The information included in this section of the website is provided to help you be successful in grant seeking and grant reporting. Details include answers to eligibility questions, samples of successful grant reports, and more. We encourage you to review these pages before applying for a grant. And if you have questions that are not answered here, please contact us as we are continually updating these resources.
Click on the topic you want to explore below to get the FAQ information.
Before You Apply
How do I know if my organization is eligible for a grant through CFNEIA or an Affiliate?
Organizations classified as 501(c)(3) and government entities are eligible to apply for grants through CFNEIA and/or our Affiliate Community Foundations. Nonprofit organizations must be in good standing with all IRS regulations. Potential applicants should also refer to specific Grant Guidelines for each grant opportunity for further eligibility requirements.
What if my organization is a non501c3 tax-exempt organization, such as a veterans’ organization?
Tax-exempt organizations classified as other than 501(c)(3) are also eligible only if the request is deemed charitable. Charitable requests are those that benefit the whole community, not just the members of the organization. If your organization is not a 501c3, please contact the Programs Department of our office to discuss eligibility of potential requests.
What if I don’t know my organization’s tax status?
If you don’t know your organization’s tax-exempt status, you can conduct a search using your Employee Identification Number here: https://apps.irs.gov/app/eos/ or contact our team (see contact information at right).
If my organization is not an IRS approved tax-exempt organization, can we still apply for a grant?
If your organization, project, or community initiative does not meet the qualifications listed above, you may be able to apply using a fiscal sponsor. A fiscal sponsor is an organization that is eligible to apply based on their IRS or governmental status and has a mission that closely aligns with your organization, project, or initiative.
Do you provide grants to faith-based or religious organizations?
Inherently religious activities such as religious worship, instruction, or proselytization or activities that promote specific religious doctrine are ineligible. Faith-based organizations who would be deemed eligible are ones who clearly delineate their faith-based programming and religious services from service they provide to the community out of an expression, not promotion, of their faith (i.e., meals or other assistance). If there is a requirement that participants attend religious services, participate in religious education, or declare a religious belief or activity, the request would be ineligible. Please contact the Programs Department of our office with any questions or to discuss the eligibility of a potential request.
Do you provide grants to individuals and/or for-profit businesses?
No, individuals and for-profit businesses are not eligible to apply for grants.
What are the Foundation’s areas of grantmaking?
CFNEIA and its Affiliates provide grants in six specific program areas: Arts & Culture, Community Betterment, Education & Youth Development, Environment & Animal Welfare, Health, and Human Service. Details of each program area can be found by viewing this document.
Where do I find the specific criteria and deadlines for the different grant opportunities?
All grant opportunities are listed on the CFNEIA website under the Nonprofit heading. You can find a link to the grant guidelines by clicking the opportunity to which you are interested in applying. County Community Foundation opportunities can be found by clicking on “Affiliate Grant Cycles.”
Can my organization apply for more than one grant opportunity for the same project?
Yes, if the project impacts the communities covered through the grant opportunity. For example, a project that aims to clean up a stretch of trail that extends through three counties or a project through a school that encompasses two counties would be eligible to apply to the appropriate county community foundations.
Decisions on grant applications in any one grant process are not dependent on or influenced by decisions in any other grant process. Your organization or project is not deemed “greedy” by applying to all opportunities for which it is eligible.
My organization is eligible, but how do I know if it’s even worth my time to apply?
Just being eligible doesn’t mean that a project is worth funding. We strongly encourage you to review the specific Grant Guidelines to determine if there’s a potential fit with the funding priorities. In addition, we encourage grantseekers to contact our office to discuss your project ideas. We are able to advise and inform your strategy, as well as offer suggestions on request amounts and more.
Creating an Account and Logging On
What information will I need to create an account?
If your organization has never applied for a grant through the Foundation's website before, you can go ahead and create an account. You'll need to have basic organizational information, including your Employee Identification Number (EIN), organization contact information, and the primary contact's information. For a quick and easy overview of the grant site, check out this video. Bookmark the Log on page for easy access to your applications and grant report forms.
How do I know if my organization already has an account?
You can check to see if your organization/government entity has an account by calling the Programs Department of the Foundation (see contact information at right).
Who do I contact if I have forgotten my Log On credentials for my grant account?
Contact Dotti Thompson at 319-243-1358 or by email for assistance with grant account Log On credentials.
