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Apply for Grants

Women Investing in Shepherd invites nonprofit organizations and Shepherd University programs striving to address critical community needs or wishing to make a significant local or state impact to submit an online letter of inquiry (LOI) by March 15, 2021. Request for full proposals will be issued by the end of March. If you are invited to submit a full proposal, the deadline for submission will be May 15, 2021.


To be eligible for a grant from the community nonprofit pooled fund, a grantee must be a 501 (c) (3) organization and provide services in the regional area as defined by specifically named counties. Every eligible non-profit may submit a LOI, but only organizations invited by the grants committee may submit a full proposal. WISH does not fund endowment requests. Grants may be disbursed over one to three years, in annual increments, at the mutual agreement of the grantee and WISH. Any organization receiving a grant may apply again after a two year period upon final disbursement payment of previously awarded grant. All grant funds must be used for intended project- no monies may be sent to corporate for operating expenses.

To be eligible for a grant from the Shepherd University pooled fund, each applicant must be recognized as an approved academic, athletic, cultural, or community service program carried out by students, faculty, and/or staff, and overseen by a Shepherd University employee. The grant would be provided to the university for the benefit of sanctioned programs.

Selection Process

The selection process will be managed by the Grants committee, which is comprised of active members, each of whom is asked to disclose all affiliations with nonprofit organizations to avoid conflicts of interest. The Grants committee follows the processes and schedule set forth for the program year. The process begins with the acceptance and review of Letters of Inquiry. The Grants committee manages the process to invite organizations to submit full proposals. The Grants committee narrows these organizations that will undergo further scrutiny, which may include site visits, interviews, or a request of vetted information. Subsequently, a specified number of regional nonprofit organizations and projects at Shepherd University are presented to active membership for a vote, either electronically or by paper ballot, to select the final grantees. The votes are tallied by members of the Shepherd University Foundation staff and confirmed by a member of the WISH executive committee.

All grantees will be required to sign a Memorandum of Understanding detailing the terms of the grant before initial disbursement. Grantees must file an annual progress report before subsequent disbursements, if applicable. The impact and success of grants will be monitored and reported upon during the course of grant distribution and at the conclusion of the funded project.

WISH Grants Timeline

January through March

  • Alert members to be on the lookout for projects of interest; contact university/nonprofits to submit LOIs
  • Advertise and distribute LOIs to nonprofits through WISH members and other agencies
  • LOIs submitted
  • Review LOIs

March through April

  • Grants committee issues requests for proposals
  • Number of RFPs may depend on quantity/quality of LOIs
  • RFPs received and reviewed

May through June

  • Select projects/organizations for further vetting, site visits, interviews
  • Conduct site visits, other due diligence

June through August

  • Present projects to grant committee members
  • Committee selects projects/organizations for ballot
  • WISH membership votes to select grantees
  • Celebration held for grant recipients in August

Meg Peterson

Director of Donor Relations

WISH Grant Committee

  • Chair
    Bonnie Brannon ’63
  • Vice Chair
    Carol Kable
  • Betsy Bainbridge
  • Laura Vaughan Beauchamp ’76
  • Donna Bertazzoni
  • Denise Boehm
  • Susan Brookreson
  • Pamela Curtis
  • Susan Davis ’77
  • Dana DeJarnett
  • Melanie Files ’70
  • Dana Fogle
  • Karen Hensell
  • Kim Himes
  • Harriet Pearson
  • Lois Pierce ’73
  • Piper Dankworth Sutton
  • Annette Van Hilst
  • Lyn Widmyer
  • Advisor
    Beverly Hughes ’71
  • Advisor
    Monica W. Lingenfelter