Application Process

The Foundation has three grant cycles per year. In fairness to others, we adhere strictly to a 5 p.m. deadline on the filing dates. Applications submitted after 5 p.m. on the deadline date will not be considered. When the 15th of the month falls on a weekend/holiday, the deadline moves to the next business day. The grant application process is entirely online.

In order to assist applicants who may not be familiar with our processes, we provide a Grants Workshop before the opening of each grants cycle. We have created the workshop with new applicants as the target audience. The workshop helps to demystify the application process and answer commonly asked questions. Attendance is not required to apply, though it is suggested for those unfamiliar with the Iowa West Foundation.

1. Eligibility Quiz

The first step in applying is to determine a prospective applicant’s eligibility. Please remember that if you are a government entity or are a nonprofit based outside our funding area but run programs in our service area, you will need to request a code to access the LOI.

2. Letter of Inquiry (LOI)

The eligibility quiz provides access to the pre-application Letter of Inquiry (LOI). Foundation staff reviews the LOI to confirm the eligibility under our guidelines for both the applicant and the proposed use of funds. Eligible applicants proposing eligible projects are then sent links to the application by e-mail. Please see the table above for the dates relating to the opening and closing of the LOI period.

3. Application

Once an applicant’s Letter of Inquiry is approved by the Foundation, grant applicants are able to submit a grant application. All of the information completed through the LOI process is automatically transitioned into the application. You will not need to resubmit it.

Please note: Changes to your budget or information you provided as part of the LOI may turn an eligible request into an ineligible one. If you are planning to make significant changes, we encourage you to contact the grants team to discuss the impact of those changes.

4. Due Diligence

Due diligence is the research process that Foundation staff conduct in order to understand your request. Information provided through this process is shared with our Advisory Committees and our Grants Review Committee. Staff conducts these conversations with all applicants. Staff will reach-out following the submission of your application to schedule a time to speak with you. These conversations are often conducted in-person at your offices, though depending on distance or other factors they may be conducted by telephone. Staff typically send questions ahead of the meeting to help guide the conversation. We attempt to keep these meetings as casual as possible. This is really our time to make sure we understand what you are trying to accomplish in your grant request.

5. Notification

Approximately three months after an application is submitted, the Foundation will notify all grant applicants of funding decisions. Not all applications are funded. If an organization is not funded, a brief explanation will be provided. If the Board has awarded funding to an organization, Foundation staff will work with the organization to establish the evaluative indicators that the organization will use to measure the grantee’s impact.

OUR VISION is a community where families choose to live, and businesses choose to locate, because of its quality of life and standard of living.


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