Grant FAQ's

Please note that 2021 will be Impact 100 NYC’s inaugural grantmaking year. Impact 100 NYC will strive to raise and award a $100,000 grant, but the actual amount will be determined when our membership is finalized in December.

Is the Applicant Information Session mandatory?
No, it is completely optional.

We currently do not have a 501(c)(3) determination letter and are going through the process of obtaining a 501(c)(3) designation; however, we are a program sponsored by a 501(c)(3) organization and we are using them as our fiscal partner. Do we qualify?
No. As a women’s collective grant-making organization, we are responsible for awarding the donations of many generous women. We are very diligent about doing thorough reviews to ensure our Innovation Grant winners are financially stable and sustainable. We require our applicants to meet all of our eligibility requirements. Your organization would need to operate under its own 501(c)(3) status for 36 months prior to applying for an Innovation Grant.

Our organization is exempt from paying sales tax in the state of New York and we have a certificate from the state. Can we use this to prove our nonprofit status in our LOI submission?
No. Sales tax exemption for the state of New York does not necessarily mean that you are a “Public Charity” with tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. If your organization is a 501(c)(3) public charity, you should have a determination letter from the IRS stating this. A copy of the determination letter must be attached to your LOI.

Our organization operates within the five boroughs of New York City; can we apply for a project or program outside of New York City?
No, the project or program must serve residents of and expend funds fully within the five boroughs of New York City.

Our organization lost funding for an existing program. Can we apply for an Innovation Grant for that program?
The program should be an innovative new project or program or one that reshapes an existing proven program. Programs that already exist and that are not significantly pivoting to better serve their communities do not qualify.

We are a faith-based organization. Can we apply?
New York City has many nonprofits that are faith-based or out-growths from churches, temples or other religious institutions. In order to be eligible for our grant, the projects or programs must be open to all, including volunteers, regardless of religion; and the overall mission must not be to draw participants to one faith. Inherently religious activities within the organization would need to be separate, in time or location, from programming funded by Impact 100 NYC.

Impact 100 NYC will not fund a project or program that restricts participation because of religion (i.e., participation in the project or program or use of the facility requires that you profess a certain faith), and/or is principally guided by or requires religious activities (i.e., the project or program is designed for the purposes of engaging or bringing others into a religion).

What types of projects or programs do you prefer to fund?
As a collective grant-making organization, we have a diverse group of women who make up our voting membership. The committee members reviewing proposals will change each year, so a project or program that generally appeals to a committee one year may not the next year. Our grant recipients will spread over a range of focus and service areas, and include projects or programs, as well as capital projects directly related to the projects or programs. In general, our members are most enthusiastic about projects or programs that are innovative and transformative to the organization and the populations they serve. We want to hear about organizations that, if empowered with our funding, would be taking a huge step forward to advance their mission and that the funding would have a dramatic effect on the lives of an under-served population.

How can we make our Letter of Inquiry (LOI) rise to the top?
Take the LOI phase very seriously. While this is the first step in our process, it is critical that your organization be very thoughtful about the request being made. Once you have submitted your LOI, you cannot change the scope of the request or how you plan to use the funds if you are moved forward in the process. Submissions that really stand out are from organizations that have a clear and thoughtful mission, fill a defined, unmet need by reaching out to under-served populations in New York City, are financially healthy and have a well-conceived project or program that needs funding. Our review committees carefully consider the number of people served by a project or program and the intensity of services proposed. We talk about the depth and duration of the impact on the target population, and whether the impact might extend beyond the scope of the project and have a ripple effect, either in the broader community or over time. For requests to fund programs, a clear explanation of how a program can be sustained after the Impact 100 NYC $100,000 award is spent is important to us. We would like to know that we are jump-starting or investing in a program that has a strong probability of being funded beyond our two-year involvement. We recommend that you do not try to guess what kind of project, program or focus area Impact 100 NYC “prefers” to fund. Each year the organizations with the most impactful grant projects or programs will inevitably rise to the top as finalists and award recipients.

What types of expenses do you allow in a project or program budget?
Impact 100 NYC as a whole has no preference for funding one type of project or program expense over another. If your project involves capital purchases, we will be looking at the use of funds and the impact that will be generated by the capital expense. In terms of programming expenses, we understand that being properly staffed is critical to implementing any project. If staff expenses are a large part of the project budget, our primary concern may be the sustainability of the project after the grant period, and how staff salaries will be funded after our grant funds are expended. We will not accept a project or program budget in a Letter of Inquiry that requests $100,000 towards general operating expenses of an organization.

When funding capital improvement projects, does Impact 100 NYC have specific requirements with respect to the ownership/leasing of the property?
Yes. The property must be owned by the applicant or leased with a minimum of five years remaining on the lease as of July 1 of the Grant Award year. Ownership or lease of said property must be in place as of the LOI due date.

Will more consideration be given to programs that affect more than one borough?
Impact 100 NYC members are advised to look at the impact of a request, including both breadth and depth. There is no policy that automatically confers an advantage to applicants with programs that affect more than one borough.

Must an organization serve only women to qualify for funding from Impact 100 NYC?
No. Impact 100 NYC will consider an application from any 501(c)(3) organization that meets its funding criteria.

Between the time we submitted our LOI and were invited to submit a Full Proposal, our funding requirements and/or project needs changed. May we submit a new proposal in our grant application?
No. New proposals will not be accepted at the Full Proposal stage. They would need to be held for LOI submission in the next year’s grant cycle. We anticipate some restructuring of funding needs or updates on costs or bids from the LOI submissions; however, the committee members reviewing a Full Proposal will be expecting the project or program defined in the LOI to be comparable in nature to the Full Proposal. Any significant updates between the two submissions must be clearly identified in the Full Proposal or made known to Impact 100 NYC by notifying us by e-mail at [email protected].

