Frequently Asked Questions About the Impact100 South Jersey Grant Process
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 a project to strengthen 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 core mission grant?
All applying organizations first submit a Grant Eligibility Application, which consists of providing information on their non-profit and finances. These will be evaluated by our Finance Review Committee, made up of Impact100SJ members with relevant knowledge of finance. We see this as the “throwing your hat in the ring” step in our process, as it only consists of sending us existing documents and not a full proposal.
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 and determine which organizations will receive a site visit. These organizations are considered the semi-finalists in our process.
After site visits are completed, each Focus Area committee meets to determine its finalist for our Core Mission Grant. All Impact100SJ members then receive a packet of information on the three finalists. Our intention for our 2022 grant year is to return to having an in-person Annual Meeting, which is attended by our members, and where each finalist gives a short presentation. Our members then vote by individual ballot to select the organization to receive the $100,000 Core Mission Grant. The other two finalists will receive general operating support grants – the exact amount determined by the number of our 2022 members.
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.
My organization has applied before and we didn’t make it to the finalist stage. Is it worth reapplying?
Yes, for two reasons: first, the make-up of each Grant Review Committee changes year-to-year, based on the current members who have both the interest and availability to sign up for that particular committee. Second, even though there is only one Core Mission Grant award given, there is still a good chance for an organization to make it through the process. For example, in 2021, we had 35 organizations submit Grant Eligibility Applications. Of those, 25 were asked to submit a full proposal. Of those 25, 8 were semi-finalists and received a site visit. And of that group, 3 became finalists: one of them received our $100,000 Core Mission grant, and, because we had 200 members in 2021, the other two finalists each received $50,000 in general operating support.
What were some of the reasons that applications were not selected for grant review or as finalists in the past?
As a collective grantmaking 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 impactful for the organization and/or the community that it serves.
We have reluctantly passed on organizations with a shaky financial situation, or whose proposal did not fully explain how the project would accomplish its goals, 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 thorough and thoughtful case for the 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 satellite offices is in Burlington County and we would like to grow our program there. Are we eligible to apply?
No. We do not fund organizations that serve residents of our four-county region of Cumberland, Gloucester, Burlington and Camden Counties, but are headquartered elsewhere – such as in Philadelphia or in another part of New Jersey.
Our organization does not have its own 501(c)3. May we apply if we have a fiscal sponsor?
We request that your organization operates under its own 501(c)(3) status.
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, once that has been reviewed, whether you have been invited to submit a full proposal. If you submit a proposal, we will then notify you as to whether we are requesting a site visit. After all site visits have been completed, we will then let you know if your organization has been selected as 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 awarded the Core Mission Grant has up to 24 months to spend the grant funds. We request the organizations receiving the general operating support grants provide us with a summary of their past year’s activity 12 months after the receiving the grant.
How does Impact100 SJ pay out the money for the Core Mission Grant?
Prior to the release of grant funds, the recipient must complete an Impact100 SJ Grant Agreement. The Grant Agreement does two things: it provides us with a means for tracking that the grant funds are spent in manner consistent with the project that was voted on by the Impact100 SJ membership. It also provides the grantee with an opportunity to develop, in partnership with the Grants Chair of Impact100SJ, a workable timetable for distributing the funds over the two-year period of the grant.
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 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.