Bess de Farber has been the Grants Manager at the University of Florida Libraries since 2008, and previously served in the same position at the University of Arizona Libraries. She has provided grantsmanship instruction throughout the past 27 years for audiences including graduate-level library and information students, arts, museum, and social service agency professionals, and has led efforts to secure millions in grant funding for nonprofits and academic libraries. Her research interest is asset-based collaboration development. As a Certified Professional Facilitator through the International Association of Facilitators, she invented Collaborating with Strangers Workshops, under the umbrella of CoLAB Planning Series®, which are large group facilitated processes for individuals and organizations seeking new collaborative partnerships. This process has served more than 600 organizations and 2,500 individuals since 2002.
De Farber has served on grant review panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, Education Foundation of Palm Beach County, Arizona State Technology Research Initiative Fund, and The Children’s Trust in Dade County, Florida. As a program officer for the Community Foundation of Palm Beach and Martin Counties, and also for the Palm Beach County Cultural Council, she managed the allocation of over $10 million in grant funds for arts and culture, human and race relations, and social services. De Farber has served as a consultant to numerous organizations including the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County, Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens, United Way agencies, and Community Foundations. She holds a Master of Nonprofit Management from Florida Atlantic University, and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Southern California. She is the author of Collaborative Grant-Seeking: A Practical Guide for Librarians (2016), and co-author of Collaborating with Strangers: Facilitating Workshops in Libraries, Classes, and Nonprofits (2017).