Impact 100 team urges nonprofits to apply for $100K grants


Impact 100 of Indian River County is encouraging local nonprofit organizations to apply for one of the $100,000 transformational grants they will award during the 2022-2023 grant season. Grant applications are being accepted now through Nov. 3.

The number of grants awarded each April is determined by the number of women who join by Feb. 28 of that year, and this year they are hoping for enough members to award six $100,000 grants. Annual membership in Impact 100 is $1,100, with $1,000 funding the $100,000 grants, and $100 helping with operational expenses.

Grant finalists are narrowed down through a multifaceted grant review process, with members casting a vote in April to choose that season’s recipients.

Recognizing that the application process can be a daunting task, a visioning committee was formed roughly 10 years ago by Jane Coyle, then Impact 100 president, to assist Indian River County nonprofits with formulating ideas for the projects they wish to have funded.

The visioning team is available to work with nonprofits as often as needed, in person or via Zoom meetings, to ensure that they meet the financial and project requirements, with the objective of having applications make it all the way through the process.

“We encourage them to reach out when they feel bogged down or lose direction. The committee is experienced and very eager to see each organization get to the finish line, where the members vote,” wrote Gladys LaForge, current visioning committee chair and former president, via email.

“We are a think tank of sorts for nonprofits fine-tuning grant ideas. It is interesting how many organizations start out with a certain concept to wind their way through visioning and come out with a different and better idea,” she added. “Every idea is worth talking about. Brainstorming is very helpful and leads to creative and ingenious grant ideas.”

This year, for the first time, their committee contacted some 160 local nonprofits and were surprised to learn how many were unfamiliar with Impact 100. Their hope is that readers of Vero Beach 32963 who are involved with area nonprofits will encourage them to apply. Focus areas include Arts and Culture, Children and Families, Education, Environment, and Health and Wellness.

“Once grant proposals are received, a read-through of all applications is conducted by a group of committee and board members for the purpose of ensuring that all applicants and projects meet our eligibility guidelines,” wrote Liz Locke, grants committee chair.

Proposals are then assigned to grant panels for their review between December and early March, during which site visits are conducted. Finally, a selection panel hears short presentations on each project to determine that year’s finalists.

“We do our best, as an organization, to support local nonprofits and to be as transparent as possible. Again, we are here to help. Visioning sessions are available, and the grants committee is always available to answer questions,” Locke added.

“We want to encourage all local nonprofits to learn about Impact 100, schedule visioning sessions, and to submit applications. There are many advantages to applying, even if an organization does not end up getting a $100,000 grant.”

A nonprofit information session will be held at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7 at the IRSC Richardson Center, where additional information about visioning and the grant application and review processes will be discussed.

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