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

We will be addressing the following:

  • Is the project transformational? (ie., new project or expansion of existing program, pursues change, visionary, innovative)
  • Does it address unmet needs in our community, prioritizing those that result from systemic racism and structural inequity (racial equity lens)?
  • What will be the community impact?
  • Will the project be sustainable after funds have been expended?
What is a racial equity lens?

Using a racial equity lens in grant-making means acknowledging 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 (as well as other historically marginalized groups such as LGBTQ and immigrant communities).

For many years now, major philanthropic organizations have embraced grant-making through a racial equity lens as an intentional way of distributing philanthropic support to programs that seek to make life fairer for the people who have suffered as a result of systemic racism.  Equally important, they support efforts to reshape the institutions and services — such as our health care system and public schools — that continue to produce wildly disparate outcomes depending upon race and ethnicity.

This lens will guide our work as well. As we review grant proposals for creative, sustainable, and transformational 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.

What if my grant request spans one or more of your focus areas?

We ask all applicants to identify the focus area that you believe bests suits your proposal.  However, we reserve the right to contact applicants to determine if particular proposals could be reviewed by a different focus area committee should the need arise.

Will you consider requests from small non-profits that are relatively new?

While we encourage all organizations seeking to create transformational change to apply, our due diligence model requires three years of financial records as evidence of financial stability. If you lack this material, but still want to apply, you may want to consider collaborating with another nonprofit that has a proven record.

Can our organization submit more than one application per year?

No, each organization can only submit one application per year.

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

No, we will collect this information only if your organization is offered a site visit.

Will you fund current operating expenses?

Yes. We recognize the importance of including operating costs in a project 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 project budget to operating expenses to include an explanation of why they are doing so in the budget narrative section of the application.

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

Because we are an all-volunteer organization, we do not provide this service. However, we do host several workshops open to the public before the grant deadline in order to walk prospective applicants through the application and the process.

How should I submit my application?

We are using the grant application and management software called Submittable for all grant applications. In order to start the application process with our Letter of Inquiry, you will need to create an account., We will offer a training opportunity on the use of this platform for nonprofits considering applying for a grant before the grant period officially opens.

Can I submit an application for less than $100,000?

No, we require you to include a budget that would use the full $100,000.

What is the period of time in which the grant money must be spent?

Grant funds must be spent within a two year period.

What are the guidelines for formal collaboration with another nonprofit organization for this grant?

Impact100 DC encourages nonprofit organizations to collaborate with one another in developing and executing transformational proposals. A collaborative relationship is one between two or more nonprofit organizations that lowers costs and/or increases gains for those served by their programs. When two or more organizations collaborate, they align their missions and activities to achieve a common goal. Collaboration also meaningfully changes the way participating organizations do business for the long term and requires Board involvement as a high-level, strategic activity.

The program description in the grant application must clearly explain the role of the collaborating organization(s). The program budget must indicate the collaborating organization’s share of funding. A signed Memorandum of Understanding is required from each collaborating organization.

The Lead Applicant in a collaborative project takes responsibility for completing the application and shepherding the application through Impact100 DC’s grant process. The Lead Applicant’s organizational, financial, and IRS data 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.

Do the 3 full years (36 months) of requested financial statements have to be audited or just prepared by an outside person?

To clarify: 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 audit, we do not expect one from you. However, your financial statements must have been reviewed by an independent accountant to ensure that they are consistent with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Please consult your own experts to determine whether you are required to audit your financial statements for any given year.

Could you provide some detail about how the partnership model would work with organizations who have operating budgets under that $300,000 mark?

The basic concept is to partner with a larger organization whose financial information would meet all of our eligibility requirements. That larger organization would be the Lead Organization for purposes of evaluating the financial records included with your application. It would also sign the actual contract for the grant if received, and would be responsible for all reporting requirements.

Do you prioritize applications that involve a formal collaboration?

No.

I understand we cannot propose current programming, but what about expansion and taking existing programming to a new level?

Yes, that is allowed. However, if you propose to expand or broaden an existing program, you will be expected to provide data from a program evaluation that demonstrates the efficacy of the original project.

Would financial aid/scholarships be considered for support?

No.

If we fall under more than one focus area, how do we choose?

Pick the focus area that best aligns with the project you are proposing, even it it would vary from the one that matches your organization as a whole. If your project seems to fit into more than one focus area, please identify a first and second choice on your application.

Are you open to local chapters of a national organization?

Yes, as long as your work focuses exclusively on this region. Use your local budget numbers for all aspects of the application.

Is there a preference for projects that affect larger numbers of people over projects that focus on significant investment in transforming the lives of a smaller number of individuals?

No. We recognize the value of and potential impact of both.

Could a portion of the award be used toward the creation and development of an augmented data evaluation process for work undertaken under this grant?

If the data collection is aimed fully at evaluating this project, then yes. But if it is for a larger evaluation system that would serve other programs within the organization or beyond this project, then it would fall under “indirect costs.”

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?

Yes.

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

We would expect you to present an organizational budget within the $300,000 to $5 million ranges for all three years, except for the year 2020 (and that year only); we understand that the economic fallout from Covid-19 may have prevented you from meeting your usual budget goals. The application allows you to explain those circumstances.

Does the project budget have to equal the full $100,000? Alternatively, can the $100,000 grant be a part of a larger project budget?

Do not submit a project budget for less than the available grant amount or you will not be considered. However, you may submit a project budget in excess of the Impact100 DC grant amount as long as: 1) you are clear about where the remaining grant dollars are expected to come from, and 2) your project budget clearly specifies what portions of the total project budget the Impact100 DC grant will fund.