The Grant Application along with these FAQs will serve as the primary source of information to direct nonprofit organizations in completing the grant application requirements and review process. We recommend that you read these FAQs in their entirety. 

Our organization does not have its own 501(c)3. May we apply if we have a fiscal sponsor?

Recognizing the many reasons why a small or new grassroots organization may not have its own tax exempt status, we have changed our eligibility criteria for 2024 to allow organizations to apply through a Fiscal Sponsor.

Such applications will be required to include additional information that will allow us to review the position of the Fiscal Sponsor as well as the Sponsored Organization.  In addition, all such applicants will be required to include a detailed Fiscal Sponsor Agreement, signed by both parties, in order for us to consider the application.  If the Fiscal Sponsor is acting only as a conduit for the grant and will not exercise control and oversight of the Project, the application will be deemed ineligible.  More information will be available during our Nonprofit Training Workshop on November 9, 2023.

Can an organization apply if none of its annual organizational budgets have met the $300,000 threshold ?

No. To be eligible, an organization’s annual operating budget (i.e. gross revenue) must be within the $300,000 to $5 million range for each of the three year periods prior to applying.  That said, in instances where your organizational budget would have met the $300,000 threshold figure, but for the economic fallout from Covid-19, the application provides an opportunity to explain those circumstances. 

Impact100 DC encourages nonprofit organizations to investigate a formal partnership with another organization to develop and execute a proposal if it doesn’t qualify on its own. (See below.)

Will you consider requests from nonprofits that are relatively new?

While we encourage all organizations seeking to create impact driven change to apply, our due diligence model requires three years of financial statements as evidence of financial stability. (Refer to FAQ entitled: Your application requires 3 years of audited or independently reviewed financial statements for more information.)  

What are the guidelines for a “formal partnership” with another nonprofit organization for this grant?

Each organization must be a tax-exempt entity with a 501(c)(3) status.  A signed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) is required from each partnering organization.  The MOA must, at a minimum, clearly explain the respective roles of the organizations partnering for purposes of this grant and how staff will be allocated in implementing your work plan.  The program budget must indicate both organizations’ share of funding. 

The Lead Applicant in a formal partnership takes responsibility for completing the application and shepherding the application through Impact100 DC’s grant process. The Lead Applicant must meet all of the grant eligibility criteria, and it is the Lead Applicant’s organizational, financial, and IRS data that will be examined as part of the application process. If the application is awarded a grant, all grant funds will be payable to and administered by the Lead Applicant. The Lead Applicant will manage the grants project and ensure it is completed according to Impact100 DC’s requirements including complying with all reporting requirements during the grant period.

Do you prioritize applications that involve a formal partnership arrangement?

No. Applications involving a formal partnership will be evaluated in a manner consistent with all other applications. 


If our organization works collaboratively with other community-based organizations in implementing our programs, must we document those relationships as part of the proposal?


Can local chapters of a national organization apply?

Yes, as long as your work focuses exclusively on the Greater Washington DC region. Local financial and budget data must be used consistently for all aspects of the application. If the local chapter receives financial support from the national organization, this support should be included in the local chapter financial data and evaluated as part of the eligibility criteria. 

If a group's founders were clergy, but the organization operates exclusively as a 501(c)(3) social services nonprofit (with a nondiscrimination clause), would it be eligible to apply?


What is the evaluation process that Impact100 DC will use to review applications?

Impact100 DC’s mission is focused on improving lives through funding high impact grants to local nonprofit organizations who reach underserved populations and seek to address unmet needs in the communities served. 

Our definition of a proposal that is impact driven is one that makes a demonstrable and significant difference in the targeted community over the course of the grant period and beyond. 

Our focus area committee grant review members will perform a rigorous assessment of each application. Generally speaking, well-written proposals include the following considerations. 

  • Specific: Be specific about your program, participants, and goals. Be sure the proposal answers the What, Who, When, Where, How and Why?
  • Measureable: Explain how you will evaluate the program, the methods you will use (service plans, surveys, interviews, research, pre/post program documentation, technology, etc.) to determine the impact (e.g., increased food security, increased participation, increased family cohesion, improved water quality, etc.) and the tracking/reporting process (e.g., data management software, excel, 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. 
  • Time-based: Clearly identify the timeline to which the proposed objectives are expected to be achieved.  

