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One enduring trait of the evolution of American grantsmanship in the 2010s is the continuing effort to elevate, standardize, and formalize the training and professional status of its practitioners. Among the organizations leading it are the American Grant Writers’ Association and the Grant Professionals Association.


American Grant Writers’ Association:

The American Grant Writers’ Association (AGWA) was founded in 2002. AGWA individual membership is $79 for one year, $150 for two years, or $220 for three years. Business memberships are available for $129 for one year, $250 for two years, or $370 for three years. The website is


AGWA advances professionalization through professional standards and a 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 six online courses, a four-day grant researching and proposal writing workshop, a four-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’ résumés 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 $199/year; other types of membership are available. Chapter dues are additional. Its website is


GPA offers a Consultant Mentoring Program and publishes both an online newsletter and a peer-reviewed journal with limited public access to its contents. Its networking resources include a three-day annual conference, an extensive bookstore, and access to 60 webinars. 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 $199 is 251% more costly than AGWA’s $79 regular individual membership fee. Its $575 regular member conference registration costs more than twice what AGWA’s $229 regular member conference registration costs. Finally, the cost of GPA’s regular credential exam (GPC) for members ($539) is slightly more than AGWA’s regular fee ($499) for members for its one-day exam review plus its credential exam (CGW).



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. I highly recommend the Grant Professionals Association. They offer the GPC certification through their Grant Professionals Certification Institute and fantastic networking and educationals opportunites!

    Micki Vandeloo, GPC, Lakeview Consulting (

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