The funding necessary for our possible LOI project or program is less than the $100,000 Impact 100 NYC grant amount. Can we submit a proposal for less than the full amount?
No. Impact 100 NYC requires LOI projects or programs to use the full $100,000 grant. LOI submissions requesting funding under $100,000 will not be considered.

The funding we need for our proposal is more than the $100,000 grant Impact 100 NYC offers. Can we submit a proposal for more than the $100,000?
Yes. If your project or program total funding exceeds $100,000, you will be required to delineate the portion of the project or program to be funded by the $100,000 Impact 100 NYC Innovation Grant and identify all other sources of funding previously obtained or applied for in order to complete the project or program.

What is the amount of each Innovation Grant?
Impact 100 NYC strives to award one or more $100,000 Innovation Grants each year. The actual amount is determined when our membership is finalized each December. The number and dollar amount of Innovation Grants will be announced in January; this information will be posted on the website and nonprofit organizations will be notified.

Are there any grants awarded for less than $100,000?
Our grant model is based on the number of members in our organization each year. For every 100 members, each having donated $1,000, we will award a $100,000 Innovation Grant. The residual funds are awarded to the finalists. The amounts of these grants are not determined until January. Our desire is to acknowledge the achievement of these organizations in becoming finalists and the wonderful services they provide. If your organization is chosen as a finalist but does not win an Innovation Grant, you would receive a portion of the residual funds as a general operating grant.

How should I submit my Letter of Inquiry or Full Proposal?
Letters of Inquiry are submitted online through our website under Apply for a Grant, Apply Now. Nonprofits invited to submit Full Proposals will be given instructions on how to submit their complete applications upon receiving their invitations.

Can our organization submit more than one Letter of Inquiry?
No. Each organization may submit only one grant application per year.

Do applicants have to apply in a specific focus area?
No. As long as an organization and project or program fits within our eligibility requirements, it may apply for an Innovation Grant.

Whom can we contact to discuss our grant application?
Impact 100 NYC is committed to a fair, unbiased process. We are unable to engage in unsolicited communication on topics other than questions about the guidelines or application process. For questions regarding Impact 100 NYC’s guidelines or process, you may email [email protected].

What kind of communication can we expect from Impact 100 NYC during this process?
Impact 100 NYC notifies all applicants at each stage of the application process, even if they are not invited to submit a Full Proposal, host a site visit, or become a finalist.

If our organization is not a grant recipient, will someone let us know how we can improve our application?
Our policy is to provide direct feedback as much as possible upon request.

How does Impact 100 NYC decide who gets the grants?
We accept Letters of Inquiry, and then request Full Proposals by invitation. Members join committees that perform the review of the proposals. These committees review and evaluate the applications, invite organizations to host site visits, then select its finalists. Committee members attend training sessions about the grant process and learn how to evaluate grant proposals. This training teaches committee members to consider the credibility and merit of the applicant organization and the feasibility and significance of the proposed project or program.

After each committee selects its finalist, all Impact 100 NYC members receive information on the finalists for review. The finalists attend our Annual Meeting in May and make presentations about their projects. Members vote by individual ballot at the Annual Meeting (or by absentee ballot if they are unable to attend), and that vote determines the grant recipients. Grant awards are announced at the Annual Meeting.

Will you consider a proposal from a group of organizations collaborating on a project or program?
Yes. However, one of the collaborating organizations must be the “lead organization,” applying as if it were an individual organization on behalf of the collaboration. The lead organization must be willing to take on all the potential rights, responsibilities, restrictions and liabilities of the grant, if it is received.

Your guidelines indicate you will not fund capital campaigns. Will you fund capital expenditures as part of a proposal?
Yes. We will fund capital expenditures that are clearly related to the proposed project or program.

If the project or program budget is not approved by the organization’s board by the Letter of Inquiry deadline, can the “draft” be submitted?
Yes. For the LOI, Impact 100 NYC is interested in your project or program budget even if it is not officially approved, however it must still be a realistic budget. Please note that the final question of the LOI asks that your Executive Director certify that he/she has received the information provided in the LOI and it is accurate and complete.

May I send additional materials with the Letter of Inquiry, such as brochures, annual report, videos or a letter of reference?
No, please only send the information specifically requested.

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.

Once an organization receives a grant from Impact 100 NYC, can it reapply the following year?
An organization that receives an Innovation Grant may not apply again for 36 months. If a finalist organization receives a general operating grant, it may reapply the following year.

If we submit a Letter or Inquiry and/or Full Proposal this year that is not funded, how soon can we submit another proposal?
You may apply again the following year.

How does Impact 100 NYC pay out the grant money?
Prior to the release of Innovation Grant funds to the Grantee, the recipient must complete a grant agreement. Impact 100 NYC may distribute project or program grants in installments or a one-time payment, depending on the nature of the project or program. Grantees must submit periodic reports on the project or program detailing the progress of both the project and its budget to Impact 100 NYC as specified in the grant agreement and prior to installment payments.

What is the period of time in which the money must be spent?
Impact 100 NYC requires that the organization uses the full amount of the grant funding within 24 months of the grant.

If I am a grant writer, nonprofit employee or nonprofit consultant can I be an Impact 100 NYC member and participate on committees?
You may be an Impact 100 NYC member and you may attend the finalist site visits that are open to all members. However, if you are writing a grant for or working with any nonprofits during a given grant cycle, for that cycle, you may not participate on any Grant Review or Finance committee nor may you attend any site visits that are only open to Grant Review committee members.

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

501(c)(3) exemption pending. Impact 100 NYC is registered with the New York State Attorney General’s Office to solicit charitable contributions and hold charitable assets in New York State.

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