Grant Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Are there any changes to the submittal process in 2017?
A. Yes.  If you are applying for an Impact Grant you are no longer required to submit a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) and the grant term has been expanded from two years to three years. For Community Grants, the maximum amount per grant will be $20,000, an increase from $15,000.

$100,000 Impact Grant:

  • A Letter of Inquiry (LOI) must be submitted by 8:00 pm January 12, 2017.
  • Invitations to submit a Full Proposal will be emailed to those selected on January 20, 2017.
  • Applicants invited to submit a Full Proposal are required to submit these by 8:00 pm February 17, 2017.
  • Notification of site visits will be made in March.
  • Site Visits by Impact Grant Review Committee members will take place in April.
  • Finalists will be notified via email on April 26, 2017.

Community Grants (up to $20,000):

  • Full Proposals must be submitted by 8:00 pm January 19, 2017.
  • Applicants moving forward to the Site Visit stage will be notified in early March.
  • Finalists will be notified via email on May 10, 2017.

Q. Will Impact100 Sonoma fund technology expenditures?
A.  
Yes, but only if the technology is an essential part of the program and proposal.  Impact100 Sonoma recognizes the integral nature of technology today and that some programs need specific technology to achieve programmatic goals.

Q. Who actually vets each proposal?
A.  
The Impact Grant Review Committees, comprised of trained Impact100 Sonoma members, vet each proposal.  A Financial Review Committee reviews the financials submitted with each proposal and reports their analysis to the Grant Review Committees. After the Site Visits, all Grant Review Committees meet together to select finalists. The list of finalists is submitted to the membership whose vote determines applicants to be awarded grants.

Q. Can our organization submit Letters of Inquiry or Full Proposals for more than one grant in the same year?
A.  
Yes. An organization may submit up to two grant applications within a single year – either an application for the $100,000 Impact Grant and one of the Community Grants, OR two Community Grants; one Program and one Capital.

Q. May I fax or mail my Letter of Inquiry and/or Full Proposal to Impact100 Sonoma?
A.
No. All Letters of Inquiry and Full Proposals must be submitted as described on the Application Form.

Q. Should I attach a cover letter to the Letter of Inquiry and/or the Full Proposal?
A.
No. Please use the Cover Sheet provided.

Q. Will you consider a proposal from a group of organizations collaborating on a project or program?
A.
Yes.  However, when applying for the $100,000 Impact Grant or a Community Grant, one of the collaborating organizations must be the “Lead Agency,” applying on behalf of the collaboration as if it were an individual organization. The Lead Agency must be willing to take on all the potential rights, responsibilities, restrictions, and liabilities of the entire grant if the grant is awarded.

Q. Can we use a Fiscal Agent when we apply for the $100,000 Impact Grant?
A.
No. A Fiscal Agent may not be used by a nonprofit when applying for the $100,000 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”.

Q. Once an organization receives the $100,000 Impact Grant from Impact100 Sonoma, can it reapply the following year?
A.
No, unless the grant awarded was a Collaborative Project between two or more nonprofits. Individual organizations that receive the $100,000 Impact Grant cannot apply for the following 3 years. Organizations that apply but are not selected as finalists, or are finalists, who do not receive the Impact Grant, may reapply the following year.

Q. If an organization receives a Community Grant, can it reapply the following year?
A.
Yes. Community Grant recipients can reapply the following year in any category (Program or Capital).

Q. Can an organization apply for the $100,000 Impact Grant separately and also as a Collaborative in the same year?
A.
No. Organizations applying for the $100,000 Impact Grant as part of a Collaborative Project are not eligible to also apply in the same grant cycle for the Impact Grant as an individual organization, and vice versa.

Q. What is your definition of a Fiscal Agent in relation to Community Grants?
A.
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.

Q. Your guidelines indicate you will not fund capital campaigns. Will you fund capital expenditures as part of a grant proposal?
A.
Yes. We will fund capital expenditures for a grant request that is clearly related to the proposed project or program, but the amount cannot exceed twenty five percent (25%) of the project budget requested.

Q. Will you fund construction or renovation as part of a proposal?
A.
Yes.  We will fund construction or renovation expenditures that are related to the proposed project or program. The amount cannot exceed 25% of the project budget requested. We require that a minimum of three competitive bids be received. Copies of the bids must be submitted with your proposal.

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

Q. How does Impact100 Sonoma select its grantees?
A.
Impact100 Sonoma has a very specific grant selection process that has been approved and implemented by the members as follows:

  • Grant Review Committees are established and consist of members who volunteer to participate on committees. Each committee member reviews all grants submitted to that committee and discusses the merits of each proposal.
  • Members of the Financial Review Committee (FRC) review the financial statements submitted by the applicant; the FRC sends a summary report to the Grant Review Committee.
  • After reviewing proposals and the summary from the FRC, Grant Review Committee members select applicants for site visits.
  • The Site Visits are a valuable part of the process as they allow committee 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 questions, obtain additional information, and clarify the facts pertaining to the grant request.
  • Each Grant Review Committee meets after all site visits have been completed and selects grant finalists for the full membership to vote upon.
  • All grant finalists have the opportunity to make a short (approximately 5 minute) presentation to the membership at large at a “Meet the Finalists” event in May, prior to the voting period. In addition, information about each grant application is provided online for the general membership to review.
  • Community Grant finalists and Impact Grant finalists are voted upon by the membership on-line before the annual meeting.
  • Votes are tabulated and finalists are informed of who has been awarded grants shortly before the Grant Awards Meeting in June. All finalists and awardees are invited to the annual Impact100 Sonoma Grants Awards & Celebration meeting. Impact Grant finalists not receiving the $100,000 grant will be given a one-time, unrestricted “Merit Award” of $10,000.

Q. How does Impact100 Sonoma oversee the distribution of grant funds to selected nonprofit agencies?
A.  
Impact100 Sonoma oversees distribution of funds through:

  • Grant Agreements
    The non-profit that receives an Impact100 Sonoma grant signs a Grant Agreement. The Grant Agreement stipulates that the nonprofit agrees to use the funds in accordance with their grant request and Impact100 Sonoma’s procedures.
  • Reports
    The Grant Agreement requires the nonprofit to submit semi-annual reports until all of the funds are expended on the project. The reports include how the funds have been spent in accordance with the budget. Any substantial change in the budget must be requested and approved by Impact100 Sonoma to ensure that the funds are being spent in accordance with the purpose of the grant. Impact100 Sonoma may also obtain any other information as needed to monitor the project.

Q. Will the grant be paid in a lump sum?
A.  
Yes. Regarding Community Grants and Impact Finalists Grants, they are disbursed in one payment at the beginning of the grant year. $100,00 Impact Grants are disbursed according to the agreed upon schedules within 24 or more months.

Q. Does Impact100 Sonoma give grants to faith-based organizations?
A.
No. See Eligibility Guidelines for details.

Q. Who can we contact to discuss our grant application before or after we send it in?
A.
For any and all questions regarding grant guidelines, processes or forms, contact:

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

Updated 08/31/2015

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