Are there any changes to your grant program for 2020?
Yes, there is one significant change. After discussions with senior level staff of organizations that previously applied for our grant, we decided that all applying organizations will first go through a Grant Eligibility Review, in which they will submit information about their non-profit and required financial documents. Those organizations that meet our eligibility and financial criteria will then be invited to submit a full project proposal.
What do you mean by a grant in support of “core mission”?
We want our grant award to improve an organization’s ability to effectively deliver its services, which goes right to the core of to their mission. This almost always means strengthening its infrastructure in a significant way. Examples can include making needed repairs to the existing space, outfitting new space, bringing in a consultant to develop a fundraising program or conduct a feasibility study, purchasing and installing software, piloting a more robust way to attract and keep volunteers, etc. It can also mean developing a new program or expanding an existing one to serve an unmet need in the community.
We want organizations to look towards their future and identify what would enable them to do what they do better, and how our support could make that happen.
How does Impact100 SJ decide who receives the grant?
All applying organizations first undergo an Eligibility Review consisting of information on their non-profit and finances, which will be examined by our Finance Review Committee, made up of Impact100SJ members with relevant knowledge of finance.
Those organizations determined to be eligible will be invited to submit a project proposal to one of our three Focus Areas. Each Focus Area has its own Grant Review Committee, consisting of Impact100 SJ members, who will evaluate the proposal. Those organizations whose proposals may be considered as a finalist in that Focus Area will then receive a site visit.
After each committee completes the site visits and selects its finalist, all Impact100 SJ members then receive information on the three finalists. The finalists attend our Annual Meeting that will take place in June and make presentations about their proposals. Impact100 SJ members will vote by individual ballot at the Annual Meeting, and that vote determines the grant recipients. The grant award is then announced at the end of the Annual Meeting.
Do you provide guidance as to which focus area our organization should apply for?
No, we do not provide advice about selecting a Focus Area. Each organization must make that decision for itself, based on the focus of the proposal.
Can our organization submit a proposal to more than one focus area?
No, each organization may submit only one grant application per year and must choose the Focus Area in which the proposal will be considered.
What were some of the reasons that applications were not selected for grant review or as finalists in the past?
As a collective grant-making organization, we are responsible for awarding the donations of many generous women. Therefore, we are very diligent about doing thorough reviews to ensure the organization that we select to receive our grant is financially stable and that the project is well thought out and sustainable.
We have reluctantly passed on organizations with a shaky financial situation, or whose proposal focused on general operating support rather than a project to strengthen their core mission, or whose timetable and activities did not correspond with the timing of our grant award. We know that many organizations don’t employ a grant writer, but we look for proposals that clearly and completely answer the questions, and make a sound and thoughtful case for their project.
Can we include additional materials with our proposal, such as a brochure or a report?
No, please submit only the documents requested. We will not consider anything else received as part of your proposal.
We are an organization that serves communities across New Jersey. One of our offices is in Burlington County and we would like to grow our program in three of the four counties that you serve. Are we eligible to apply?
No. We currently fund only organizations that are based in, and serve residents of, the four county region of Cumberland, Gloucester, Burlington and Camden Counties.
Our organization does not have its own 501©3. May we apply if we have a fiscal sponsor?
We request that your organization operate under its own 501(c)(3) status or be a local affiliate applying under the 501c3 of the national organization.
Will Impact100 South Jersey consider a proposal from a group of organizations collaborating on a project or program?
Yes, as long as one of the collaborating organizations acts as the lead organization, applying as if it were an individual organization on behalf of the collaboration. The lead organization must be willing to take on all the potential rights, responsibilities, restrictions and liabilities of the grant, if it is received.
May we submit as part of a collaborative project and then separately as an individual organization?
No. Each organization may only submit one grant application each year.
What kind of communication from Impact100 SJ can we expect during the grant process?
We will initially notify you that we have received your application for Eligibility Review, and then whether you have been invited to submit a full proposal. If you submit a proposal, we will then notify you if we are requesting a site visit, and then again if you are a finalist.
In order for our grant review to be fair, we do not respond to any unsolicited communication apart from questions about the guidelines or the grants process, which may be directed to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there a period of time in which the grant money must be spent?
The organization receiving the grant has up to 24 months to spend the grant.
How does Impact100 SJ pay out the grant money?
Prior to the release of grant funds, the recipient must complete an Impact100 SJ Grant Agreement. The Grant Agreement is a formal legal document that specifies that various terms of the grant so that we can be sure that the grant funds are spent in a responsible manner, consistent with the project that was voted on by the Impact100 SJ membership.
We may distribute grants in installments or in a one-time payment, depending on the nature of the project. Grantees must submit periodic reports to Impact100 SJ on the project, detailing its progress as specified in the grant agreement and prior to installment payments.
Once an organization receives a grant from Impact100SJ, can it ever reapply?
If your organization is awarded the core mission grant, it cannot reapply for three years, or for the following three grant cycles. If your organization applies and does not receive the grant – even if it is selected as a finalist and is awarded a general operating support grant – it can reapply the following year.