Grant FAQ's

Below are frequently asked questions about applying for an IMPACT 100 grant.

Qualification Questions:

Do small or new nonprofits have a chance of winning a grant?

  • We have given out grants to small, medium, and large sized nonprofits.  Eligibility is determined by the strength of the project, the strength of the nonprofit organization, the impact of the project on the community and its sustainability.

If a nonprofit is a religious organization can it apply for a grant?

  • Possibly.  Although a church is ineligible from applying for a grant, a separate tax-exempt public charity that is not under the umbrella of the church, synagogue or other body of worship can apply if the grant is for a project that is not restricted to a particular fair, denomination or religion. 

Why can’t we use the funds for “operating funds”?

  • Each nonprofit must already have sufficient funds to sustain their ongoing operations.  This grant is to enable you to pursue a dream that otherwise you may not be able to complete.  Operating funds would have to be applicable to only the new project funded by the IMPACT 100 grant and a plan for sustainability provided.

Letter of Intent Questions

Do I have to submit a letter of intent in order to file a grant application? What is the deadline for the letter of intent?

  • Yes, we require a letter of intent so we may check the eligibility of agencies intending to apply for a grant prior to the grant application deadline to avoid having to disqualify an application. The deadline for the letter of intent is April 30. The Letter of Intent must be accompanied by
    (1) a copy of your organization’s Department of Treasury letter affirming your organization’s not-for-profit status under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3),
    (2) your current year Annual Report filed with the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations (http://sunbiz.org/), and
    (3) your annual registration with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS).

How do I submit the Letter of Intent?

  • We prefer that you submit the Letter of Intent on-line at our website www.impact100pensacola.org, where you can also submit (upload) your Dept. of Treasury 501(c)(3) letter, your Annual Report and your annual registration with the FDACS.

Why do we need a copy of the 501(c)(3) for our organization?

  • The Letter of Intent, which is due by April 30th of each year, must be accompanied by a copy of the 501(c)(3) letter that your nonprofit received when it obtained its status.  This is how we check for current certification.  This is NOT the same certificate as your tax exempt letter.

What if we don’t have our 501(c)(3) yet?

  • You may submit your Letter of Intent with an explanation that you’ve applied for it (and the date applied).  But we MUST have a copy of the 501(c)(3) letter by the time the grant application is submitted.  

Where do I go to get the letter of Intent and Grant application?

  • Go to our website at www.impact100pensacola.org.

Application Questions

What is the deadline for the grant application?

  • The deadline for submitting the on-line Grant Application is Friday, June 24, 2016.  After IMPACT 100 has checked the on-line submission to ensure it is complete, the printed original (signed by the Executive Director and Board Chair plus one copy will be required. 

Can we turn in a grant application if we didn’t turn in a Letter of Intent?

  • No.  We MUST have the Letter of Intent by April 30th if you intend to turn in a grant application.  If a nonprofit decides not to submit an application, they will not be penalized.

Can our organization submit different grant applications in different categories?

  • No, each organization may submit only one grant application each year.

Why won’t you tell me which focus area to apply in?

  • We believe you are the best judge of where your grant, once written, will best fit.  A project may meet the criteria for several focus areas, and we believe you need to make that decision.

Can we meet with our Focus Area Chair/Co-Chair to review our application before I turn it in?

  • No.  But it is a great idea to bounce your application off some of your board members, or even women who are members of IMPACT 100, but not on the board.  IMPACT 100 board members are available for general questions about the grant process.

Can we include our wish-lists, brochures, annual reports or videos about our organization?

  • No, we do not accept these types of materials with the application.

What are some of the reasons applications are rejected?

  • Agency requested less than the full grant amount.
  • More than one application came from an organization.
  • Financial information is missing.
  • Organization is not yet a 501(c)(3) public charity or cannot prove their 501(c)(3) status.
  • Grant project does not benefit residents of Escambia or Santa Rosa Counties..
  • Grant project funds debt reduction for any purpose or general operating expenses of the organization not associated with project described in the grant application.
  • Organization does not demonstrate sustainability or sustainability of the project.
  • Grant is for interim or bridge funding.
  • Grant is for an individual.
  • Grant is for endowment funding.
  • Grant is for partisan, legislative or political activity.
  • Grant project requires capital improvements or renovations to property not owned by the organization (or does not have a minimum of a five year lease).
  • Grant project requires participation in activities of a particular faith, denomination or religion in order to benefit from the project or program.

What if our organization does not have to complete a 990?

  • You should submit a copy of the IRS form 990-N (E Post Card) if Form 990 is not required.

What if the nonprofit has only existed for one year and cannot submit two year’ 990 forms?

  • Simply submit the past year’s 990.

What if our organization is smaller and may not need the full amount of the grant?

  • This is a transformational grant opportunity. An organization must decide if they have a need or a program that meets the criteria for the full grant. Perhaps a collaboration with another agency who has a similar program will work. (Each collaborating agency must submit a letter of intent.)   Try to think outside the box and dream large. Then put those dreams to work for you.

