Become a part of the Grants Committee as many of our members feel it is the most impactful way to participate in the work of the Giving Circle of HOPE.  Experiencing this kind of commitment up close and personal changes us, as individuals and as an organization.


Lynn O'Connell

Serving as a grants reviewer is a wonderful way for me to connect with our community and gain better awareness of the vast number and kinds of services available throughout Northern Virginia.  A highlight of my year!

Bill Browning

Participating on the GCH grants committee these past two years has given me a window into Northern Virginia's rapidly-changing community, and many new and creative ways that community-based nonprofits are responding to these changing needs.

Sherry Bloomquist

Two years ago I began my very meaningful English language tutoring after connecting with one of the GCH’s grant recipients.

Jane Williams

Being a grant reviewer has helped me to find out about so many different organizations providing worthwhile and needed services to those in need and provided volunteer opportunities as well.

We welcome both returning and new reviewers to participate in our 2020-21 grant cycle.  The grant application and review tools are both now online.  Return reviewers are valued for the insights and experience they bring to the process and their mentoring of new reviewers.  First time reviewers have an opportunity to build community with other Giving Circle members while gaining an in-depth view of the collective grant process and the needs in Northern Virginia.

As a member of the Grants Committee, you will be part of a team reviewing, discussing, ranking and scoring select grant applications including making an on-site visit to one prospective grantee.  Scores from all Committee teams are then presented to the full membership for voting and selection of 2021 grantees.


Members who volunteer for the Grants Committee receive an orientation and review templates and are fully supported by the Grants Chairs.  Past reviewers also make great mentors!  It’s one of the most impactful ways to get involved in the Giving Circle of HOPE.

2020-21 KEY DATES

Mission Alignment & Financial Review


Giving Circle of HOPE leadership will review grant applicants for alignment with our mission after which applications undergo a finance review.   Finance reviewers receive an orientation, along with scoring guidance and then work on-line from the convenience of their homes using a form with designated documents to be reviewed . Grant applicants who do not align with our mission or meet finance criteria are notified of their removal from the grant review process.

Review Teams & Member Assignments


Grant Chairs create review teams grouping remaining applicants by focus areas.  Grants Committee members choose or are assigned to teams. Team Leaders are identified and final team assignments are made combining both experienced and new reviewers. Teams are assigned six to seven grants on average.

Orientation for Reviewers


Team Leaders and Committee Members attend orientation.  Guidance is provided regarding review criteria, as well as, accessing the on-line grant system and review forms. Samples of all work products are provided including on-site interview questions.  All new raters will be provided mentors.

Initial Grant Review 


Each team member completes an on-line review of assigned grant applications and scores grants. Teams meet to discuss scores assigned and reach consensus on applicant rankings. Grants falling below a designated score are eliminated; those remaining are scheduled for an on-site visit.

On-Site Visit and Final Grant Rating


Grants Committee Team members (Individually or in pairs) conduct one on-site interview and prepare a brief assessment of the grant.  Members attend a second team meeting to explore insights from their on-site visits and reach consensus on each applicant’s final score.  Grant Chairs integrate all team grant summaries and scores into one package for member voting.  

Membership Grant Voting Period


All voting members of the Giving Circle of HOPE are provided summary information and final grants committee scores for all 2019 applicants eligible for grant awards. Members are advised of funding availability, i.e., the number of grants we are able to award based on our pooled funds.

If you have any questions about the Grants Review process or are interested in joining the Grants Committee, please fill out the contact form below and one of our Grants Chairs will respond.


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