Should I create a new account if my organization has an account, but I can’t access it?
No, contact the Programs Department of the Foundation (see contact information at right) and we will assist you in getting or updating the Log On credentials.
Can an organization with multiple locations create separate accounts for each location?
Typically, there is only one account per organization to keep the organization administration aware of who is applying for a grant. Contact the Programs Department of the Foundation (see contact information at right) to discuss the option of having more than one account for your organization.
Should I create an account for my department/school independent of my city/county/school district?
No, all city/county/school departments must apply through the city/ county/school administration. Contact your administration’s office to obtain log on credential for the account. If you do not know if your city/county/school has already created an account, contact the Programs Department of the Foundation (see contact information at right).
What if I am applying as a department of a governmental entity?
Within the city/county’s user account, an application for each department will need to be generated. Each Department should include the name of the department in the Project Name. So, for example, if the City of Your town logs into their user account, they can see projects listed like this:
Police Department: Body Cameras
Library: Improvements to Reading Selection
How do I add my contact information to an existing account for my organization so I can start a new application for my department?
Each account should have only one contact person to ensure all grant communications go to the same individual. You can obtain the log on information for your organization by connecting with your organization/government administration. If they do not have the information, contact the Programs Department of the Foundation (see contact information at right) to obtain the log on information.
How do I update the organization information for my online account?
Contact the Programs Department of the Foundation (see contact information at right) to have any organization information changed.
How do I update the contact information once I have logged into the account?
Applicant contact information can be updated either by clicking on the pencil icon in the center of the Applicant Information box or by selecting Edit My Profile in the drop-down menu under the individual’s name in the far upper right-hand corner of the Applicant Dashboard.
If my organization is using a fiscal sponsor who sets up the account, my organization or the fiscal sponsor?
The fiscal sponsor sets up the account in the online system and completes the application. This organization is accountable for the grant funds if successful, and thus, should be set up as the applicant. The fiscal sponsor needs to be in good communication with the department, organization, or club that is applying for the funds, and needs to work out an agreement that allows each grant writer access to the account.
How do I change the fiscal sponsor contact information to my information?
You will not change the contact information from the fiscal sponsor. There is a place in the application for the contact information for the individual responsible for the project. If your organization becomes an independent 501c3 organization, you will create a separate account for your new organization.
What if a fiscal sponsor is a sponsor for multiple organizations’ grants?
Within the fiscal sponsor’s user account, an application for each separate sponsored organization will need to be generated. A good idea is to label each PROJECT with the name of the organization or group applying for the funds. So, for example, if the City of Supertown logs into their user account, they can see projects listed like this:
Little League: New Team Uniforms
Civic Improvement Group: Spring Planting Project
This allows the fiscal sponsor to see at a glance who is responsible for which project. If the fiscal sponsor provides each applicant with the log-in information, all will be able to log in at the same time and will be able to clearly identify which project is theirs.
Completing the Application
How do I access a new application?
Once you log on to the grant site, you will be taken to your Applicant Dashboard. Above the Applicant Dashboard there is an Apply option. Clicking this button will take you to the list of available grant opportunities. To access a new application, scroll through the list and select the blue Apply link in the opportunity’s box; this will open the application form for that process.
What if I don’t see the grant opportunity I am looking for in the list of available grant processes?
If you do not see the Community Foundation application you are looking for, the application is not yet available, or the deadline to submit an application may have already passed.
How can I continue working on an application I already started?
At any point while working on an application, you can hit the ‘Save Application’ button at the bottom and sign out (click on your name in the top right corner of the screen). Once you log back into the account, click on “Edit Application” to continue working on your Draft.
NOTE: The system will time you out if your screen is idle for more than 20 minutes. The system does periodically automatically save your application; however, if you haven’t saved recently, your work could be lost.
What if I make a mistake and submit the application with incorrect information?
If the mistake is realized prior to the application deadline, CFNEIA staff can move your application back from “Submitted” to “Draft” so you can continue to edit it. (Please contact our office to request this service if needed.) The updated application must be re-submitted prior to the application deadline to be eligible for review for possible funding.
How can I save or print a copy of my application?
When you are working on an application, there are two links at the top of the page- “Application Packet” and “Question List.” By clicking on these links, you will create a .pdf file, which you can save, email, and/or print as needed. The “Application Packet” will give you a copy of your application (answers, questions, and attachments), and the “Question List” will just give you a copy of the application questions. The application must be submitted online.
