Overview of the Komen Northeast Ohio Grantmaking 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 grantmaking 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 Request for Applications (RFA): June through August
Komen Northeast Ohio invests the majority of donor funds in nonprofit organizations through our community grants program. These organizations must also provide an array of breast health and breast cancer services to create seamless systems of care for medically underserved women and men living in our 22-county service area. Grant applications must address the needs and priorities identified in the Community Profile.
3. Solicit applications: August through November
The RFA is distributed widely to all potential applicants who provide services within the service area. Wide distribution is essential to making the grant process competitive. The Affiliate holds multiple grant writing and training workshops to help potential applicants better respond to our RFA.
4. Review applications: November through January
Grant applications are initially reviewed by Affiliate staff to ensure all submissions comply with the granting criteria listed in the RFA, i.e. to verify the nonprofit status of applying agencies or to ensure the project is specific to breast health. All applications 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 survivors are considered to serve as volunteer members of this group. The panel members review, score, and rank the applications. The review panel then convenes to discuss and consider the applications as a group in order to recommend a grant slate for funding. Komen Northeast Ohio staff and Board members are NOT involved in the scoring and ranking of applications. Each reviewer receives training so they may better understand the community needs and funding priorities identified in the Community Profile.
5. Approve and award the grants: February through March
Once the independent peer review panel has finalized their recommendations, the ranked list of applications (slate of grants) is 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 entire slate; they are not allowed to remove individual grants from the slate. If the funding slate is rejected, the entire slate is then sent back to the independent peer review panel to address the concerns of the Board. If the slate is approved, grants are awarded in rank order to as many applicants as funding allows. Komen Northeast Ohio is not an endowed foundation; as such, all the money that is granted out each year was raised during the previous fiscal year. Grant 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 grants: Grant Cycles run April 1 to March 31
The Affiliate closely monitors all grantees 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 6-month and final reports and annual site visits with each grantee.