Grant FAQ

Overview

What is the amount of Impact 100 Garden State grants?

 

Impact 100 Garden State awards grants of $100,000 which may be disbursed over one, two, or three years. The exact amount of the grants may be slightly higher or lower depending upon the total grant funds raised. As funds permit, Impact 100 Garden State may award smaller merit grants to finalists not receiving the larger $100,000 grants.

 

What are Impact 100 Garden State’s eligibility requirements?

 

  • Applicants must be incorporated as 501 (c) (3) organizations.
  • Applicants must serve at least one of our targeted five counties: Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex or Union. An applicant’s headquarters may be outside of the five counties, but the grant request must impact at least one of the five counties. 
  • Applicants must submit clear and complete applications, addressing all questions within the stated word limits.
  • Applicants must identify one grant category in which their request will be considered by Impact members (even if the request overlaps with other categories): 
    • Arts and Culture: Programs that develop, cultivate, or enhance the cultural and artistic climate.
    • Children and Families: Programs that strengthen or enhance the lives of children and families.
    • Education: Programs that advance or improve learning opportunities for children and/or adults.
    • Environment, Preservation, and Recreation: Programs that restore, conserve, or improve natural surroundings and resources, (including for recreational use); improve the welfare of animals; preserve buildings and structures; or support research, public awareness, or education relating to the environment
    • Health and Wellness: Programs that improve the physical and/or mental well-being of people
  • Applicants must submit all required supporting documents as attachments to the online application submission:
    • IRS 501(c)(3) letter;
    • Complete list of board members including their professional affiliations and years served;
    • Most recently filed IRS Form 990, including Schedule A*
    • First prior year’s audited or reviewed financials**
    • Second prior year’s audited or reviewed financials **
    • Interim financials (Your most recent unaudited/unreviewed financials (i.e., balance sheet, P & L, and cash flow statement) to assist Impact 100 with understanding your most current fiscal position).**

* Regardless of your organization’s gross revenue, our membership requires the completion of the IRS Form 990. 

** If your organization does not have audited financial statements, Impact 100 Garden State will accept financial statements reviewed by an independent accountant. Interim financial requirements are explained in greater detail within the online application template.

 

What requests are ineligible?

 

Impact 100 Garden State will not fund:

  • Debt reduction
  • Private foundations
  • Legislative, political or partisan activities
  • Endowments
  • Interim or bridge financing
  • Fundraising activities or events
  • Capital campaigns
  • Faith-based programs, though funding may be awarded to faith-based organizations with programs that meet our guidelines and are open to all, regardless of religious affiliation.

 

Does Impact 100 Garden State have any funding preferences or priorities?

 

Impact 100 Garden State’s mission is to provide transformational funds to organizations that reach underserved populations; to raise the profile of those that are deserving but lesser-known; and to highlight unmet needs in the areas of Arts and Culture; Children and Families; Education; Environment, Preservation and Recreation; and Health and Wellness.

Our definition of transformational is one in which the Impact 100 Garden State grant makes a demonstrable difference in the lives of individuals and communities over the course of the grant period and beyond. A transformational grant might support existing models of service to reach more people or serve more areas within Impact 100 Garden State’s 5-county area. Or, a transformational grant might fund innovative programs that will serve as promising models for the nonprofit sector.

Our Grant Review Team members perform a rigorous assessment of the grants as to the extent they are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Transformative. (See table within this FAQ for definitions of “SMART”)

As stewards of our members’ contributions, our Financial Review Team is acutely focused on an applicant’s ability to absorb and effectively administer the $100,000 grant over one to three years.

 

What is the Impact 100 Garden State process for deciding who gets the grants?

 

Our review and decision-making process includes the following. Please take a look at our Process & Dates page for more details and dates:

  • Thorough review of the applications by the Grant Review Committee;
  • Financial due diligence by the Financial Review Committee;
  • Site visits to selected applicants for additional information-gathering, vetting, and relationship-building;
  • Finalist determination after the site visits by the Grant Review Committee; 
  • Annual Awards Meeting preparation with the finalists (e.g., presentation rehearsal, wish list development, etc.);
  • Distribution of information for each finalist to all Impact 100 Garden State members prior to the Annual Awards Meeting;
  • Member voting for their top choices and Leadership Team tabulation of votes;
  • Finalist presentations to the Impact 100 Garden State members at the Annual Awards Meeting and celebration.

 

What is the likelihood that my organization will receive an Impact 100 Garden State grant?

 

We respect our nonprofit community and understand that preparing applications and participating in the grant process requires significant effort. Our funding rate depends upon the number of Impact 100 Garden State members, the available funds from member contributions and sponsorships, and the number of grant requests. In 2020, we received 50 eligible applications, awarded three $100,000 grants, as well as four, smaller merit grants. 

Finalists and award recipients report that our process is rigorous and beneficial in a number of ways. As finalists, applicants interact more directly with Impact 100 Garden State members, receive coaching and support with preparing their presentations to our full membership, and also share wish lists with our members (e.g. additional requests for specific types of monetary and volunteer support). Through the grant process, applicants are exposed to our Impact 100 Garden State’s active and civically-engaged members.  View this video to learn more about the benefits of applying from some of our nonprofit grant recipients.

