Grant Process FAQ
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Below are frequently asked questions about applying for an Impact100 NWF grant.
Do small or newer nonprofits have a chance of winning a grant?
Yes. Grants have been awarded to small, medium, and large-sized nonprofits. Applications are evaluated on the strength of the organization, the strength of the project, the project’s sustainability, and the impact of the project on the community.
If a nonprofit is a religious organization, can it apply for a grant?
Possibly. Although a church is ineligible from applying for a grant, a separate tax-exempt public charity that is not under the umbrella of the church, synagogue or other body of worship can apply if the grant is for a project that is not restricted to a particular faith, denomination or religion.
Why can’t we use the funds for “operating funds”?
Each nonprofit must already have sufficient funds to sustain their ongoing operations. This grant is to enable you to pursue a dream that you might otherwise be unable to complete. Operating funds would have to be related solely to the new project funded by the IMPACT100 NWF grant and a sustainability plan must be provided.
Letter of Intent to Apply Questions:
Do we have to submit a Letter of Intent in order to apply for a grant?
Yes, a Letter of Intent is required so we may check the eligibility of nonprofits intending to apply for a grant, prior to the grant application process. This prevents us from having to disqualify a grant application.
Each organization will confirm the organization meets all requirements by:
- Providing a copy of the Dept. of Treasury letter affirming the organization’s status as a tax-exempt public charity under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) for a minimum of 2 years prior to June 15th of the year that the organization is applying. Religious institutions must have a separate tax-exempt entity, not under the umbrella of the body of worship, to apply.
- Providing current proof of registration with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS), unless the organization is exempt. (www.freshfromflorida.com)
- Being registered with the Florida Division of Corporations. https://dos.myflorida.com/sunbiz/
- Carry Directors and Officers Insurance as well as General Liability Insurance.
- Be Providing services to, or collaborating with an organization(s) providing services in Okaloosa and/or Walton counties.
How do we submit the Letter of Intent to Apply?
The Letter of Intent form is available here.
What is the deadline for the Letter of Intent to Apply?
The deadline for the Letter of Intent is April 30, 2023.
Why do we need a copy of the Dept. of Treasury letter granting 501(c)(3) status for our organization?
The Dept. of Treasury letter that your nonprofit received when it obtained its status will verify that your organization was granted the 501(c)(3) designation as an individual or group charity. This is how we check for current certification. This is NOT the same certificate as your tax-exempt letter.
How long do we need to have had our Dept. of Treasury designation as a 501(c)(3) organization?
2 years as of June 15th of the year that the organization is applying.
What is the deadline for the grant application?
The deadline for the online grant application is June 15, 2023.
Can we turn in a grant application if we didn’t turn in a Letter of Intent to Apply?
No. We MUST have the Letter of Intent (LOI) by April 30th if you intend to turn in a grant application. Submitting an LOI does not obligate you to apply. We strongly recommend submitting an LOI even if you are unsure if you will apply.
Can our organization submit different grant applications in different categories?
No, each organization may submit only one grant application per year.
Why won’t you tell us which focus area to apply in?
We believe you are the best judge of where your grant application, once written, will best fit. A project may meet the criteria for several focus areas, so we believe the decision is best left to the organization and may indicate 2 areas they feel are relevant to the project proposal.
Can we meet with our Focus Area Chair/Co-Chair to review our application before we turn it in?
No. But it is a great idea to bounce your application off some of your board members, or even women who are members of IMPACT100 NWF, but not on the board. IMPACT100 NWF Grant Committee members are available for general questions about the grant process. We offer an annual Grant Workshop. Details for these events are on our website.
The Grant Workshop offers a review of the IMPACT100 NWF grant application process, requirements, and offers an opportunity to ask application questions with members of the IMPACT 100 Board and/or Grants Committee.
Can we include our brochures, annual reports or videos about our organization?
No, we do not accept these types of materials with the application.
What are some of the most common application errors?
- More than one application submitted from an organization.
- The grant project does not benefit residents of Okaloosa and/or Walton Counties.
- The organization requested less than the full grant amount or the project cost exceeds the $100,000 grant amount and the organization has not provided details of how the remaining costs will be funded.
- Financial information is missing.
- The grant project funds debt reduction for any purpose.
- Grant funds are used for general operating expenses of the organization not associated with project described in the grant application.
- The organization does not demonstrate sustainability or the project does not include a sustainability plan.
- The grant is for interim or bridge funding.
- The grant is for an individual.
- The grant is for endowment funding.
- The grant is for partisan, legislative or political activity.
- The grant project requires participation in activities of a particular faith, denomination or religion in order to benefit from the project or program.
- The grant is for general renovations or building on a property that is not owned by the organization or the organization does not have an at least five-year lease on.
- The grant is part of a capital campaign or project within one.
What if our organization does not have to complete a 990?
Submit a copy of the IRS form 990-N (E Post Card) if Form 990 is not required.
What if the nonprofit has only existed for one year and cannot submit two years’ 990 forms?
Submit the past year’s 990.
What if our organization is smaller and may not need the full amount of the grant?
This is a transformational grant opportunity. An organization must decide if they have a need or a program that meets the criteria for the full grant.
What are some of the reasons applications may not be selected as a finalist?
- Grant project may not demonstrate the ability to fully expend the grant funds or complete the project within the twenty-four-month time frame.
- Grant project, if designed to be ongoing, does not show how it will be funded after the end of the grant.
- Competing organization may be filling a similar need of the grant project.
- Application is unclear and poorly written.
- The project budget is not clear or well defined.
- The grant project does not fall within the scope of the focus area as defined on the application.
- The nonprofit organization lacks a proven record of success or a strong, diverse board of directors.
- The organization’s Executive Director/CEO and Board Chair are the same person.
What happens after we turn in our grant application?
After the Finance Committee evaluates the organizations finances and any questions they may have had have been answered, the grant application then is given to the Chairs/Co-Chairs of the respective Focus Area. Focus Area Committees will begin meeting in August to review applications.
What happens during the Focus Area Committee Meetings?
The Focus Area Committees are comprised of IMPACT100 NWF members who volunteer and have no conflict of interest to serve (e.g., not staff or board member of a nonprofit which has submitted a grant application in that focus area). All discussions during committee meetings are kept private (even from IMPACT100 NWF members not on that committee). The committee reviews all grant applications, and conducts “virtual” site visits in August. After each site visit, the members discuss the proposal and record individual assessments of the application. After all site visits are completed, the entire committee meets and reviews each application using the previous assessments and ratings and then votes to choose the two area finalists.
How many finalists will be selected to make presentations to the IMPACT 100 membership?
Each Focus Area Committee will select two finalists.
Site Visit Questions:
What should we expect to happen at the site visit?
This is the time for your organization to shine and for you to be able to tell your story, your vision, and your dream in person. You will have the opportunity to explain what the application cannot always convey: the passion, the difference this grant would make, and the impact on the organization and the community. You should plan to have the following people attend the site visit: your board chair, your treasurer or someone who can answer financial questions, and perhaps one or two key employees or other members of your team.
How many people will participate in the site visit?
There will be an average of 12 members from the focus area committee participating in the virtual site visit. The site visits are recorded and it is a requirement that all committee members attend or view the taped site visit to be eligible to vote for the two area finalists.
How will we know if we have been named as a finalist?
Finalists will be notified by phone. All other applicants will be notified by both phone and/or email prior to the Finalist Announcement press conference in early October. Date TBD.
After the Grants are Awarded Questions:
If we apply for an IMPACT100 NWF grant and are not selected as a finalist, can we apply next year?
Yes, we encourage your organization to reapply next year. Additionally, we encourage you to submit your wish list, as many of the women are anxious to donate resources to the organizations even if they aren’t grant finalists. We call this the “impact of IMPACT”!
If my organization is not selected as an IMPACT100 NWF finalist, can we get feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of our grant from the IMPACT100 NWF site visit team in an effort to improve our grant submission for next year?
We do not provide specific feedback to any applicant, other than that which a nonprofit may gather from the questions posed during the Site Visit.
We do provide aggregate feedback at our Grant Workshop in the Spring. There, we present general feedback regarding what makes a good grant and the evaluation criteria the ladies use in assessing each grant. At the Workshop we discuss each section of the grant application, to ensure applicants are clear as to the intent of the questions. Nonprofit organizations attending this event have found it to be helpful in getting their questions answered.
If we submit a proposal and are awarded a grant, how soon can we apply again?
An organization must have expended all funds from a previously awarded grant before they are allowed to submit another grant application. Organizations must expend all funds within 2 years.
How does IMPACT100 NWF disburse the grant money?
IMPACT100 NWF disburses funds on an as expended basis. Grantees must submit quarterly reports upon implementation and progress of the project. Prior to the release of grant funds, each recipient must complete the IMPACT100 NWF grant agreement form.
What is the period of time the money must be spent?
A project must expend the grant funds within the two years following the year the grant was awarded. Following our IMPACT100 NWF Annual Meeting, grant recipients may start expending funds as early as January 1 and must expend the grant funds by December 31 two years later. For example, a 2022 grant recipient must expend grant funds starting January 1, 2023, and no later than December 31, 2025.
Conflict of Interest Questions:
Can you be a member of IMPACT100 NWF if you work for a nonprofit organization?
Yes! You can even participate on a Focus Area Committee, but not one that reviews your organization’s application.
Can you be a member of IMPACT100 NWF if you are an Executive Director/ CEO of an organization?
Yes! You can even participate on a Focus Area Committee, but not one that reviews your organization’s application.
Who can we contact for more information or questions?
Contact the IMPACT 100 Grants Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.