Overview of the Komen Northeast Ohio Direct Service Funding Process

1. Learn from the Community Profile: Continuous
Komen Northeast Ohio’s granting strategy is guided by the Community Profile. The Community Profile is a community-based need assessment designed to help Komen Northeast Ohio better understand the state of breast health and breast cancer services within the 22-county service area. This assessment determines the priorities of the Affiliate, and direct services funding is one method used to address these priorities. To learn more about the Community Profile and the priorities the Affiliate is currently addressing, click here.

2. Develop the Letter of Intent (LOI): June through August
Komen Northeast Ohio invests the majority of donor funds in nonprofit organizations through our direct services funding. These organizations must provide comprehensive breast health and breast cancer services to create seamless systems of care for medically underserved women and men living in our highest need areas.  Direct service programs must address the needs and priorities identified in the Community Profile.

3. Invite organizations to apply: August through November
The LOI is distributed to select applicants who provide extensive and complete services within the identified highest need communities. Applications via invitation only is essential to making sure our donor dollars are invested into programs that can help us achieve our Big Bold Goal of reducing breast cancer deaths by 50% by 2026. The Affiliate conducts in-depth program assessments to identify potential applicants who can provide a seamless transition from education to treatment for low-income and underserved individuals.

4. Review LOI submissions: November through January
LOI submissions are initially reviewed by Affiliate staff to ensure all organizations comply with the funding criteria listed in the LOI, i.e. to verify the nonprofit status of applying agencies or to ensure the project provides a logical and seamless transition to the next level of care. All submissions that pass the initial compliance phase are then passed on to an independent review panel made up of volunteers from the community.

Individuals with knowledge or backgrounds in grant writing or reviewing, nonprofit management, finance, medicine, public health, or related fields and breast cancer patients/survivors are considered to serve as volunteer members of this group. The panel members review the submissions, offer feedback, and identify any issues the program must address before funding is provided. Komen Northeast Ohio staff and Board members are NOT involved in the selection of funded organizations. Each reviewer receives training so they may better understand the community needs and funding priorities identified in the Community Profile.

5. Approve and award contracts: February through March 
Once the independent peer review panel has finalized their recommendations, the funding recommendations are submitted to the Komen Northeast Ohio Board of Directors for approval at their February Board meeting. The Board has authority only to accept or reject the recommendation; they are not allowed to remove individual organizations from the list or adjust the approved funding amount. If the recommendation is rejected, the entire process is sent back to the independent peer review panel to address the concerns of the Board. If the recommendation is approved, contracts are awarded ito as many applicants as funding allows. Komen Northeast Ohio is not an endowed foundation; as such, all the money that is contracted out to direct service organizations each year was raised during the previous fiscal year. LOI applicants are notified of funding decisions on the second Friday of March. Please click here for a current list of funded organizations.

6. Manage and monitor the contracts: April 1 to March 31 
The Affiliate closely monitors all direct service contracts to guarantee the awarded funds are used as intended and NOT used outside the scope of our promise to save lives and end breast cancer. This monitoring includes quarterly reports and annual site visits with each contracted organization.