Micro-Grants Program and Eligibility

The Micro-Grants Program is open exclusively to all WMI Graduate Scholars. All graduate scholars AND students scholars who will complete their final exams by June 30, 2019 and December 31, 2019 are eligible to submit grant proposals.

The WMI Micro-Grants Program will provide a one-time grant of $100 to $1000 USD to help start, or significantly expand, a business, community-based organization (CBO), non-governmental organization (NGO), community service project or community event.

Successful proposals are related to graduate scholar’s academic area of study/professional background and will be implemented by the graduate scholar and partners in the local community in which they live or work.

If approved, the grant funds will generally be unrestricted and can be used for program expenses, operating expenses, materials and supplies, etc.

At this time, only graduate scholars who have studied a field of animal science or veterinary science are eligible to apply for animal-related projects.

Graduate Scholars are eligible to apply for a maximum of two grants. Note, there is a required two-year wait time before applying for a second award.

Application Process

Applications are accepted twice a year and are due by April 15 and October 15.

The application process includes the initial submission of a round one application, followed by an in-depth review of the application by WMI Staff. All applicants will receive personalized feedback via email and attend an online coaching session. During this coaching session, WMI Staff will ask questions and also provide suggestions on proposal areas to further strengthen in the final round two application.

With this feedback, applicants will have one month to continue developing their proposals by creating more detailed processes, conducting local research, community outreach and partnership building, revising budgets and timelines, etc.

Applicants will receive an award decision 14 days after their final submission.

In total, the initial application to award decision spans 10 weeks.

 

Application Timeline

Applications are accepted twice a year. The first application period of every year runs from March 1 – April 15. The second application period is open for submission from September 1 – October 15. Please review the detailed timelines below to plan accordingly.

Deadline: October 15, 2019

*If applying for the October 15, 2019 deadline, the proposal idea should be scheduled to begin after January 1 for all expense-related activities. 

  • Round 1 application deadline: October 15
  • Round 1 application feedback provided to all applicants via email: November 1
  • Individual online conference calls with applicants to discuss feedback and strategies to improve the proposal: November 6-8
  • Applicants revise their applications: November
  • Round 2 MG application deadline: December 1
  • Award announcement: December 15
  • Pre-funding calls with all awardees: December 16-20
  • Award funds sent: First week of January 

Deadline: April 15, 2020

*If applying for the April 15, 2020 deadline, the proposal idea should be scheduled to begin after July 1 for all expense-related activities. 

  • Round 1 application deadline: April 15
  • Round 1 application feedback provided to all applicants via email: May 1
  • Individual online conference calls with applicants to discuss feedback and strategies to improve the proposal: May 6-8
  • Applicants revise their applications: May
  • Round 2 MG application deadline: June 1
  • Award announcement: June 15
  • Pre-funding calls with all awardees: June 17-29
  • Award funds sent: First week of July

Program Benefits

The Micro-Grant Program provides graduate scholars who are eager to positively impact their local communities and/or start their own entrepreneurial activities with funding and professional skill building experiences. Throughout the application and award process graduate scholars have access to and receive support from WMI staff who are trained in proposal development, grant writing, evaluation, and measurement & evaluation. As an applicant and an awardee, graduate scholars will benefit from:
  • Developing professional grant writing skills;
  • Learning how to create a basic budget and complete financial forecasting;
  • Using Excel to accurately track project finances;
  • Executing a strategic measurement and evaluation (M&E) plan;
  • Creating project reports to help sustain project goals;
  • Learning about grant award management through timely reporting.
Previous WMI Micro-Grant projects have developed into full-time businesses that continue to generate profits and create more local jobs, successful on-going community groups/projects, and recurring annual events.

Application and Supporting Resources

It is time to begin your application! Follow these five steps and write to nicole@wellsmountain.com if you have any questions along the way. 

Step 1: Review the Micro-Grants Program Application Questions.

Step 2: Download the Written Proposal Guidelines and begin drafting your proposal following the instructions provided. You should use Word to type your proposal and then save your document as a PDF. 

Step 3: Download the Micro-Grants Planning Timeline Template and Micro-Grants Budget & Six-Month Expense & Revenue Template.

Step 4: Use the two templates to create an implementation plan and also detail your budget expenses and revenue. On both templates, an example project has been provided to assist you.

Step 5: Complete the Round 1: WMI Micro-Grants Program Application and attach your written project proposal, planning timeline, and budget templates. Finally, submit!

Note: All applications and supporting documents must be completed in English.

Work with a Micro-Grant Mentor!

Did you know that there are Micro-Grant Mentors waiting and ready to help you prepare your application? Micro-Grant Mentors are select graduate scholars who have successfully applied for and implemented a community event, program, or business proposal. 

The mentor program was created to increase peer-to-peer interactions by supporting advanced awareness about the grant funding opportunity and to aid in the development of strong project proposals. 

The role of the mentor is to give strategic advice and provide encouragement. Mentors are not responsible for reviewing or editing full proposals. Applicants are encouraged to connect with mentors to seek assistance with a specific issue or area of the proposal that they would like to improve. 

The initial group of mentors will begin serving as valuable resources to interested program applicants for the October 2019 application cycle. 

If you are interested in connecting with a current mentor or if you would like to becoming a mentor, please write to nicole@wellsmountain.com. 

Strategies for Successful Applications

DETAILED PLANNING: Successful programs are ones that are extremely well planned in advance, thus, we will not be funding programs without evidence of careful planning. Careful planning must be applied to all stages of the application, needs assessment, implementation planning, developing a support team, budgetary needs, financial projections, partner/other funding sources, and the measurement of results.

Application Tip: WMI provides application coaching for all applicants.

LOCAL COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: The most successful projects are those that are also supported by the local community. We want to see partners and contributions made on behalf of others who support your idea. WMI Micro-Grant funding can make up a significant part of the project budget, but not all of the funds necessary to implement a program.

Application Tip: WMI requires and looks for detailed community interest and contributions within project proposals. This may be in the form of financial donations or in-kind donations. WMI will also provide awards that are aligned with the “matching funds” model.

 

MEASURING OUTCOMES: We believe that monitoring and evaluation are extremely important aspects for all projects (even our own!).

Application Tip: All projects will need to have a method for showcasing or measuring impact. For some projects this may be a pre-and post-knowledge survey. For other projects it might relate to financial reports and activities undertaken to raise sales, etc. WMI staff will be assisting with this element of program planning during the revision stage.

ENCOURAGING SUSTAINABILITY: Except in a rare “one-off” program, the Graduate Scholar should be looking for ways to make the program sustainable so that it can continue in the future.

Application Tip: Sustainability of your project will need to be detailed within the application. WMF staff will be assisting with this element of program planning during the revision stage in October and November.

GRADUATE SCHOLAR’S DIRECT INVOLVEMENT: Although we are enthusiastic about the many good programs that our Graduate Scholars may know of, Micro-Grants are not a vehicle for simply passing a donation along to a favorite charity or group of individuals in need of funding. There must be substantial direct involvement by the Graduate Scholar in all aspects of the project.

Application Tip: The Graduate Scholar’s role in implementing the project must be clearly defined with responsibilities and tasks.

Questions or Concerns

To seek application assistance or to learn more about this program, please contact:

Nicole Schmitz
Graduate Scholar Coordinator
nicole@wellsmountian.com