Impact 100 SRQ

Focus Area Committees

Focus Area Committees (FAC)

Participating on a Focus Area Committee (FAC) is at the heart of our mission and what sets Impact100 SRQ apart from other philanthropic organizations. Our members donate and our members decide. Members who join one of our five Focus Area Committees find the process that starts with grant application review and ends with celebrating our grant recipients to be extremely rewarding. No previous experience is necessary. We are thrilled to part of this with you! Click here to view our 2023 finalists and  recipients

Focus Areas And Committee Meeting Times

Please Note That Two 2023 Focus Area Committees Will Meet In Person And Three Will Take Place Virtually

There Are 5 Focus Areas

Arts, Culture & History: 

Tuesdays 8:00 am – 9:30 am on Zoom

High impact initiatives that cultivate, develop, enhance, or preserve the artistic, cultural and historic character of Sarasota and/or Manatee Counties.

Education : 

Thursdays 5:45 pm – 7:15 pm at Roper Technologies, 6496 University Parkway, Lakewood Ranch

High impact initiatives that further the educational process or improve access to education for children and/or adults in Sarasota and/or Manatee Counties.

Environment & Recreation : 

 Fridays 9:00 am – 10:30 am on Zoom

High impact initiatives that restore, revitalize, or enhance the environment and/or create or improve recreational opportunities in Sarasota and/or Manatee Counties.

Family : 

Wednesdays 5:45 pm – 7:15 pm on Zoom

High impact initiatives that strengthen and enhance the lives of children and families in Sarasota and/or Manatee Counties.

Health & Wellness : 

 Mondays 11:00 am – 12:30 pm at Gulf Coast Community Foundation Philanthropy Center, 1549 State St, Sarasota

High impact initiatives that improve the physical and/or mental health and wellness of people living in Sarasota and/or Manatee Counties.

FAC Members Review Grant Applications

The grant application review process begins in June with an orientation meeting and training. Members gain access to the grant applications via our online system in late June. Each member then independently reviews the applications within her focus area online, carefully considering the Impact100 SRQ 5Qs.

Committee meetings begin once applications have been reviewed and scored. Members collaboratively decide which initiatives will move forward to a site visit and what questions the committee would like to have addressed during that visit. 

Site visit teams are then formed and visits, generally onsite but occasionally by Zoom, are conducted to gain a better understanding of the initiative and obtain answers to open questions. FAC members are strongly encouraged, but not required, to participate in site visits. Members who have served on site visit teams in the past will attest that they can be helpful, enlightening experiences. Site Visit Teams report their findings back to the FAC and a final vote is taken to decide which initiatives will be the committee’s finalists for the entire Impact 100 SRQ membership vote in November.  

The number of committee meetings depends on the number of applications assigned to the FAC.  This entire process takes place between mid-July and late September. 

Community Investment Review Committee (CIRC)

FAC members with financial expertise may volunteer to serve on the Community Investment Review Committee (CIRC). CIRC members receive training and attend meetings with the CIRC team. While the  FAC members independently review the applications, the CIRC team, led by a CIRC Chair, reviews the applicants' financial statements and initiative budgets. They report their findings, including questions for the Site Visit Teams for those organizations moving forward in the process, to the FAC. 

Exciting Changes Implemented for 2023!

FAC members gave us many helpful suggestions at the close of the 2022 Grant Review Cycle.  Your suggestions have influenced the changes we are introducing for 2023. They include:

  • A shorter grant review cycle but more time for reviewers to complete their individual evaluations of applications.

  • Two FACs meeting in person – one in downtown Sarasota and one in Lakewood Ranch. Three will continue on Zoom.

  • Incomplete applications will not be passed along to the FACs

  • A revamped application and instruction booklet that provides more guidance to the applicants and easier review by FAC members

  • A new CIRC financial review process. CIRC reports will be presented and FAC members’ site visit questions will be compiled the first time an application is discussed by FACs.

  • Sample templates and a new Site Visit Report to make site visit reporting easier and more consistent across FAC’s

  • A consolidated and expanded  Reviewers Handbook that includes everything Committee members need to know about grant application reviews, CIRC, and site visits in an easy-reference format

  • A simplified Confidentiality and Conflict of Interest disclosure process.

  • Fact checkers assigned to every FAC.

Impact100 SRQ 5Qs

The Impact100 SRQ 5 key questions to consider when reviewing grant applications are:

  • Is the initiative clearly defined?

  • Is the initiative viable?

  • Is the Initiative sustainable?

  • Will the initiative be of high impact?

  • Will we be good stewards of the dollars with which we have been entrusted by funding this initiative?

Grant Review Timeline

The full Grant Cycle starts March 22, when applications are available to the nonprofits, and concludes with the selection of our finalists by the first week of October. Below are the steps in the process and Key Dates.

Conflict Of Interest And Confidentiality Policy

Impact100 SRQ Members are committed to acting with integrity in all of our relationships and to selecting grant finalists and recipients through an honest and fair process. In support of this, every Impact100 SRQ Focus Area Committee Member is required to read our published 2023 Grant Application Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Policy and sign the Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Agreement prior to review of grant applications.

