Grant Frequently Asked Questions

Why doesn’t Impact100 have specific focus areas for the signature, $100,000 Impact Grant?
Many projects/programs being considered for grants overlapped several focus areas. In addition, some nonprofits felt the need to modify their proposals to better fit the proposed focus areas. 

How does the lack of specific focus areas impact the application process for an Impact Grant?
Without focus areas, it is easier to apply for a grant. It allows each organization to expand or start a new program/project that better meets the needs of the community, instead of trying to fit their program/project into a certain focus areas.

Are there any changes to the submittal process in 2015?
No. The submittal process remains the same:

  • Letter of Inquiry (LOI) submitted by Janurary 20, 8:00 pm.
  • Invitation to submit full proposal on February 13
  • Full proposal submitted by March 13, 8:00 pm.
  • Site visits by committees late March thru late April.
  • Notification of finalists on May 5.

Will Impact100 fund technology expenditures? New in 2015
Yes, but only if the technology is an essential part of the program and proposal.  We do not fund technology-driven proposals (e.g. laptops, communication devices, e-readers, etc.). Impact100 recognizes the integral nature of technology today and that some programs need specific technology to achieve programmatic goals.

Who actually vets each proposal?
The Impact Grant committees vet each proposal.  The majority of the work will be done by the individual committees just as in the past. Also, as in previous years, the Financial Review Committee will review the financials submitted with each proposal. After the site visits, all committees will meet together to select the finalists for the vote by the membership at the annual meeting.

Can our organization submit Letters of Inquiry or Full Proposals for more than one grant?
Yes. An organization may submit up to two grant applications within a single year – either the Impact Grant and one of the Community Grants OR any two grants within separate areas in Community Grants. 

May I fax or mail my Letter of Inquiry and/or Full Proposal to Impact100 Sonoma?
No. The Letter of Inquiry and Full Proposal must be submitted on the PDF forms and via electronic email to:
Grace Meeks, Impact 100 Grant:
Diana Sanson, Community Grants:

Should I attach a cover letter to the Letter of Inquiry and/or the Full Proposal?
No. Use the Cover Sheet provided. Other cover letters will not be distributed to Impact100 Sonoma members reviewing your proposal.

Will you consider a proposal from a group of organizations collaborating on a project or program?
Yes. However, when applying for an Impact Grant or Community Grant, one of the collaborating organizations must be the “Lead Agency,” applying as if it were an individual organization on behalf of the collaboration. The Lead Agency must be willing to take on all the potential rights, responsibilities, restrictions and liabilities of the grant if the Impact100 Grant is awarded.

Can we use a Fiscal Agent when we apply for an Impact Grant?
NoA Fiscal Agent may not be used by a nonprofit when applying for an Impact Grant unless the proposed project is a collaborative project involving two or more nonprofits. In this case, the Fiscal Agent is considered the “Lead Agency”.

Once an organization receives an Impact Grant from Impact100 Sonoma, can it reapply the following year?
No. Unless the grant awarded was a Collaborative Project between two or more nonprofits. An Impact Grant recipient not part of a Collaborative Project cannot submit another proposal for the following three years. Organizations that apply but are not selected as finalists, or are finalists, who do not receive the grant, may reapply the following year.

A collaborative group of nonprofits that applies for an Impact Grant and wins the Impact grant will be eligible to apply for an Impact Grant in the next year’s grant cycle either individually or in a different collaboration.

If an organization receives a Community Grant, can it reapply the following year?
Yes. Community Grant recipients can reapply the following year in any or all category, whether awarded to an individual nonprofit or a Collaborative Project.

In addition, a nonprofit with a Fiscal Agent relationship agreement with another nonprofit applying for a Community Grant, is eligible to apply for a separate grant for their organization within the same grant cycle.

Define a Collaborative Project.
A Collaborative Project involves a group of nonprofit organizations applying collectively in a collaborative effort where each organization will have the responsibility of managing and contributing to the proposed project in a significant manner. In such a case, one participating nonprofit would need to be identified as the “Lead Agency” in the Impact Grant or Fiscal Agent for a Community Grant, and they would be responsible for the financial management of Impact100 Sonoma grant funds.

Can an organization apply for an Impact Grant separately and as a Collaborative in the same year?
No. Organizations applying for an Impact Grant as part of a collaborative project will not be eligible to apply in the same grant cycle for an Impact Grant as an individual organization. However, an organization that is applying for an Impact Grant as part of a collaboration can also apply for a Community Grant in the same year.

What is your definition of a Fiscal Agent in relation to Community Grants?
An organization that has an established 501(c)(3) status and is willing to manage the grant funds, passing them through to the 501(c)(3) organization (principal) that will carry out the project.

Fiscal Agent enters an agreement to accept donations on behalf of a tax-exempt organization that does not meet the financial criteria Impact100 Sonoma has set for receiving a grant, and/or doesn’t have the infrastructure to manage funds and provide the required record-keeping.

