In an effort to streamline the granting process and create efficiencies for local non-profits, Muscatine Charities, United Way of Muscatine, Early Childhood Iowa Muscatine County, and the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine have joined together to create a funder network.
The network will allow all area non-profit organizations seeking funding in the Muscatine area to provide their financial and organizational information once annually through an online portal. The funder network will then use this information for any applications received during their open grant cycles. Professional accountants will review the submitted financial information to ensure strength and consistency in evaluation principles. The funder network will utilize organization capacity questions to identify and support organizational strengthening opportunities.
In addition, three funders have aligned around a single grant application. If an area non-profit organization seeks funding from more than one of these funders, they will use the same application, and all submitted applications will go on the same applicant portal for non-profits to track the status. Once complete, the application information will automatically upload for other funder’s grants when their granting cycle opens. The funder network anticipates this practice will save significant time and dollars in the grant creation function at the agency level for the grant-writers, staff, and management. Each funder will maintain their independent grant criteria and various application cycles.
“This year, more than ever, we know that non-profits are being stretched to their limits of time and capacity. That’s why these funders came together to streamline the grant application process and make it more efficient. This will allow applying organizations to dedicate less time towards writing grants and more time towards doing the important work for the people they serve in our community,” remarked Shane Orr, executive director of United Way of Muscatine.
“What we know is the better we work together as funders, the better the non-profit agencies will be able to achieve their missions, and we will be able to more deeply impact community priorities,” noted Charla Schafer, executive director of the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine.
All area non-profit organizations considering a funding request for any of the Funder Network should complete the online Financial Standards Review application available on each funder network member’s website Jan. 1, 2021.
Anone with questions may direct them to any funding network member organization.