Impact 100’s Grant Process Continued
Written by founding member and president, Lori Lewis.
One of the highlights of working with Impact 100 is walking through the grant process each year. It requires great detail, but it’s worth it!
We start with information sessions for nonprofits who serve Clark, Floyd, and/or Harrison counties. This is a great way to explain the process and answer any questions potential grant applicants might have. We try to make it fun, and always have great questions from the group!
Each nonprofit that hopes to apply for the grant must submit a Letter of Intent by the published deadline. In the Letter of Intent, the nonprofits not only indicate their intent to apply, but they also acknowledge that they meet all the eligibility requirements. These include:
  • Being a 501(c)3 in operation for at least two years in Clark, Floyd, and/or Harrison counties.
  • The non-profit has an identified program or project that falls within one of our focus areas.
  • Acknowledgment of the other grant requirements (listed on the web site).
Once the letter of intent deadline passes, the call then goes out to our current members for volunteers to help review the applications. This is a key step as the entire process would not be possible without our wonderful members and volunteers. It takes a village!
Once the full grant applications are submitted, a small group of members receive 5-8 grants each to review. This review includes a scoring system that is based on the criteria in the grant application. Each member reviews/scores the application individually.
At the end of the review week, our members come back together in their small groups to compare notes and scores on the grant applications reviewed. They discuss why they scored each section as they did. This discussion is very intentional and allows the reviewer to adjust a score if they overlooked or misunderstood information. At the end of the discussions, scores are averaged from the group and turned in. The top 3 or 4 nonprofits become our finalists!
I take part in the review process every year, and our members are always so excited and patient as they work through each step of the process. It’s an opportunity to get to see how Impact 100 works from start to finish.
We are also VERY focused on the integrity of the process as we know our members trust us. We monitor confidentiality, conflicts of interest, objective scoring, and triple check all scores before announcing our finalists. It can be a bit overwhelming, but we know it’s worth it! I feel it’s truly a privilege to be part of this amazing process.
As the grant finalists present their grant request at our Annual Award Celebration dinner, I am always proud of the reviewers who worked so hard, the nonprofits who took the time to apply, and our amazing members who made it all possible. Together, we’re all making an Impact!