Grant Process FAQ

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Grant Process and Focus Area Committees Questions

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?

Yes. Grants have been awarded to small, medium, and large-sized nonprofits. Applications are evaluated on the strength of the organization, the strength of the project, the project’s sustainability, and the impact of the project on the community.

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 faith, 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 you might otherwise be unable to complete. Operating funds would have to be related solely to the new project funded by the IMPACT 100 grant and a sustainability plan must be provided.

Letter of Intent to Apply Questions:

Do we have to submit a Letter of Intent in order to apply for a grant?

Yes. A Letter of Intent is required. The Grants Committee verifies eligibility of nonprofit organizations intending to apply for a grant prior to the grant application process. This prevents IMPACT 100 from having to disqualifying a nonprofit's application later in the process.

Grant Eligibility Requirements

How do we submit the Letter of Intent?

Complete the online form on our website. To access the form, click here.

What is the deadline for the Letter of Intent?

The deadline for the Letter of Intent is April 30th at 12:00 noon.

Why do we need a copy of the Dept. of Treasury letter granting 501(c)(3) status for our organization?

The Dept. of Treasury letter that your nonprofit received when it obtained its status will verify that your organization was granted the 501(c)(3) designation as an individual or group charity. 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). You may apply, but we MUST have a copy of the 501(c)(3) letter by the time the grant application is submitted.

Application Questions:

What is the deadline for the grant application?

The deadline for the online grant application is June 15th at noon.

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 (LOI) by April 30th if you intend to turn in a grant application. Submitting an LOI does not obligate you to apply. We strongly recommend submitting an LOI even if you are unsure if you will apply.

Can our organization submit different grant applications in different categories?

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

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

We believe you are the best judge of where your grant application, once written, will best fit. A project may meet the criteria for several focus areas, so we believe the decision is best left to the organization.

Can we meet with our Focus Area Chair/Co-Chair to review our application before we 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. We offer an annual Grant Application 101 Workshop and Grant Application Q&A session. Details for these events are on our Events calendar.


Grant Application 101 is designed to offer an in-depth review of the IMPACT 100 grant application, while Grant Application Q & A offers an opportunity to ask application questions one on one of a member of the IMPACT 100 Board and/or Grants Committee.

Can we include our 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 most common application errors?

  • More than one application submitted from an organization.
  • Organization is not a 501(c)(3) public charity or cannot prove their 501(c)(3) status.
  • Grant project does not benefit residents of Escambia and/or Santa Rosa Counties.
  • Organization requested less than the full grant amount.
  • Financial information is missing.
  • Grant project funds debt reduction for any purpose.
  • Grant funds are used for general operating expenses of the organization not associated with project described in the grant application.
  • Organization does not demonstrate sustainability or the project does not include a sustainability plan.
  • 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 that the organization does not own or have a lease of at least five years.
  • 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?

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 years’ 990 forms?

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.

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 time frame.
  • Grant project, if designed to be ongoing, does not show how it will be funded after 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 a strong, diverse board of directors.

Focus Area Committees Questions:

What happens after we turn in our grant application?

The Grants 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?

The Focus Area Committees are comprised of IMPACT 100 members who volunteer and have no conflict of interest to serve (e.g. not staff or board member of a nonprofit which has submitted a grant application in that focus area). All discussions during committee meetings are kept private (even from IMPACT 100 members not on that committee). 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.

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

Each finalist selected by Focus Area Committees will have the opportunity to make a presentation to the IMPACT 100 membership at the Annual Meeting.

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?

There will be an average of 2 to 5 members from the focus area committee.

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. All applicants will have an opportunity to submit a wish list of items that could benefit their organization. Wish lists will be posted on the IMPACT 100 website for one year, giving possible donors an opportunity to grant applicants’ wishes.

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

Finalists will be notified by phone. All other applicants will be notified by both email and mail prior to the Finalist Announcement press conference in September.

After the Grants are Awarded Questions:

If we apply for an IMPACT 100 grant and are not selected as a finalist, can we apply next year?

Yes, we encourage your organization to reapply next year. Additionally we encourage you to submit your wish list, as many of the women are anxious to donate resources to the organizations even if they aren’t grant finalists. We call this the “impact of IMPACT”!

If my organization is not selected as an IMPACT 100 finalist, can we get some feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of our grant from the IMPACT 100 site visit team in an effort to improve our grant submission for next year?

We do not provide specific feedback to any applicant. The reason for this is that the committee members that review your grant will change each year. If we were to provide feedback from this year’s site visit team, next year’s site visit team might have a totally different perspective. If you were to make changes based on the opinions of these ladies alone, it might have no relevance whatsoever to a different group of ladies reading and evaluating your grant next year.


We do provide aggregate feedback at our Nonprofit Workshop in April. There, we present general feedback regarding what makes a good grant and the evaluation criteria the ladies use in assessing each grant. We also host a Grant Application 101 Workshop where we go through each section of the grant application, question by question, to ensure that applicants are very clear as to the intent of each question. Nonprofit organizations attending these events have found both to be helpful in getting their questions answered.

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 2020 grant recipient has expended all funds as of the grant application deadline on June 15, 2022, at noon, the nonprofit organization may submit a grant application for 2022.

How does IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area disburse the grant money?

IMPACT 100 disburses funds 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 must expend the grant funds within two years, following award of the grant. For example, a 2021 grant recipient may not begin to expend funds prior to November 1, 2021 and must expend grant funds by October 31, 2023.

Conflict of Interest Questions:

Can you be a member of IMPACT 100 if you work for a nonprofit organization?

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

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

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

Contact Information:

Who can we contact for more information or questions?

Contact the IMPACT 100 Grants Committee at or (888) 992-5646.

For more information: