Go Forward Pine Bluff (GFPB) has secured more than $11 million in public and private awards since it was established in 2017. $4.5 million of that funding was secured by GFPB Grant Writer Tiffany Copeland.
Copeland was hired in June 2018 and is paid with the GFPB sales tax fund under the initiative: Community Planner and Grant Writer.
“Her success at searching high and low for outside funding has helped Pine Bluff in many ways,” says GFPB Office Manager and Human Resources Advisor Leigh Cockrum. “She has been able to obtain funding that may otherwise be overlooked had we not hired a grant writer.”
Copeland has worked on countless grants from 2018 to 2021 ranging from funding from Wal-Mart, Tyson, Union Pacific, Target, and Dollar General to six-figure grants from entities like Cops Grants to support hiring police officers.
There was also the $800,000 she helped secure from Youth Engagement Services for afterschool programs and the $400,000 secured through the YES grant to support the YES program at the Carl A. Redus, Jr. Aquatics Center.
“Grant writing is kind of a foreign subject to a lot of people,” said Copeland. “When someone approaches you and says they need a grant, they don’t always know that they have to explain why it needs to happen and exactly what they’re going to do with the money.”
Many City departments have applied for grants, but Copeland has brought additional energy, time and expertise to that process and has helped free up their time to implement the funded projects.
Mayor Shirley Washington references a quote by George Bernard Shaw as she reflects on Copeland’s work: “Don’t wait for the right opportunity: create it.”
“I can attest that Ms. Copeland does an excellent job of creating the opportunities to identify grants that provide the most benefits to the City of Pine Bluff,” said Washington. “These grants go a long way to assist our efforts in becoming that “Destination City.”