Grant Programs and Application Process
The following section provides a summary of the grant application process.
Grant Application Process
All competitive grants are awarded through a set of standardized processes. These processes guide the entire grant cycle, from notice of availability through the issuance of awards to grantees, and are outlined below.
Request for Proposals (RFP)
IVPA provides an RFP for each grant program. Each RFP provides all the information an applicant needs to know in order to apply for a grant. Although all RFPs are tailored to each grant program, each contains the following standard information:
- Grant criteria/requirements, including background information, fiscal requirements, and principles or objectives of the grant program.
- The Program Plan outline, which provides details about the information an applicant must provide in the application narrative.
- Forms and Attachments, such as general assurances, web site permission forms, and an application checklist.
- Scoring criteria, including the information used to determine application completeness and eligibility, and a breakdown of points used in the review process.
- A description of the award process.
IVPA will send notice of the availability of new, competitive RFP’s via fax and e-mail, the RFP is simultaneously posted on the IVPA web site for downloading. Renewal RFP notices are e-mailed directly to the appropriate potential applicants along with an RFP request form.
Bidders Conferences are short workshops (usually 1-1/2 to 2 hours) designed to provide guidance to new applicants on how to complete a grant proposal/application. These are voluntary, but applicants are strongly encouraged to attend. Bidders Conferences are offered only for grant programs under which new applicants are eligible to apply.
Notices of Intent (NOI). A Notice of Intent is a one-page form included in the RFP that new applicants must submit if they anticipate applying for a grant. Due dates are firm, and no exceptions are made for late NOIs. NOIs are only required for grant programs under which new applicants are eligible to apply.
Review and Scoring of Applications
Applicants are typically reviewed by two or three reviewers who have expertise in the subject area addressed by a particular grant program. Scoring is standardized, with a maximum number of points that may be given to each application section.
The Grants Team makes final funding recommendations for approval by the IVPA Board of Directors. Funding recommendations are based on reviewer scores (applications must receive a minimum of 80 out of 100 points to be considered fundable) and geographic distribution (IVPA strives for an equitable distribution of funds throughout the state). While IVPA funds as many projects as possible, the total amount requested by fundable applications frequently exceeds the funds available for a particular grant program. This often means that not all applications given a score of 80 or above are recommended for funding.
Once the Board of Directors gives its final approval for awards, IVPA sends a letter to each successful applicant. The letter provides specific information about the grant, including the award amount, the grant period, any contingencies required for funding, and the next steps in the process. The grant agreement may be enclosed with the award letter, or may be sent in a separate mailing.