When perusing advertisements in which potential clients are looking for contract grant writers, I've started to see requests for certification through the American Grant Writer's Association.
1) Is this group legit? 2) Is the certification "worth it?" I'd love to hear more from others!
-- Linda Harvey-Yates
Linda - hopefully I can provide some information in regards to certification. There are a few grant certifications and credentials out there and I recommend doing some research in addition to asking on here. I'll only speak from my experience with my credential.
I earned the Grant Professional Certified (GPC) from the Grant Professionals Certification Institute in 2008 and now serve on their board. You can read more at www.grantcredential.org. One of the best pages (http://www.grantcredential.org/why-certify/certification-vs-certifi...) is the one on the difference between certifications, certificates and credentials. The GPC exam was a challenge and not everyone passes but it is very much a generalist exam and we have over 300 GPC's around the country. GPCI endured a psychometrically sound test development process with the University of South Florida that demonstrates passing validity and reliability standards as determined by psychometric experts.
I personally have been able to secure more clients with my GPC so it has been worth it to me. I am familiar with AGWA but have not done their process, only GPCI's. Hopefully folks who have been more involved with AGWA can give you some feedback on your specific question.
Hope that is helpful. Feel free to email if you have other questions.
Ericka Harney, CFRE, GPC, CVA
Based on information and feedback from another woman who was interested in entering the grant writing field (and who is local to me), the AGWA's conference-style coursework is helpful but a bit overwhelming to process all at once, and obtaining the "credential" here is much like earning a "certificate" at the local community college. You complete the multi-day course, take the test at the end, and then you are "certified". The GPC certification offered by the Grant Professionals Certification Institute is far more robust in nature, taking into account your education, experience, and contributions to the field. So whether it's worth it may depend on which credential you feel has professional merit. As for companies requesting the "certification" from AGWA, I would question whether or not they understand what it truly represents.
If you'd like to learn more, there's an AGWA group on LinkedIn. The members there could provide some additional insight.