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One of the past decade’s most salient trends in American grantsmanship is an ongoing effort to elevate, standardize, and formalize the training and professional status of grant writers. Among the organizations at its forefront are the American Grant Writers’ Association and the Grant Professionals Association.

Note: This post was revised for 2018, as well as for each intervening year since 2012.


American Grant Writers’ Association:

The American Grant Writers’ Association (AGWA) was founded in 2002. AGWA individual membership is $50 for one year, $95 for two years, or $135 for three years. Its website is AGWA advances professionalization through professional standards and code of ethics and access to professional liability insurance (E&O). It offers networking resources such as a two-day annual grant conference, a listing in a networking membership roster for certified grant writer consultants, and a members-only portal. In addition, AGWA offers continuous education-related services such as three online courses, a one-day grant consulting workshop, a four-day grant researching and proposal writing workshop, a six-book bookstore, a members-only newsletter, and the Certified Grant Writer® (CGW) Exam, which is its credentialing exam. It features employment-related services such as information about how to hire a grant writer and making members’ resumes available to prospective employers.


Grant Professionals Association:

The Grant Professionals Association (GPA), formerly American Association of Grant Professionals (AAGP), was founded in 1998. GPA regular individual membership is $189/year; other types of membership are available. Its website is It offers a Consultant Mentoring Program and publishes both an online newsletter and a semi-annual journal with limited public access to its contents. Its networking resources include a four-day annual conference, an extensive bookstore, and 30 or more webinars held in a year. The GPA advances professionalization through a Grant Professional Certification (GPC) program conducted through the Grant Professionals Certification Institute™ (GPCI). Its employment-related services include a Job Center with a searchable job postings database and a consultants listing for firms seeking to retain a grant-writing consultant.



The professionalization of grant writing doesn’t come cheaply. The GPA’s regular individual membership fee of $189 is 275% more costly than AGWA’s $50 fee. Its $575 regular conference registration is more than twice as costly than AGWA’s $269 regular conference registration. However, AGWA’s regular fee ($799) for its one-day exam review plus its credential exam (CGW) is virtually twice as costly as GPA’s regular credential exam (GPC) is for members ($400).



Discussion of the existence of the AGWA and the GPA is intended for informational purposes only. Endorsement or sanction of either association is neither intended nor implied.



  1. The fee for AGWA is incorrect. $799 gets you the 4 day course, plus review, plus the exam.

    • You may note that the date of this post was March 28, 2012. The fee was taken from the AGWA website at that time. It may have changed since then. If so, thanks for the heads up.

  2. Hello Im Garret and I am the CEO of Sneaky pete Mafia and we are a billiards based publication and in need of immediate funding. Please contact me when you can.

    • The best recourse for a business is likely to be the Small Business Administration, not as grants but as business loans. Local Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) offices can help (at low cost) with business plans and related matters.

  3. I want to sign up.

    • The best way to sign up is to to select which option works for you and then go one of the association’s websites and do it. Earning a grant writing credential often proves useful for marketing one’s services as a grant writer.

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