Community Impact Grants

Volunteers and Community Kitchen Preparing Sack Lunches

FALL 2022 COMMUNITY IMPACT GRANT INITIATIVE

The Community Impact Funding Initiative is designed to fuel innovative ideas and lasting impact in our community by granting funds to nonprofits to meet our community’s most pressing needs and seize its most compelling opportunities.

On an annual basis, the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County (CFBMC) entertains funding requests for projects and programs that will benefit the citizens of Bloomington and Monroe County. Grants are awarded from the Unrestricted Endowment Fund, select field of interest funds, and from collaborative funding provided by Community Foundation partners, including the Smithville Charitable Foundation.  Grant funding is designed to support a broad range of community needs such as arts and culture, social and health services, education, recreation, beautification and preservation, animal welfare, the environment, and community development opportunities. 

Through the Community Impact Funding Initiative, the Foundation seeks to invest in projects that are forward thinking, community changing in their implementation, practical in their application, and unique to the community.  The amount of the grants will range from $10,000 to $50,000.  Highest priority in the evaluation of grant awards will be given to projects that incorporate and embrace the following:

  • Innovative or transformative solutions to critical community issues
  • Collaboration across organizations and/or sectors to increase impact and effectiveness
  • Projects/programs that plan for long-term sustainability (when applicable) 

Impact grants will be made to local 501(c)(3) nonprofits and organizations that are exempt from filing for a 501(c)(3) status.  This includes units of government, school corporations, and religious organizations.  Impact grants may be awarded to religious organizations for programs that are non-proselytizing and do not promote religious doctrine or instruction.  In limited situations, CFMBC may be able to grant to other types of organizations that are serving a charitable purpose but do not have a 501(c)(3) status. To confirm eligibility, please contact Marcus Whited at marcus@cfbmc.org or (812) 333-9016.

The Community Foundation does not accept requests for:

  • Previously incurred debts
  • Political campaigns
  • Efforts to influence legislation of any governmental body other than through making available the results of nonpartisan analysis, study, and research

We typically do not fund requests for general operating support only.  

Eligible Grant Expenses

Direct costs for implementing the project or program are eligible grant expenses. In addition, no more than 30% of the requested grant funding may be used for indirect costs that contribute to the organization’s ability to implement the grant project, or for building and/or sustaining operational capacity for the duration of the grant period. Examples of indirect operating expenses related to the project may include the following areas: fund development, internal operations such as IT upgrades, financial management tools, administrative costs, essential staffing, and/or core program costs. 

Application Process 

Interested applicants are asked to submit a two-page (maximum) Letter of Intent, IRS Letter of Determination, and the organization’s non-discrimination policy to CFBMC via email by the September 7, 2022 deadline.  Please see specific instructions below for Letters of Intent.   The Community Foundation staff and evaluation team will review the Letters of Intent relative to applicability to funding parameters, alignment with funding criteria, quality, and proposed outcomes.  A select number of applicants will be invited on September 23 to submit a full proposal, which consists of completing an online application. 

Timeline 

August 5, 2022 – Announcement of grant cycle

September 7, 2022 – Due date for LOI, IRS Letter, non-discrimination policy 

September 23, 2022 – Selected applicants receive invitations for full online application 

October 31, 2022 – Full applications due

December 5, 2022 – Announcement of awards

Mid-December 2022 – Grant funding available (pending grant agreement)

Grant Selection Criteria

CFBMC will be responsible for the selection and administration of grants.  The Grant Evaluation Committee is comprised of CFBMC staff, CFBMC board members, and community representatives.  The individuals on the committee are charged with the difficult task of selecting a limited number of grants for funding from a pool of very compelling projects and programs.  Generally, we have about six times as much funding requested as we have funds available.  In the process of culling the applications to a fundable pool, the evaluation team will consider: 

  • The commitment of the requesting organization’s governing board
  • The organization’s fiscal responsibility and management qualifications
  • Ability of the organization to obtain any additional funding needed 
  • Ability to sustain a program/project (when applicable)

Additionally, the evaluators will tend to respond more favorably to projects or programs that: 

  • Focus on solutions to problems rather than symptoms
  • Are innovative and transformative
  • Are proactive in responding to a need or opportunity 
  • Build the capacity of the organization to fulfill its mission, serve its clients, navigate growth and change successfully
  • Enhance cooperation and collaboration among organizations within our community
  • Leverage funds through the use of seed funding, matches, or challenge grants
  • Will result in a significant improvement for the benefit of our community

Preparing Letters of Intent

All Letters of Intent should be no more than two pages in length and must be submitted on the applicant’s letterhead to the Community Foundation.  The following should be included:

  • The name and title of the contact person 
  • The mission statement of the organization
  • The amount requested between $10,000 and $50,000 (an estimate is acceptable for the Letter of Intent)
  • Project description, including how the project would benefit the community
  • Basic information regarding how the amount requested was determined and what the funds would cover
  • A description on the ability to achieve clearly defined and measurable outcomes 
  • Initial timeline of the project itself, as well as a timeline for measuring results

The organization’s IRS Letter of Determination should be included with the Letter of Intent, along with the organization’s official non-discrimination policy.  All of these materials should be presented in PDF format and emailed to marcus@cfbmc.org on or before the deadline of September 7, 2022.

Grant Disbursements and Evaluations

Before grant funding is available, the grantee and the Community Foundation will execute a grant agreement.  The grant agreement will outline the payout schedule for the grant, which may include multiple distributions.  Generally, grants are distributed on a reimbursement basis. CFBMC will work collaboratively with grantees to establish the content and the schedule for grant documentation, feedback and evaluation.  Depending upon the project or program, this may include intermediate and final reports. While the grant agreement will define the required components of grant evaluations, the following items are generally included in the grant reports:  

  • Objectives met or unmet
  • Strengths and weaknesses of program/project
  • Population served
  • Community benefits from the grant program/project 
  • Financial results
  • Sustainability of the project/program

Frequently, the Community Foundation’s program staff will visit the grant site to check on progress or experience the project in action.  The grantee will be asked to provide pictures and copies of any publicity about the funded grant.  

Please direct any questions regarding this grantmaking initiative to CFBMC Program Director Marcus Whited at marcus@cfbmc.org or 812-333-9016.

Equal Opportunity in Grantmaking

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity (as defined in paragraph 249(c)(4) of title 18, United States Code), sexual orientation, marital or parental status, political affiliation, military service, physical or mental ability, or any other improper criterion be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity funded in whole or in part with funds made available by the community foundation, and any other program or activity funded in whole or in part with funds appropriated for grants, cooperative agreements, and other assistance administered by the community foundation.