What is a collaboration?

  • A collaboration exists when two or more qualifying nonprofit organizations have the responsibility of managing and contributing to the proposed project in a significant manner and all organizations benefit financially from the grant. One nonprofit would need to be identified as the lead – serving as the Fiscal Agent, financially managing the IMPACT 100 grant funds and completing the basic application. The other collaborating organizations will provide their organizational and financial information, but not be required to complete the additional sections of the grant application.

Does a collaborative grant application have a better chance of being awarded than an application submitted by a single nonprofit organization?

  • Not necessarily, however IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area encourages collaborative efforts when the project or program warrants such an approach. Each grant application will be evaluated based on its own merit as it relates to the overall criteria for the IMPACT 100 grant program.

If the project is a multi-agency collaboration, do we submit the financial information from all the collaborating partners?

  • If a project is a multi-agency collaboration, IMPACT 100 requires financial information from all collaborating partners. (Each agency must also have submitted a Letter of Intent.)  One agency must act as the lead/primary on the application.

Can a nonprofit organization apply for the grant as part of collaborative effort and then separately as an individual organization?

  • No. Each organization can apply for one (1) grant either as part of a collaborative effort or as an individual organization.

What are some of the reasons applications may not be selected as a finalist?

  • Grant project may not demonstrate the ability to fully expend the grant funds or complete the project within the twenty-four month timeframe.
  • Grant project, if designed to be ongoing, does not show how it will be funded at the end of the grant.
  • Competing organization may be filling a similar need of the grant project.
  • Application is unclear and poorly written.
  • The project budget is not clear or well defined.
  • The grant project does not fall within the scope of the focus area as defined on the application.
  • The nonprofit organization lacks a proven record of success or lacks a strong, diverse board of directors.

Focus Area Committees Questions

What happens after we turn in our Grant Application?

  • The Grant Committee will give the applications to the Chairs/Co-Chairs of the respective Focus Area. Focus Area Committees will begin meeting once a week during late July through August.

What happens during the Focus Area Committee Meetings?

  • All IMPACT 100 members are welcome to sit on a Focus Area Committee. All discussions during committee meetings are kept private (even from IMPACT 100 members not on that committee). Each Focus Area Committee has an average of 40 members. The committee meets each week, reviews all grant applications, and chooses smaller groups for site visits. A site visit leader will call you to schedule an appointment. After each site visit, that group reports back to the remaining committee members. After site visits are completed, the entire committee votes on each application and chooses the finalists.

Q: How many finalists will be selected to make presentations to the IMPACT 100 membership?

  • Each Focus Area Committee will select three finalists.

Site Visit Questions

What should we expect to happen at the site visit?

  • This is the time for your organization to shine and for you to be able to tell your story, your vision and your dream in person. You will have the opportunity to explain what the application cannot always convey: the passion, the difference this grant would make, and the impact on the organization and the community. You should plan to have the following people attend the site visit: your board chair, your treasurer or someone who can answer financial questions, and perhaps one or two key employees. There should be no press at the meeting.

How many people will be on the site visit?

  • That varies depending on how many women sign up for each committee, but will average 3-5 members.

Do we need to provide refreshments, hand-outs, or demonstrations for the site visit members?

  • Any amplifying information, such as brochures or reports are appropriate. Refreshments, CDs/DVDs, mementos, promotional items, or gifts are highly discouraged. IMPACT 100 will formally request wish lists at the end of the year from all organizations that submitted an application, and these wish-lists will be posted on our website.

How will we know if we have been named as a semi-finalist?

  • The committees make their determination throughout the month of August. They will have visited every organization that has applied, and they will keep their recommendations and selections completely confidential until after the press conference, held in the middle of September. If you are a semi-finalist, you will be notified by phone prior to the press conference. All other applicants will be notified by mail.

After the Grants are Awarded Questions

If we submit a proposal this year that is not funded, how soon can we resubmit the proposal?

  • You may apply again the following year.

If we submit a proposal and are awarded a grant, how soon can we apply again?

  • An organization must have expended all funds from the previously awarded grant prior to submitting another grant application. In other words, if a 2015 grant winner has expended all funds as of the grant application deadline of June 4, 2016, they may submit a grant application for 2016.

How does IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area pay out the grant money?

  • IMPACT 100 pays out the money on an as expended basis. Grantees must submit quarterly reports upon implementation and progress of the project. Prior to the release of grant funds, each recipient must complete the IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area grant agreement form.

What is the period of time the money must be spent?

  • A project should expend the funding within two years, following award of the grant.
  • For a 2016 grant, the recipient organizations must expend the funds by October 2018.

Conflict of Interest Questions

Can you be a member of IMPACT 100 if you are a member of the Board of an agency?

  • Yes! You can even sit on a Focus Area Committee, but not one that reviews your agency’s application.

Can you be a member of IMPACT 100 if you are a CEO of an agency?

  • Yes! You can even sit on a Focus Area Committee, but not one that reviews your agency’s application.

Who can I contact for more information?