Online Grant Review Policies and Practices

  • The R2AC staff reviews each grant application to ensure eligibility before releasing it for review by the grant panel.
  • The grant review panel, comprised of any combination of Board members, AAI Council members, Designated Delegates, and Community Panel members receive access to all eligible grant applications online at least two weeks prior to the grant review.
  • Any member of the grant review panel who declares a conflict of interest in which a grant application is still eligible, but a personal conflict of interest exists due to an affiliation with an applicant organization or personal relationship, must declare that conflict of interest with R2AC staff as soon as the grant applications are available for viewing and commentary.
  • Staff will immediately inform all panelists of any declared conflict of interest.
  • All panelists may discuss the eligible grant applications with one another prior to the grant review meeting, unless they have declared a conflict of interest and then they may not discuss that particular grant application with other panel members.
  • Panelists with a conflict of interest will mark all responses as N/A on the online evaluation form and will leave the room during discussion of the grant application with which they have a conflict.
  • Prior to and during the grant review meeting, R2AC staff will point out any inaccuracies found in the information provided in a grant application, such as any math errors on the grant application’s budget.

Grant Review Procedure

  • The public is invited to grant review and business meetings; however, public commentary is neither allowed nor solicited during grant reviews. Requests to address the board or council must be made to the Executive Director prior to the board meeting.
  • Panelists bring their laptop or tablets and any grant-related notes to the review panel. If a panelist does not have a laptop or tablet computer, R2AC will provide one for their use.
  • Board members, delegates, and community representatives serving on the review panel must be part of the grant evaluation conversation, either in-person or remotely via phone or video conferencing, in order for their vote to be valid. If they are absent, or have stepped out of the room due to a conflict of interest, their vote will be entered as N/A.
  • There must be a quorum for the grant review to be valid. Staff will ensure that the majority of the designated group or quorum (a number greater than half of the grant review panel’s size) are in attendance. If a quorum cannot be reached, then the grant review will be rescheduled.
  • Staff will review the scoring criteria/rubric and the grant review procedures with the grant review panel.
  • Work samples will be shared at each grant review. Staff will provide the board members a one-minute sample for each grant application.
  • Each application is discussed in detail based on the scoring criteria/rubric. Discussion will be limited to information presented through the grant application. It is standard (and mandatory) practice not to allow anecdotal information during the grant review.
  • Staff will record grant panelist comments to be summarized and shared with applicants upon request.
  • A motion is made concerning the level of funding for each application: Full, partial, or no funding. A detailed discussion follows and then the motion is voted on.
    • Full Funding: A motion of full funding is made when a grant application is complete and eligible for funding in the form in which it was submitted.
    • Partial Funding: A motion of partial funding may be made when a change in the budget is deemed necessary by the board. When a motion for partial funding is made, a revised budget amount must be specified.
    • No Funding: The Board reserves the right to make a motion of “no funding” on any project based on their perception of the applicant’s readiness to fulfill the grant requirements as presented in the grant application, or on the quality of the work samples submitted with the application.
  • During the grant review panel, panelists use the online system to individually rate each grant based on the criteria and point system stated in the rubric. At that time, panelists may provide written comments or constructive criticism for the applicant about their application. The ratings are averaged and the grant applications are ranked from the highest to the lowest based on the ratings. Grant money is awarded, in order of highest to lowest grant ranking, until the money is depleted. R2AC will not fund any application whose average score is below 65%.
  • Following the spirit of the open meeting law, all scores that are shared at a grant review meeting may be shared with anyone who makes a post-meeting request for the averaged score. It is standard R2AC practice to present the scores of grant recipients as part of the awarding process at the end of each grant panel review. If a score has not been shared at a public meeting, then that score will not be shared with anyone. Board comments will continue to be shared verbally with any applicant who requests them.
  • In the event of a tie at the point where the grant money runs out, the R2AC Executive Director will divide the amount of remaining money available by the amount of the requests and will use this percentage to distribute the available funds to each applicant.
    Example: Group A requested $1,000 and Group B requested $1,885 in grant money. They each received a score of 68% in the grants round. After all of the higher scored grants were funded, the remaining amount of money was $1,895. The tie occurred where the money available ran out.

    Total amount requested by Groups A & B:                 $2,885
    Total amount left to award:                                         $1,895

    Percent of request available:             $1,895 / $2,885 = 65.68%

    Group A:                     $1,000 request x .6568 =    $657 award
    Group B:                     $1,885 request x .6568 = $1,238 award

Fellowship grant application ties will be resolved with a show of hands.