Advancing Nonprofit Capacity

Goodbye, Becki Shawver

Today’s post comes on a sad note. The grants profession and many colleagues lost a wonderful friend and professional. Our sympathy to Becki Shawver’s family and all who knew her. We are re-posting this tribute to Becki from Stephen Nill to his CharityChannel colleagues.
By Stephen Nill
Dear CharityChannel colleagues:
I am saddened to report the passing yesterday of Rebecca Vermillion Shawver, editor of CharityChannel’s Grants and Foundations Review and contributor of a trove of tell-it-like-it-is articles on grantsmanship. Becki had been bravely battling brain cancer.
If you are a grant writer, chances are you had come to know Becki through her no-holds-barred articles she began writing for CharityChannel in 2004. She was one of the rare practitioners who was willing to share what it was really like working as a grant writer – sometimes so frank that we had to think about whether we could even publish a few of them. But publish them we did, and we are all better for it.
Because of Becki’s willingness to be so forthcoming, countless grant writers have become better at their craft. I will continue to recommend her articles to new and experienced grants professionals. They will remain relevant for many years to come.
Becki became editor of Grants and Foundation Review in 2009, succeeding Michael Wells in that position. Although her commitment was for just one year, she performed this volunteer role with dedication and skill until illness prevented her from continuing.
On a personal note, I shall miss my weekly telephone chats with Becki, where she would discuss the challenges of being a grant writer in a community college development office and knock around article ideas, using sometimes painful real-world examples as her springboard. It was in one of these chats when I first learned that Becki was a dedicated volunteer working with the AFS Intercultural Programs. She and her husband, Stephen (“my Stephen,” she would say, since my name is also Stephen), hosted twenty-two exchange students over more than a quarter century, becoming their American mom and dad. The outpouring from these students on Facebook, still pouring in following news of Becki’s passing, shows just how much of an impact she has made on the lives of so many of these young people.
Becki was the Director of Grant Administration at Brazosport College. Her duties included assisting college administrators, faculty and staff members in the development of federal, state, corporate and private foundation grant applications; developing the conceptual aspects of proposals through the proposal review process and the analysis of statistical data; developing proposal budgets and determining personnel, equipment, and other costs to be charged to funding agencies; researching funding opportunities; conducting proposal writing and other grant-related workshops for college personnel; assisting project directors in monitoring funded proposals; and publishing a grant blog.
She was an active member of the Grant Professionals Association and had earned her GPC credential. Additionally, she was a member of the Council for Resource Development (CRD) for community college fund development professionals. She was a past CRD Director for Region VI and a past member of the CRD National Board. She had presented numerous workshops at multiple regional and national CRD conferences.
Becki was a native-born Hoosier and was the author of What Funders Want: Developing Evaluation Plans to Support Your K-12 Grant Applications (LRP Publications).
If you would like to share a thought, please feel free to share in the Comments section at (scroll to the bottom of the page).
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