For nonprofits unable to absorb a $100,000 Impact grant over one to three years, Impact 100 Garden State members have the opportunity to nominate a nonprofit for the Rising Star Award. In 2021, our chapter will award one $5,000 grant to a smaller-sized-nonprofit who is member-nominated. Members can learn about the Rising Star Award on the member portal.

 

Does Impact 100 Garden State fund operational grants?

 

Impact 100 Garden State does not fund general operating expenses. Within an applicant’s program budget, however, line item requests may be made for program related operational allocations, such as salary, rent or pertinent program equipment.

 

Must an organization serve only women to qualify for funding from Impact 100 Garden State?

 

No. Impact 100 Garden State considers applications from any 501(c)(3) organization that meet our eligibility guidelines.

 

Does Impact 100 Garden State prefer to fund new programs or extensions of current programs to new recipients or new areas?

 

Both types of requests are eligible, and there is no preference for one over the other.

 

If implementation of the proposed program depends on other organizations, is there anything else to be included with the application?

 

If any formal contracts, agreements, approvals, or memorandums of understanding are required to promptly and effectively implement the program upon receipt of the grant, please provide detailed information on the status of these relationships and related documents as part of the Application Narrative Question #5. For those organizations receiving site visits, a copy of the final, signed document(s) must be provided at the time of the site visit.

 

What is a Joint Application?

 

An application is considered joint if the applying organization requests that Impact 100 Garden State disburse a portion of the grant funds directly to another organization with which it plans to partner on the program. A Joint Application must distinguish in the application between the Lead and Partner Organization (see description of each below.)

 

If a program for which an organization seeks funding will be a joint application, do both organizations have to be a 501(c)(3)?

 

Yes, both organizations have to be a 501(c)(3). Additionally, one organization should be designated as the Lead Organization within the application.  

 

Within a joint application, how does Impact 100 Garden State distinguish a Lead Organization from a Partner Organization?

 

Lead Organization: The lead organization completes the grant application and names the partner organization. In the narrative attachment question about collaboration plans, clearly explain the responsibilities of both the Lead and the Partner organization.

Partner Organization: The partner nonprofit must also submit the required financials and the contact information for its financial person. This information may be submitted via email to grants@impact100gardenstate.org.  Note in this email the name of the Lead Organization and the program name. You will receive an email acknowledgment of receipt. If an acknowledgment is not received, please contact the grants team again.

 

The Application

When will the 2021 application be posted?

 

The 2021 Grant Application is available now.

 

How will applications be evaluated?

 

Please review this entire FAQ to learn more about Impact 100 Garden State’s funding priorities, and review important dates on our Process & Dates page. Instructions within the grant application provide additional detail as to the desired information for each question. Moreover, we host Grant Information Sessions to review our guidelines and application and respond to applicant questions.

Each grant application is reviewed and discussed by multiple Grant Review Committee members, and our Financial Review Committee conducts robust financial reviews to obtain assurance that applicants have sufficient financial stability and infrastructure to absorb and manage a $100,000 grant over one to three years.

The criteria used to determine whether applications move forward to our site visit phase includes the alignment with Impact 100 Garden State’s mission and funding priorities and the degree to which the grant request is SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Transformative (Please see table below)

Specific

Be specific about your program, participants, and goals. Be sure the proposal answers: What, Who, When, Where, How, and Why?

Measurable

Explain how you will evaluate the program, the methods you will use (service plans, surveys, interviews, research, pre/post program documentation, etc.) to determine the impact (increased food security, increased youth participation in self-care practices, increased family cohesion, improved water quality, etc.).

Achievable

Describe your capacity (human, financial, cultural, programmatic, etc.) to implement your program effectively and achieve the desired impact.

Realistic

Clearly describe and make the case that your organization can realistically implement the proposed program with the dedicated staff members and within the stated timeline to reach your proposed objectives.

Transformative

Clearly describe and make the case that the proposed program will have demonstrable impact: on your target population, for your community(ies), for your organization in achieving its mission, and/or perhaps for your sector.

Are organizations required to provide all data requested on the grant application?

 

Yes. All information is required at the time of submission and by the application deadline. Organizations will receive an error message if any dialog box or attachment is missing, and the application will not be electronically transmitted until those areas are completed. Please pay attention to specific financial documents required, and if you have any questions, please reach out to grants@impact100gardenstate.org.

 
 

What does Impact 100 Garden State require in terms of applicant financials?

We require two consecutive prior years of audited or reviewed financials and interim unaudited/unreviewed financials from the most recent audit/review date to the most recent 2020 date available (preferably 12/31/20 but not earlier than 10/31/20). The table below summarizes our financial statement requirements for 3 common year end dates.

Please note that failure to provide the required financial statements including complete interim financials (balance sheet, P&L and cash flow statement) may be cause for disqualification.