After the focus area committees have reviewed the narrative portions of a proposal, the Finance Review Committee turns to the proposal budget and financial information.  

As stewards of our members’ contributions, our Finance Review Committee is acutely focused on financial due diligence (financial strength) and an organization’s demonstrated ability to effectively administer a grant of $100,000 over the grant period. This review process is not intended to replicate a financial audit or review but instead to obtain an understanding of the financial activity, trends, and risks associated with an organization over the previous three year period. This generally involves a high level analysis of financial statement line items and disclosures to assess liquidity and sources of revenue, expenses and operating costs, current indebtedness, financial commitments, etc. This review may also take into consideration accounting and financial oversight structure, an organization’s tenure, and history with grants of a similar nature. 

Additional inquiries with an organization’s finance department may be necessary to obtain a more complete picture during this phase of the process. 


What are the funding priorities that will guide your evaluation of proposals?

Impact100 DC invites applications concerning proposed programs in any of our five focus areas: arts and culture, education, environment, family, and health and wellness.  Within those areas, we prioritize proposals that address the unmet needs of those who have been historically underserved, underrepresented, and marginalized as a result of systemic racism and structural inequity.  (For more information on grant-making using a “racial equity lens,” please see the following FAQ entitled: What is a racial equity lens and why do you use it?)  

Thus, a proposal for a new park in a blighted, low income neighborhood populated by people of color would be prioritized because the need is a result of the government use of “redlining” maps in the 1930’s which not only derailed investment in majority black communities, but ushered in decades of disinvestment thereafter. In this way, we ensure that our collective giving contributes directly towards measurable progress in advancing equity in our region.  

Additional factors that weigh in our evaluation include the following:

  • The critical nature and timeliness of the identified unmet need the proposal serves to address. 
  • The extent to which the proposal is designed to actively pursue change and will provide a demonstrable impact on the identified target population and/or community(ies).  
  • The extent to which the proposal includes sufficient detail about how it will measure the impact identified above.
  • Whether the application includes a clear alignment between the budget and the narrative sections.
  • The organization’s plans for ensuring that the change created by our funding will last after the Impact100 DC funds have been expended. 
  • Whether the organization has demonstrated a record of prior successes in implementing its mission and has the subject matter expertise to successfully implement the proposal.
  • The extent to which the Applicant itself (i.e., apart from the proposed program) demonstrates a commitment to furthering diversity, equity and inclusion in its mission, values and operations. 


What is a racial equity lens and why do you use it?

A racial equity lens provides a framework with which to evaluate grant proposals.  It  reflects an understanding that structural and institutional inequity and bias – in our institutions, places of employment, government agencies, social services, policies and culture – continue to privilege white people and disadvantage people of color and other historically marginalized groups such as LGBTQ and immigrant communities. 

As we review grant proposals for creative, sustainable, and high-impact solutions to community problems, we will pay special attention to who is impacted by the problem you have identified, and how your proposed activities will promote greater equity in the greater Washington DC area.  We will also seek to understand how the problems were identified and what voices were included in the development of the programs. 

Is there a preference for proposals that affect larger numbers or percentages of people over proposals that focus on significant investment in improving the lives of a smaller number of individuals?


Your application requires 3 years of financial statements. Do the financial statements have to be audited or reviewed, or can they just be prepared by an outside party?

To be eligible for the Impact100 DC grant, an organization must be able to provide three years of a complete set of financial statements.  While you may prepare your financial statements in house, we require that the documents be either audited or reviewed by an independent CPA in a manner that is consistent with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).  The financial statement package should also include an audit or review report from the auditor/reviewer.  This provides outside parties such as ourselves a level of assurance of the accuracy of your financial statements.  We collect three years of audits/reviews to ensure we have a more complete picture of your organization’s financial position. 

What is the difference between an audit and a financial review?

