IMPACT Grant Initiative
The Woodward Hines Education Foundation (WHEF) is a 501(c)3 organization committed to helping more Mississippians obtain the postsecondary degree, certification, or credential that will allow them to improve their qualities of life. While we actively acknowledge and appreciate the rich history, culture and promise of our state, the stark reality is that 30% of our children live in poverty. Our commitment to postsecondary education is rooted in research shows that a bachelor degree can shift a family from cyclical poverty to living wage work opportunities for generations.
In spring and summer 2019, WHEF began seeking intentional feedback from Mississippi’s higher education community through our University Success Program Scan research project. Those conversations shed light on the tremendous challenges faced by Mississippi's public university system to increase degree production, with fewer financial resources.
In service to the work of Mississippi's colleges to increase retention, persistence, and college completion, WHEF is pleased to announce the Improving Mississippi’s Persistence and Completion Together (IMPACT) grant initiative. IMPACT is a multi-year, competitive grant opportunity to provide support to Mississippi's public universities in their pursuit of improved student outcomes.
The purpose of IMPACT is to create a state-specific, facilitated community of practice for the exchange of findings, insights and ideas, as well as providing coordinated access to high-quality professional development opportunities for institutional faculty/staff, innovations in institutional data collection/usage and providing platforms for peer learning.
We are interested in partnering with higher education institutions that demonstrate a leadership commitment to producing equitable, innovative solutions for challenges to student success along the postsecondary pipeline. WHEF is seeking proposals from Mississippi public universities that provide data-informed solutions aimed at improving student outcomes for populations traditionally underrepresented in higher education.
We aim to support projects that create a collaborative learning environment and strengthen institutional capacity, in an effort to replicate and scale best practices amongst peers for systemic impact. To achieve these goals, WHEF is offering one of the following multi-year opportunities to eligible organizations:
• Innovation grants – up to $50,000 per year – for new and small-scale student success projects (or a new addition to an existing program) within institutions. Innovation grants allow universities to pilot best practices or establish baseline data for future expansion.
• Verification grants - up to $75,000 per year – for existing projects that have been piloted on a small scale and demonstrated measurable impact. Verification grants allow the underlying assumptions and outcomes to be tested in a multi-year framework on larger segments or different at-risk student populations.
• Institutionalization grants – up to $100,000 per year – for proven projects and practices that have demonstrated meaningful impact upon underrepresented populations and can be scaled across the institution.
Who is Eligible to Apply
All institutions governed by the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning are eligible to apply.
IMPACT Grant Key Dates
Release of RFP application: November 14, 2019
RFP informational webinar: December 4, 2019
RFP application due date: January 31, 2020
Decision announcements: April 2020
IMPACT Convenings: Summer 2021, 2023, and 2025
Important: Based upon compelling feedback from our university colleagues in the early stages of the RFP process, the WHEF team has given considerable thought to the grant limitation of only supporting/supplementing the salaries of existing institutional personnel for projects. To that end, the following change will be effective immediately to provide support in IMPACT applications and corresponding budgets:
• The salary of one new institutional staff member dedicated to the proposed project can be supported by IMPACT funding;
• IMPACT funding support must be limited to 50% of base salary;
• In the sustainability portion of the IMPACT application, applicants must demonstrate realistic plans to absorb the salary costs after the conclusion of the grant period or provide reasonable explanation of how the proposed effort will be sustained without involvement of such personnel.
Examples of new personnel that may be integrated into IMPACT projects, can include, but are not limited to:
• Current graduate or doctoral students;
• Project directors;
• Program managers or coordinators.
Download the RFP
RFP Application Code: IMPACT
Recording of IMPACT Webinar Presentation
This is a recording of the informational webinar for Woodward Hines Education Foundation’s IMPACT grant opportunity that took place on December 4, 2019.
Download the Powerpoint from the Webinar
For more information about eligibility or project alignment, please contact WHEF Program Officer Shanell Watson at email@example.com.
IMPACT Grant FAQs
Within its internal learning framework, WHEF is thoughtfully considering feedback from institutions during the IMPACT RFP process. From that feedback, WHEF may deem it necessary to design clarifying statements in response to inquiries posed by applicants. Asterisks below indicate that clarifying statements have been added to FAQs that were originally posted.
As new information is released or updates are provided, we will notify applicants via email and this site. If you would like for your name to be added to the e-mail distribution list, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.