The Fiscal Agent in the fiscal agency relationship acts on behalf of the principal — the 501(c)(3) organization that receives the pass-through grant — and has financial control over the donation, but does not have management control over the project the funds are intended to support. The Fiscal Agent acts as the pass-through organization to allow another organization to receive the donation. The principal has an obligation to provide information to the Fiscal Agent so that proper reporting may be made to Impact100 Sonoma. No fees shall be paid to a Fiscal Agent with the grant funds received from Impact100 Sonoma.

Your guidelines indicate you will not fund capital campaigns. Will you fund capital expenditures as part of an Impact Grant proposal?
Yes. We will fund capital expenditures for an Impact Grant that is clearly related to the proposed project or program, but the amount cannot exceed twenty five percent of the project budget requested. 

Your guidelines indicate you will not fund general construction or renovation for Impact Grants. Will you fund construction or renovation as part of a proposal?
We will fund construction or renovation expenditures that are related to the proposed project or program. The amount cannot exceed twenty five percent of project budget requested. We required that a minimum of three competitive bids be received. Copies of the bids must be with submitted with your proposal.

The funding we need for our program/project is less than the amount of the grant Impact100 Sonoma offers. Can we submit a proposal for less than the full amount of our grant?
No. We’re looking for projects or programs that use the full amount of our Impact grant. We do fund smaller requests in the Community Grant category in the amounts of $5,000 – $15,000. 

Can I send additional materials with the Letter of Inquiry, like one of our brochures or newsletters?
No. Only send information specifically requested. We will discard any additional materials. 

What kind of communication can we expect from Impact100 Sonoma during this process?

  • Impact100 Sonoma will contact all applicants who submit a Letter of Inquiry to inform them, if, they have or have not been requested to submit a Full Proposal.
  • Impact100 Sonoma will contact all applicants who have submitted a Full Proposal and schedule site visits if appropriate.
  • All applicants will be notified as to whether they have been selected as a finalist.

How does Impact100 Sonoma award its grants?
Impact100 Sonoma has a very specific grant process, which is implemented by the individual members and the Board of Directors. Members are involved in the grant process as follows:

  • Each of the grant committees consists of members who volunteer to participate on committees. Each committee member reviews all of grants submitted to the committee.
  • As part of its grant process, committee members meet with all potential Impact Grant finalists and conduct a site visit. Some Community Grants may not require a site visit because of the simplicity of their grant requests. The site visits are a valuable part of the process, as they allow the members to visit with the organizations. It ensures that the members are able to fully understand the written grant application, and it allows the members to ask additional questions, obtain additional information and clarify the facts pertaining to the grant request.
  • Each committee reviews and discusses every grant that has been submitted to that committee.
  • Each finalist selects no more than two representatives to make a presentation to the members at the Annual Meeting.
  • After hearing the presentations of the finalists, the members vote for the grant recipients. The votes are calculated at the Annual Meeting and are announced at that time.

How does Impact100 Sonoma oversee the distribution of the grant funds to awarded non-profit agencies?

  1. Grant Agreements.
  • The non-profit that receives an Impact100 Sonoma grant, signs a Grant Agreement. The grant agreement ensures that the non-profit agrees to use the funds in accordance with grant and the procedures. Upon the selection of the grant recipient, a Grant Oversight Committee is assigned to be responsibility for due diligence and the “liaison” for the project.
  • The funds must be spent in accordance with the budget, with any substantial changes in the budget being approved by the Grant Oversight Committee, to insure that the funds are being spent in accordance with the purpose of the grant.
  • Impact100 Sonoma requires invoices and documents to evidence each disbursement of funds under the grants. The Grant Oversight Committee remains in continuous contact with the grant recipient, and receives all requests for funding from the non-profit.
  1. Quarterly Reports.
  • The agreement with Impact100 Sonoma requires the non-profit to submit quarterly reports until all of the funds are spent to implement the project.
  • The Grant Oversight Committee may also obtain any other information it requests to monitor the project.
  • The Board of Directors of Impact100 Sonoma strongly believes that the projects must be carefully monitored to ensure that the funds are being used in accordance with the grant applications, as selected by the members of Impact100 Sonoma.

If we submit a proposal this year that is not funded, how soon can we submit another proposal?
You may apply again the following year.

Will the grant be paid in a lump sum?
No. Impact100 Sonoma will distribute the grant in a number of installments, based on details provided in the full proposal, grant contract, and upon acceptance of the quarterly reports. 

Does Impact100 Sonoma give grants to faith-based organizations?
No individual grants will be made to faith-based organizations. However, a faith-based organization may be part of a collaborative grant application, provided that a non-faith-based organization that is a 501 (c) 3 is the lead applicant, that the faith-based organization is not the fiscal agent, that no inherently religious activities are performed, that the proposed project is in alignment with Impact100 Sonoma’s funding priorities, and that the proposed project services will benefit Sonoma Valley residents without regard to their religious affiliation or lack of religious affiliation.

Who can we contact to discuss our grant application after we send it in?
Questions regarding grant guidelines, processes or forms, contact:

If Impact100 Sonoma has questions about your Letter of Inquiry or Full Proposal, you will be

 Last updated 11_27_2014