Harvest streamlines grants application process

April 13, 2016

The Harvest Foundation has improved its grants application process in response to community feedback and its continuous evaluation of serving Martinsville and Henry County.

Under the foundation’s newly adopted strategic plan, applicants will take an eligibility quiz and complete a needs statement before they can be invited to submit a project application.

“As part of the strategic planning effort, the foundation reviewed the application process to ensure it was user-friendly for nonprofits, and asking for information in a way that would help us make the most informed decisions for the community,” said Sheryl Agee, impact officer and team leader at Harvest.

The needs statement, according to Agee, will be a narrative that will provide a clear description of a specific identified need (supported by research and statistical documentation) that is impacting residents in Martinsville and Henry County. By replacing the program summary with a needs statement, grantees are able to focus on the most important aspects of their proposal.

“This step in the grants process is important because it demonstrates that prospective grantees have a firm understanding of the local need, and that the program they’re proposing is a direct and strategic response to that need,” Agee said. “The needs statement also is important to Harvest because it will help us determine how the identified need might align with the foundation’s strategic goals and objectives. In addition, it allows us to stay laser focused on community needs.”

The project application, by invitation only, will include specific information about the program, outcomes and evaluation, partners, and other project funding and sustainability. It also will include the project’s budget, audited financials, and other supporting documents for the organization.

The change in the application process came with the Harvest Foundation Board of Directors approval of a new strategic plan that puts a priority on grants that advance economic development and job creation.

Harvest now will move to one grants cycle per year in November to help the Harvest Board of Directors and staff better manage grant payments. To qualify for the Nov. 17 grants board meeting, prospective grantees must submit a needs statement by June 1. For additional information, visit www.theharvestfoundation.org.

Harvest staff will host a series of two-hour workshops throughout the month to speak with prospective and current grantees about the new application process and give a brief overview of the strategic plan. All workshops will be held at New College Institute at 191 Fayette St. in Martinsville, Va. in room 104. The dates and times are as follows:

  • April 18 from 10 a.m. to noon and 1-3 p.m.;
  • April 20 from 8-10 a.m., 2-4 p.m. and 5-7 p.m.;
  • April 21 from 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m.;
  • April 26 from 8-10 a.m. and 1-3 p.m.;
  • April 27 from 4-6 p.m.;
  • April 28 from 10 a.m. to noon and 1-3 p.m.; and
  • April 29 from 10 a.m. to noon and 1-3 p.m.

To sign up, visit www.theharvestfoundation.org and click on “Nonprofit Q&A Session 2016” on the homepage. Each workshop will be limited to 10 people. Call (276) 632-3329 ext. 16 for additional information.

Grants Process

1. Eligibility Quiz – The quiz screens for fit in the following areas: IRS (Internal Revenue Service) status, geographic and strategic alignment.

2. Needs Statement – This statement will include basic organizational information and provide specifics on the identified local need the project will address, and what change will occur through implementation of the project.

3. Project Application (By invitation only) – The application includes project details, outcomes and evaluation, partners, other funding and sustainability, as well as budget information, audited financials, and other supporting documents for the organization.  


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