Attachment

Fiscal Year End
June 30

Fiscal Year End
Sept 30

Fiscal Year End Dec 31

First Year
Audited/Reviewed
6/30/20 Audited/Reviewed Financials 9/30/20 Audited/Reviewed Financials

(if 2020 audit/review is not complete, then 2019)

12/31/19 Audited/Reviewed Financials
Second Year
Audited/Reviewed
6/30/19
Audited/Reviewed Financials
9/30/19
Audited/Reviewed Financials(if 2020 audit/review is not complete, then 2018)
12/31/18
Audited/Reviewed Financials
Interim Financials
(Unaudited/Unreviewed)
7/1/20 – 12/31/20
Internal Financials
10/1/20 – 12/31/20
Internal Financials(if 2020 audit/review is not complete, then also provide 10/1/19 – 9/30/20 Internal Financials)

1/1/20 – 12/31/20
Internal Financial

 

 

When and where will Impact 100 Garden State offer the Nonprofit Information Sessions?

 

Nonprofit Information Sessions are offered annually. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these Nonprofit Information Sessions will be held virtually and also recorded so that applicants may reference them on their own time. Please view the Grant Information Session page for dates and more detailed information as it becomes available.

 

What kind of communication can organizations expect from Impact 100 Garden State during the grant review process?

 

All communication between grant applicants and Impact 100 Garden State will originate with Impact 100 Garden State and will be done via an impact100gardenstate.org email address.  If your organization is chosen for a site visit, contact will originate from the appropriate grant committee member(s) familiar with your request, the nonprofit outreach team members supporting the site visit and finalist determination process, and/or the financial review team member(s) familiar with your request.

 

Does Impact 100 Garden State make site visits to each applicant organization?

 

No. Not all organizations receive site visits. Only organizations who are chosen for this next phase will be asked to participate in site visits during the month of April 2021. Given the status of the COVID-19 pandemic, site visits may be facilitated virtually

 

What does an organization need to know about site visits?

 

For grant year 2021, site visits will be held during the month of April. Executive Directors/CEOs will be notified by mid-April if their organizations will be receiving site visits. Site visits are conducted by a Site Visit Team Leader and a few Impact 100 Garden State members from the Grant and Financial Review Committees. Site Visit Team leaders work closely with the applicant organizations’ primary contacts to plan the site visits and prepare the applicant organization for the Impact 100 Garden State representatives’ questions. The primary goal of a site visit is to determine if the organization can accomplish the program goals described in the proposal.  The visit lasts approximately two hours, including discussion and a tour (if appropriate). Given the status of the COVID-19 pandemic, site visits may occur virtually. The Impact 100 Garden State Site Visit Team will expect to meet with the organization’s Executive Director, the proposed program director, finance person, and a board member. A site visit is not a guarantee of funding.

 

Who can an organization contact to discuss its grant application?

 

For questions regarding the grant guidelines, process or forms, review all website pages under the Grants Menu. Impact 100 Garden State is committed to a fair, unbiased process. Impact does not respond to unsolicited communication related to topics other than questions about the guidelines, process or forms, nor does it accept unsolicited phone calls. Applicants should not contact members of Impact 100 Garden State in any way, except in response to a request for additional information. Applicants must not make any attempt to lobby for their proposal. Any attempt to unfairly influence the process is grounds for elimination from consideration.

 

Will Impact 100 Garden State provide feedback to organizations who do not receive a grant?

 

Impact 100 Garden State does not give direct feedback regarding applications. We continuously review our practices and share lessons learned internally and in relationship with other Impact chapters. We do our best to inform the nonprofit community of our funding priorities and process prior to the application submission deadline.

 

If an organization’s application is not accepted due to a specific problem, will the organization have an opportunity to fix the problem?

 

No. Revisions to the application are not accepted.

When will the grants be awarded?

 

Grant recipients are announced during the Annual Awards Meeting in June 2021.

 

Will an organization receive its check that evening?

 

No. Impact 100 Garden State requires a Grant Agreement to be signed by the recipient(s). The Grant Agreement details how and when disbursements will be paid based on agreed upon grant milestones (e.g., reaching certain stated objectives over particular timelines, etc.).  Our Grants Administration Team will work closely with grant recipients over the duration of the grant term.

 

How does Impact 100 Garden State distribute the grant money?

 

Impact 100 Garden State typically provides the grant funds as milestone payments (installments) based on the request and grant timeline. In all situations, Impact 100 Garden State requires interim reports on the use of the monies and the progress of the program. Our Grants Administration Team will work closely with grant recipients over the duration of the grant term.

 

Does Impact 100 Garden State give grants to programs that expend the funds over an extended period of years?

 

As stated in the grant guidelines, the programs funded must expend the entire amount of the grant within three years after the Grant Agreement is signed.

 

Can an organization get a list of the members of Impact 100 Garden State?

 

No. During the grant process, a list of our Impact 100 Garden State members is not published, but the names of those members who wish to be listed are included in the program distributed at the Annual Awards Meeting. The membership list in our program is not to be used for any solicitation purposes.