Grant FAQs

At Impact 100 Seattle we practice trust-based philanthropy with the aim of minimizing the work for non-profits throughout the application process and the grant lifecycle. All of our grants are unrestricted. 

Note: While the timeline and dates below apply to the former 2022 grantmaking cycle, they can be used as a guideline for 2023 and beyond.

How many grants will Impact 100 Seattle make?

We are excited to be entering another year of grantmaking! Our plan is to make one large grant of $100,000 and a few smaller grants for finalists, which are dependent upon the size of our member base as of May 1st.

When will grants be made?

We will select grants for funding on June 6, and grants will be made by the end of June. 

Do you provide multi-year funding?

Grant funding can be made over three years if desired, but we find that even small organizations are able to absorb funding in the first year. It is our hope to engage our members in multi-year commitments that will translate to multi-year funding in the future.

What does Impact 100 Seattle focus on in its grantmaking?

We follow the Impact 100 model which makes grants across five broad areas: Arts & Culture, Education, Environment, Family and Health & Wellness. In addition, Impact 100 Seattle is specifically looking for organizations that:

  • Serve the Puget Sound: Organizations must operate in the region, and the majority of programs and services must benefit those in the Puget Sound.
  • Focus on under-served populations or address racial or other inequities: Population(s) are clearly identified, and programs and services are focused on increasing equity.  
  • Center community: Organizations identify issues and develop strategies from lived experience.  
  • Address underlying causes of social issues: The organizations address root causes facing their community. 

What do you mean by Puget Sound area?

The Puget Sound includes the cities and counties along the I-5 corridor from Olympia to Everett, and west to Bremerton. The majority of organizations we fund are in the greater Seattle area. 

Can we use funding to expand beyond the Puget Sound? 

No. Impact 100 Seattle has chosen to focus its funding on organizations that are based in and serving communities of Northwestern Washington.

If my organization serves under-served people as part of a broader population, is it eligible? 

No. While we value community services (e.g. art programs, preschools) that reach all people, we are specifically looking for organizations that focus on increasing equity for under-served populations. This includes, but is not limited to, those who are not provided equal access to services due to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, etc.

What do you mean by community centered?

We prioritize organizations whose work brings under-represented communities to the forefront, and whose leadership, staff and board reflect and/or maintain proximity to the communities they serve. We want to see those directly impacted by injustice have decision-making power over strategy, direction and funding of the organization. This year we specify that at least 50% of staff and board represent communities served.

Does our organization qualify if it focuses on direct services?

No. Impact 100 Seattle supports organizations with bold agendas and a commitment to addressing underlying causes and effecting long-term changes. 

We recognize the importance of organizations providing direct services like housing and food. These are important for meeting people‘s basic needs and helping them navigate daily life. However, our focus is not on individual change, but people working collaboratively to change policies, institutions and structures that impact a broader group of people. For example, an organization providing STEM education to young students of color would not address root causes, but if that organization also worked to ensure that schools include perspectives of BIPOC students in its curricula, and had instructors that represented these students teaching them, it would.

What requirements does Impact 100 Seattle have on its grantees?

We have no formal reporting requirements. Our expectation is that organizations align with Impact 100 Seattle vision and values, that they work to collaborate with other organizations, and that there‘s a willingness to engage in a relationship with Impact 100 Seattle and its members.

What is Impact 100 Seattle‘s tolerance for risk?

We embrace risk and encourage any organization that meets our criteria to apply.

How long does an organization have to be operational to apply?

New and established organizations under $2 million in revenue and in-kind donations are encouraged to apply. 

How do I apply? 

Applications closed on February 25th at 11:59pm PST. If you missed your chance, please follow our progress and return next year! You may contact us with any questions at: grants@impact100seattle.org.

What is the grant review process?

Impact 100 Seattle is a new organization aiming to address some of the unhealthy power dynamics in traditional philanthropy. One of our first efforts was to streamline the grant application process, respecting the time of all applicants. Once organizations apply:

  • The Impact 100 Seattle grant review team will review applications and arrive at a list of ~10 semi-finalist organizations. Applicants will be notified by email in early April. 
  • Members of the grant review team will gather additional information on each of the finalist organizations. We will first seek to obtain publicly available materials to minimize the level of effort for applicants. Two members of the grant committee will schedule a short discussion with a few follow-up questions related to leadership/board, financials, additional details on the impact of your organization or other areas.
  • Financial review will be conducted. Once again, our team will aim to gather publicly available information including 990 forms, but in addition will also ask the organization to provide current year budget and latest financial statements. All documents can be provided in the format best suited to the organization. 
  • Through a moderated session with the grants committee, we plan to recommend a final list of organizations to our Membership in June. Membership will then vote on the allocation of funds. 
  • Grants will be announced by the end of June 2022. 

Who serves on the grant review team?

Any member can serve on the Impact 100 grant review team, only a time commitment and training are required. Our grant leadership team is composed of a small group of Impact 100 Seattle members committed to addressing some of the unhealthy power dynamics in traditional philanthropy. As the organization grows, we expect the size and composition of this group to change as well.

Can I apply for a grant if my organization received one in the past?

If your organization meets all the 2022 criteria and has not received a $100,000 grant, you may apply again.

Can you provide feedback on how to be more successful in our application?

Each grant cycle is different as there are different organizations being reviewed and different women reviewing them. The Grant Review Team reads each of the submitted applications to determine how closely the organizations align with our grant criteria. This year, in addition to operational criteria, we will be using the application questions to evaluate how the organization increases equity; how it centers community (and meets the criteria of 50% board, leadership and staff from the community served), and how the organization works to address underlying issues of social causes to achieve long-term change in a community. From there, the organizations that most closely align are discussed and we reach a consensus on which organizations should advance to the next round.

I can‘t tell if my application submitted properly? 

Whoops! An error message is likely due to trouble on our end, but it should not impact the grant application. If you are not sure if your grant submitted properly, please email grants@impact100seattle.org. You are welcome to save the answers in a document and send them to us, we will submit for you. 

Do you need any additional information once we‘ve submitted? 

We seek some additional information for those ~10 or so organizations advancing through the process. We will ask for latest 990 forms (if not publicly available), budget, balance sheet, income statements and audited financial statements. Following a short review, we will request a one-hour zoom call to learn a little more about the organization and its leadership. If an organization becomes a finalist, we will set up a one-hour session to develop a video for our annual meeting.