The Policy states the following key points:

  • Each FAC member is responsible for identifying conflicts of interest she may have with applicants within her committee and has a duty to disclose a conflict
  • Each FAC member has a responsibility to avoid conflicts of interest during the application review process
  • Each FAC member agrees to abide by the guidance of the FAC Director to resolve a conflict of interest
  • Each FAC member shall refrain from attempting to impose unfair advantage or disadvantage for any applicant or from disclosing confidential or unsubstantiated information about an applicant during the application review process
  • Each FAC member agrees to hold confidential all proceedings and discussions of her FAC
  • Each FAC member will report potential conflicts to an FAC Director via email without delay once discovering one

2023 Focus Area Committee Information Dates

The following events are opportunities for members to learn about the grant application review process and meet other Committee members.  See our Calendar of Events to register.

  • FAC and CIRC Q & A Session, on Zoom April 24, 12:00 – 1:00 pm
  • FAC and CIRC in-person Social, May 4, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
  • FAC and CIRC Q & A Session on Zoom, May 11, 4:00 - 5:00 pm
  • FAC Training for Returning Members, on Zoom, June 5, 4:00 – 5:00 pm
  • FAC Training for New Members, on Zoom, June 5, 6:00 – 7:00 pm
  • CIRC Training, on Zoom, June 8, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Focus Area FAQs

The work of reviewing the applications for grant initiatives is at the heart of our mission and what sets Impact100 SRQ apart from other philanthropic organizations. Our members donate and our members decide. This is our opportunity to collectively come together, learn about the nonprofits and the needs in our community and select the finalists that will be in the running to receive one of the transformational grants we award. It‘s also a great way to get to know fellow members in a smaller group, sharing a meaningful experience.
FAC members review and evaluate the grant applications that are submitted by our local nonprofit organizations. The FAC members discuss the applications, conduct site visits, share their evaluations, and then ultimately vote to select the FAC finalists that will be presented to the entire Impact100 SRQ membership for the vote to determine the grant recipients.
Committee members attend meetings beginning in mid-June (training meeting) through mid-September.  Each committee meeting has a designated day and time. Some committees will meet in person and some will be on Zoom. Meetings do not generally occur each week.  For example, the second meeting will likely not take place until late July. The number of meetings depend on the number of applications.  Attendance at the meetings is encouraged, but not required. Outside of the meetings, beginning in the later part of June, committee members read, review, and score the grant applications.  Also, members may choose to participate on Site Visit teams to visit a nonprofit applicant to better understand the organization and its initiative and report back to the committee.  The site visits take place in late July, August, and early September.
The grant applicants choose the FAC that best defines their initiative. The choices are Arts, Culture & History, Education, Environment & Recreation, Family, and Health & Wellness. FAC members choose the FAC on which they would like to participate. Members make their choice based on their interest and/or schedule.

Once applications are independently read and scored by committee members, FACs will meet regularly to hear the CIRC financial reports and Site Visit Reports, and to discuss and vote.  These meetings will occur July through September.  Click to see each committee and their meeting times.

Yes. All of the Arts, Culture & History, Environment & Recreation, and Family meetings will be on Zoom for the convenience and accessibility of members not able to meet in person.

You do not have to attend every meeting.  But participation is more rewarding if you can attend most of the meetings.

FAC members have the opportunity to learn about many of the nonprofits in our local community.  The members gain an understanding of the needs in our community and the contributions that the nonprofits are making to address these needs.  Some of the nonprofits are well-known and some are not.  

Yes.  FAC members find the experience extremely rewarding.  They love learning about our local nonprofits and their contribution to our community.  With this knowledge, many members decide to individually contribute to a nonprofit in some way. The members also enjoy the opportunity to get to know and work with other Impact100 SRQ members.  Representative feedback comments are: "This entire process was most rewarding." "Proud to be part of the process." "Absolutely wonderful experience."

No previous experience!  Just a willingness to participate with other members

Yes, we would like to know if you have experience evaluating financial statements of any type of organization.  This background is not necessary to be an FAC member, but a financial assessment is part of the grant application evaluation process.  Since most of our members do not have this experience, we ask the members with financial statement experience to be the primary FAC members to conduct the financial assessment.   This group is called CIRC, or Community Investment Review Committee.

While the FAC members independently review the applications, the CIRC team reviews the financial statements and initiative budgets. They report their findings, including questions for the Site Visit Teams, to the FAC.

Yes.  The training will begin in June.  We will have FAC, Site Visit, and CIRC training available to all members. 

Members joining an FAC need to review and agree to our Confidentiality Policy and agree to disclose significant relationships that could be conflicts of interest with applicants in their FAC.  

FAC sign-ups start at our Big Reveal on March 21, where we will have an FAC table.  Members are encouraged to use our link on our website page to join their preferred committee. We will also be looking for members with financial experience to indicate their interest in CIRC participation.  Members can sign-up until May 26, 2023.

Yes, you may switch to a different FAC prior to the grant applications being available for FAC member review. Please email Your FAC Team to inquire about switching.

Our Members Find The FAC Process Extremely Rewarding

"This is a feel good experience at every level. I look forward to bringing more women into the fold so we can fund all five grants."

"As a new FAC and CIRC member, I gained significant insight into the Impact100 model.  Having been a member of numerous nonprofit boards, I'm thrilled to be a part of this organization.  Great work, dedicated volunteers, and just a great group of women!"

"The experience is tremendously rewarding knowing I’m playing a small part in making a difference in our community and making new friends at the same time."

"Impressed with the professionalism of the process, the leadership and the committee members.  Felt tremendous engagement."

"Love being a site team lead!!! Visiting the nonprofits in person is by far my favorite part of the IMPACT100 experience."

"It gives me the opportunity to see the needs within our community and the impact we make to address these needs."

"As a new member I was very impressed with the process from training to submitting our votes."

For more information about FACs please email Your FAC Team