (thereafter).

  • Friday, April 29 (in person, all-day conference)
    Registration is now open! For details, click here.
  • For Conference Schedule and Concurrent Session Descriptions click here.
  • For Full Program Book click here

Attendance at this all day event qualifies for four (4) education points for CFREs and GPCs

Upcoming Events

GPA Chicago hosts 4 events per year that are open to the public, plus members-only lunch and learn networking sessions. Here are the event dates for 2022.

  • Thursday, September 22 (virtual lunchtime meeting)
  • Thursday, December 8 (virtual lunchtime meeting)

For the latest news on topics, guest speakers and registration, follow our LinkedIn page or check out the Grant Professionals Association’s event calendar.

To join our mailing list and receive event invitations, please email a request to

Click here to read our cancellation policy.


Past Events

  • Thursday, February 10 (virtual lunchtime meeting)

December 9, 2021: (in-person) Holiday Social

Thursday, September 16

The Costs of Realizing Your Nonprofit Mission

presented by Alicia Schatteman, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Nonprofit and NGO Studies

alicia 2018

GPA Chicago’s September program was held virtually. The Costs of Realizing Your Nonprofit Mission focused on the role of charity watchdogs and the media, how nonprofits are responding to scrutiny, and a path forward requiring donor education, advocacy, and boldness to talk about true costs of service delivery including fundraising.

logo GS Conference


Our keynote speaker, Michelle Muri, shared her work with Community Centric Fundraising and the movement to evolve how fundraising is done in the nonprofit sector.

The program included a keynote, funder panel and two breakout sessions.


Thursday, February 18

Ethics for Grant Professionals

presented by Kathi Badertscher, PhD, Director of Graduate Programs at the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy


GPA Chicago’s first program of 2021 was held virtually. Weaving Ethics Into Your Work as a Grant Professional focused on the strong code of ethics grant professionals must follow and adhere to.

GPA Chicago Members : $10

Non-Members: $15

GPA Chicago Lunch and Learn series


Our Lunch and Learn series began in 2020 and is offered exclusively to GPA Chicago members as a membership benefit. Each program in the series will begin with a 15-minute lead discussion and a presentation followed by 15 minutes of topic-related Q&A. Serving as a way to build a social space for our grants community, this series can be especially helpful for single staff grant departments.

2021 Lunch and Learn topics and  speakers


GPA Chicago Book Club

with Peggy Reins, GPA Chicago Board Member

On October 14, GPA Chicago members participated in our first Book Club. Peggy Reins, GPA Chicago Board Member, facilitated a discussion of Edgar Villanueva’s book, Decolonizing Wealth: Indigenous Wisdom to Heal Divides and Restore Balance. 


Making Meetings Productive

with Amy Chmura, CFRE, PMP

On August 12, GPA Chicago members discussed techniques and steps to make meetings inspiring, meaningful and productive rather than leaving the whole room wishing they were somewhere else.


Earning a Professional Certification

with Fran Hackler, CAE, CFRE

On July 8, GPA Chicago members enjoyed learning how a professional certification can add value to their career trajectory and resume. Participants received a brief overview of some popular certifications held by grant professionals, specifically the CFRE, GPC, PMP and CAE. The discussion also explored tips on how to pay for applications and study for exams.


Lessons Learned at GRANT SUCCESS 2021

with Maureen Stabile, GPC

On May 13, members discussed how to apply lessons learned at the recently held GRANT SUCCESS conference on topics including: community-centric fundraising, storytelling, grant readiness, and foundation relations.