Past grant recipients and future grant applicants need to create an account with our new grants management system, GivingData, as of 12/1/2023.Download Printable FAQs on Creating a GivingData Account
The Foundation has three grant cycles per year; however, we accept LOIs year-round. The date you submit will determine in which grant cycle your application will be considered (please see schedule below). The LOI is used to confirm your eligibility and screen out any applications that are incompatible with established policies and practices. If there are any areas of concern, a member of the Grants Team will call you to discuss. In fairness to others, we adhere strictly to an 11:59 p.m. deadline on the filing dates. LOIs and applications submitted after 11:59 p.m. on the deadline date will not be considered. When the deadline falls on a weekend/holiday, the deadline moves to the next business day. Note: Because we know our transition to a new Grants Management System may require extra time on your end, we are extending the Letter of Inquiry deadline from Jan. 2. to Jan. 9th. The grant application process is entirely online.
Eligible organizations interested in applying to Iowa West Foundation – we encourage you to familiarize yourself with our grants program through these website pages. We strive to remove barriers to access when possible. We are available to discuss application ideas before you apply. We will do our best to identify strengths and challenges as well as to make suggestions on how to make the strongest case for support.
Matching Funds – In order to create maximum benefit for our communities, Iowa West Foundation will not fund more than 50% of the eligible costs of proposed work. Projects that require a smaller percentage of Iowa West funding are viewed more favorably by our Grants Review Committee.
In-kind Matching – Many of our nonprofit partners make use of in-kind contributions for their projects and programs. We see strong value in partnerships that support non-cash contributions and will consider in-kind contributions for up to 15% of the total eligible budget as a match to our funds. In-kind contributions may exceed this amount but will not be considered for match purposes.
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 need to make significant changes, we encourage you to contact the grants team to discuss the impact of those changes on your eligibility.
Letter of Inquiry (LOI)
The first formal step of the application process is to log-in to our grants management system and complete a letter of inquiry (LOI) form. Past grant recipients and future grant applicants need to create an account with our new grants management system, GivingData, as of 12/1/2023.
The LOI helps to establish the eligibility of your organization and the proposed use of funds. The due dates indicated in the Grant Cycles chart identify the final submission date to be confident that your LOI will go into the current grant cycle. LOIs received after the deadline for a particular cycle will be considered in the following cycle. LOIs are reviewed by Iowa West Foundation staff. Applicants typically receive a response via e-mail within 5 business days. If our staff note any areas of concern that may impact your consideration, we will call you to discuss.
We now allow grantees to submit their own budget format, but do require a budget narrative if not using our template.
Once your Letter of Inquiry is approved by the Iowa West Foundation, you will receive a link to complete the full grant application. All the information completed through the LOI process is automatically transfers into the application. You will not need to resubmit it. Applications are due by 11:59 PM on the filing date for the cycle.
Meeting to discuss grant application – We try to meet with every applicant. We want everyone to have the opportunity to make their case. 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 virtually or by telephone. We attempt to keep these meetings as casual as possible, and then to clarify our understanding of your application.
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 you receive a grant, we will organize an opportunity to discuss the award and any related expectations.
- Disbursements: Iowa West Foundation looks at a grantee’s capacity as well as the needs and risks of a particular grant when issuing disbursements. The schedule for disbursements will be described in the grant agreement. As a general approach, Iowa West Foundation typically issues initial disbursements of 50%, 75%, or 100% of the grant amount. If grantees are facing specific cash flow needs, they are encouraged to discuss this with a program officer.
- Extension Requests: We understand that circumstances outside of the control of our grantees may impact their work. As such, we will consider extension requests when appropriate. We prefer not to exceed one extension request per grant as a practice.
- Terms and Conditions of Awards: Upon approval of a grant, Iowa West Foundation issues a grant agreement. In addition to any specific requirements, the agreement includes the following terms and conditions.