How can I update or change the organization’s contact information?
Click on your name at the top right corner of the screen and choose “Edit Profile.” Your individual user information can be changed but not your organizational information. If you have organizational information to change, contact our office for assistance. You can also click on the pencil icon in the Applicant box to change the contact information.
How do I upload a file?
If the document is saved to your computer, click “Upload a file”, this will open your computer documents window. Search for the file you want to upload on your computer and double click on the appropriate file. Once you have selected the file, it will appear under the “Upload a File” button. We encourage saving any documents to be uploaded into the application as a .pdf file.
How do I attach a hard copy of a document to my application?
You will need to scan the hard copy of the document to your computer prior to uploading it into the application. Once you have saved it to your computer, follow the instructions in the “How do I upload a file?” section.
After You Apply
How will I know if my application has been received?
You should receive an immediate, automatic email reply when your application has been submitted. This reply, and ALL future correspondence regarding this grant, will be sent to the main email address entered in your organizational account. BE SURE that it is the email address of the organization’s main contact person – an authorized signer.
What is the timeframe for the application process?
Each grant opportunity has its own application deadline. Applicants are encouraged to review each grant opportunity’s Grant Guidelines for specific details about decision notifications.
How will I know the decision on funding my application?
Notification of grant decisions will be emailed to the contact person for online grant account with a decision letter attached. For government entities with more than one application under review, a separate email will be sent for each grant application submitted. If you are not the contact person for the account you submitted your application under, you are encouraged to contact that individual after grant decisions are announced.
Accepting A Grant
Where do I find the Terms of Grant form referred to in the approval letter?
This form can be found by logging back into the online grant account and looking under the project heading for the follow up forms. The Terms of Grant form can be reviewed, signed, and submitted by clicking on the “Start” button on the far right. This form must be submitted online.
How can I save or print a copy of my Terms of Grant form?
There are two links at the top of the page- “Follow Up Packet” and “Question List.” By clicking on these links, you will create a .pdf file, which you can save, email, and/or print as needed. The “Follow Up Packet” will give you a copy of your Terms of Grant (questions and answers), and the “Question List” will just give you a copy of the Terms of Grant questions.
Does someone from my organization have to attend an award event to receive the grant?
No, however, we strongly encourage participation in the award ceremony, if held, to see the other projects happening through support from your local community foundation. We encourage grantees to include others associated with their organizations to attend the event (board, council members, volunteers, etc.). If no one from your organization can attend, the grant check will be mailed in care of the account contact individual.
After You Receive a Grant
What is the time frame for spending awarded grant funds?
Grantees have 12 months after the grant is awarded to expend the funds and submit the Grant Report. For example, if you are awarded a grant in September of 2021 the Grant Report for the project will be due by October 31, 2022. This one-year time frame is set as a default deadline. If you need more time to expend the funds, see How can an extension request on a Grant Report be made?
What is a Grant Report and what information is required for it?
The Grant Report is your opportunity to communicate how the grant funds were expended, the success of the project, and to share any obstacles that occurred. Stories or learning that were gained during the project are also requested to give a complete overview of the effectiveness of the grant. We encourage attaching photos to the report as well.
How can an extension request on a Grant Report be made?
If an extension is needed to complete the project, you can contact the Programs Department of the Foundation (see contact information at right). Include the following information in your email,
Organization Name, Project Name, and anticipated completion date of the project and/or Grant Report.
How will my organization be notified if a Grant Report is past due?
The grant management system sends an automated past due reminder the day after a Grant Report is due. CFNEIA has a progressive process for contacting grantees regarding any Grant Reports that continue to be outstanding, including emails, phone calls, and formal letters as needed.
If you still have questions, please contact the relevant staff for your grant cycle using the contact information below.
Black Hawk County, Women for Good, and Veridian grants – Sherita Jenkins, email or 319-243-1356
Affiliate County grants – Shanda Hansen, email or 319-243-1357
Teen Trust grants – Sloan Alberhasky, email or 319-243-1355
Online portal/technical assistance – Dotti Thompson, email or 319-243-1358
This information will help you better navigate our online grant system for the best experience.
We know that it takes time, effort and know-how to write a grant. These resources can help you write the best possible grant for your organization.
The impact or your grant is important to us. These resources will help you share the good you are doing in your community