An audit is a very thorough examination of an organization’s financial records, which determines if the information fairly presents (i.e., correctly reflects) the financial position of the organization at the given time. An audit is a critical, systematic process that requires detailed testing such as examining a business’s accounting records and testing internal controls. Audits are performed by a CPA. 

In the hierarchy of financial review processes, the results of an audit provide the highest level of assurance over financial statements, as the auditor corroborates the assertions of management.

In contrast, a financial review is a more limited examination, reporting on the plausibility of the financial statements. 

This method is narrower in scope than an audit, still providing an evaluation of a business’s books, but generally limiting the analysis to analytical procedures and assessment of management. This results in limited assurance over the financial statements as there is a higher reliance on management’s assertions versus independent testing. 

Most states have laws requiring charitable nonprofits to conduct an independent audit under certain circumstances (this is usually triggered when you reach a specific amount of total revenues in a fiscal year). If you are not already legally required to conduct an independent financial audit we will not require one, but we will still require the independent review by an outside CPA.  Please consult your own experts to determine whether you are required to have an audit conducted on your financial statements for any given year.

What specific financial statements need to be included in the financial statement package to be considered a complete set of financial statements?

For our purposes, a complete set of financial statements includes for each annual period at a minimum: The Statement of Financial Position (Balance Sheet), Statement of Activities (Income Statement), Statement of Functional Expenses, and Statement of Cash Flows. It should also include the related financial statement footnotes and auditor or review report. 

Financial reporting system exports (e.g., Quickbooks), trial balances, or internally prepared spreadsheets would not fulfill this requirement. 

Failure to provide requested information for each required period may result in an application being rejected. 

What should we do if our current period audit or Form 990 will not be complete prior to the close of the grant application period?

Include the three most recent years for which a completed audit or review report or Form 990 is available. Include a note describing the circumstances resulting in the unavailability of the current report. 

How should I submit my application?

Impact100 DC uses the Good Grants Application software. Once the grant cycle opens, a link will be available on our website to access the Good Grants system and submit an application. A PDF of the application will be available for review only in October.

May I submit an application with a proposal for less than $100,000?

No, our objective is to award high impact grant(s). We require all proposals to include a plan and budget utilizing the full $100,000 award. The proposed timeline for implementation can be anywhere from 12 to 24 months in length.

You may submit a proposal in excess of the Impact100 DC grant amount as long as: 1) you are clear about where funds to cover the remaining costs are expected to come from, and 2) your proposal budget clearly specifies what portions of the total project budget the Impact100 DC grant will fund.

What if my grant proposal spans one or more focus areas?

We ask all applicants to identify a primary and alternative focus area that you believe best suits your proposal.  We do not provide advice about selecting a focus area but urge applicants to be thoughtful in considering their choices. Refer to the grants page for detailed FAC descriptions. We reserve the right to move applicants to the identified alternative focus area to better allocate our internal review committee volunteer resources, but do our best to consider your proposal within the primary FAC. 

Will you fund current operating expenses?

Yes. We recognize the importance of including operating costs in a program budget, particularly in light of the devastation Covid has wrought on the nonprofit community. However, we strongly encourage applicants who allocate more than 15% of their proposal budget to operating expenses to include an explanation of why they are doing so in the budget narrative section of the application.

What is the timeframe for implementation and when will grant funds be awarded?

Applicants may propose a timeframe of a minimum of 12 months up to a maximum of 24 months.  Regardless of which timeframe you use, be aware that we do not award the entire grant amount of $100,000 in a single installment.  (For example, a two year grant is usually paid in two installments of $50,000.)  However, we are open to creating a payment schedule tailored to each grant recipient’s specific needs.

Can our organization submit more than one application per year?

No, each organization can only submit (or participate as a formal partner on) one application per year.

Can we include brochures, news items, or our Annual Report in the application?

No, please only include the information requested in the application. We will not consider anything else received as part of your proposal. 

If I have questions during the process, who can I call to discuss my application?

Live questions will be addressed during our Annual Nonprofit Workshop. A recording of the session will be available following the live event. Subsequent questions may be directed to The FAQs on this website will be updated to reflect additional information during the grant cycle as deemed necessary.