Impact Partner Grant

Jump To:

Call for Proposals What is an Impact Partner? Who is eligible for the Impact Partner Grant? What are the selection criteria? How much funding will be awarded? What do I need to submit with my proposal? What is the timeline for funding proposals?

The Impact Partner Grant provides funding to organizations that help underrepresented innovators, entrepreneurs, and small businesses start, stay, and grow in Raleigh.

Fall 2022 Winners

We are proud to announce the Fall 2022 Impact Partner Grant winners! Three organizations were selected to each receive $20,000 in funding: 

Harmony logo
  • Harmony: Harmony is Raleigh’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce whose mission is to foster opportunities for LGBT+ and allied businesses and professionals to come together in support of business growth, education, and connectivity. The Impact Partner Grant funding will be used to launch Seen, the very first LGBT+-focused coworking space and entrepreneurial incubator in the country. Learn more about Harmony’s work at
The Amalgamation logo
  • The Amalgamation: The Amalgamation is a collective of small professional service businesses owned by women, minorities, veterans, and other historically underutilized groups working together to overcome common hurdles in government contracting. We emphasize DBE-to-DBE mentoring, public procurement training, informed matchmaking, small business collaboration, and equitable partnerships to increase contracting success for small businesses, to thwart predatory behavior in prime-sub contracting, and to help government agencies meet their DBE contracting goals. The Impact Partner Grant funding will be used to provide education, networking opportunities, and centralized bid opportunities to member organizations. Learn more about The Amalgamation’s work at
Prospera logo
  • Prospera North Carolina: Prospera’s mission is to help start, sustain, and grow Hispanic-owned businesses to achieve community prosperity. The nonprofit, economic development organization—first established in 1991 in Tampa, Florida—opened its Charlotte, North Carolina office in 2017 and its Raleigh office in 2021. Prospera specializes in bilingual, personalized technical assistance and handholding for Latinos who own or wish to establish a business, including confidential one-on-one consulting, business training in Spanish, help to access capital, and business advancement services. In its first four years of operations, Prospera generated $126.7 million in economic output and $2.1 million in direct state and local tax revenues. Last fiscal year alone, Prospera provided individual consulting to 282 entrepreneurs, trained over 550 seminar participants, and marketed over $2.64 million in loans for small businesses. The Impact Partner Grant will be used to build their presence in Raleigh. Learn more about Prospera NC’s work at 

Call for Proposals

Calling all impact-oriented companies, social enterprises, non-profits, universities, and innovators that seek to strengthen Raleigh’s thriving innovation ecosystem. The City of Raleigh’s new Office of Strategy and Innovation (aka Office of Yes, And!) is proud to revive the highly successful Impact Partner Grants. Impact Partner Grants provide funding to organizations that help underrepresented innovators, entrepreneurs, and small businesses start, stay, and grow in Raleigh. The grants are a crucial to the Office of Strategy & Innovation’s vision to foster inclusive innovation and achieve the seemingly impossible.  

We are looking for innovation ecosystem partners – including startups, non-profits, social enterprises, and universities – with bold new initiatives to enhance the lives of others. Past awardees include District C, Innovate Raleigh, RiOT, and Launch Raleigh.    

The Impact Partner Grant allowed us to focus on the 6- or 12-month window rather than the 1- or 2-month window and having that breathing room to make important decisions that align with the values of the organization is invaluable. - District C, past Impact Partner Grant recipient 

The Impact Partner Grant provides financial support and technical assistance from the Office of Strategy and Innovation to implement their proposed programs. 

The goals for the Impact Partner Grant are to: 

  • Support business initiatives that align with the City of Raleigh’s Strategic Plan
  • Promote collaboration among stakeholders serving the City of Raleigh
  • Connect businesses with additional resources and funding opportunities to support growth 

The Office of Strategy & Innovation will be accepting Request for Proposals for the Impact Partner Grant beginning Monday, August 15, 2022. Proposals are due via email to Cristina Leos (, Senior Innovation Strategist, by 11:59 pm ET on Thursday, September 15, 2022. 

Impact Partner Grant Making a Difference

What is an Impact Partner?

An Impact Partner is a community stakeholder that builds a successful, sustainable and vibrant business ecosystem. Put simply, an instrumental partner for economic development. 

As Impact Partners, these ecosystem builders: 

  • create an invisible infrastructure to allow entrepreneurs and small business owners to find resources needed to succeed
  • advocate for local entrepreneurs and their companies
  • bring these entrepreneurs and companies together in collaboration 
  • challenge entrepreneurs to grow, and push everyone forward 
  • are catalysts, connectors, co-creators, and changemakers. 

Who is eligible for the Impact Partner Grant?

Eligible sectors targeted by the program include: 

  • Technology and Internet of Things (iOT) 
  • Consumer Packaged Goods and Products 
  • Design and Creative Industries 
  • Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals 
  • Social Impact and Social Innovation 
  • Education 
  • Workforce Development 
  • Manufacturing and Distribution 
  • Transportation and Logistics 
  • Retail and retail-related services 
  • Government 
  • Non-Profit Corporations 

We are particularly interested in organizations that support underrepresented business owners or stakeholders. This includes marginalized groups across race, gender, sexual orientation, income, abilities, or other categories by which people have been historically excluded. 

What are the selection criteria?

Proposals must align with one of the following City of Raleigh Strategic Plan Objectives for Economic Development: 

  • Objective 1: Identify and enhance workforce development partnerships and efforts and actively serve as a conduit to residents, businesses, and resource partners to attract, retain, and engage a talented workforce of various ages, skill sets, and backgrounds to support a diverse, inclusive, and growing economy. 
  • Objective 2: Cultivate an innovative and entrepreneurial culture based on shared strategic goals. 
  • Objective 3: Develop strategies and tools that encourage and strengthen the development of businesses throughout the community. 
  • Objective 4: Maintain and develop amenities and infrastructure to support and encourage jobs and business development and expansion in all parts of the city that provides opportunity for all. 


In addition, proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria: 

  • Gap or Need: What is the need within the Raleigh ecosystem that this program will help fill? 
  • Program Plan: Are there clear goals, objectives, and workplans guiding the program implementation? 
  • Equity Alignment: How does this program advance diversity, equity, and inclusion?  
  • Partnerships: What new or existing partnerships will support the success of this program? 
  • Organizational Capacity: What resources and staff will support the successful implementation of this program? 

These criteria are used to help guide the selection process, but the City of Raleigh reserves the right to award funding based on the proposals that the City determines to be best aligned with the policy objectives set forth within the Strategic Plan. 

How much funding will be awarded?

Each organization may request $15,000 to $20,000. The requested funding cannot be more than 25 percent of the organization’s annual budget. 

What do I need to submit with my proposal?

Use the template provided below to compile your written proposal.  

Application Template 2022-2023

A complete proposal submitted via email must include: 

  1. Written responses to the application questions using the template provided here. 
  2. Program budget. Proposals that do not include the budget will not be reviewed. 

Completed proposals are due to Cristina Leos, senior innovation strategist, by 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 15. Please include the subject line “Impact Partner Grant Proposal Submission.” 

What is the timeline for funding proposals?



August 15, 2022 

Impact Partner Grant application opens 

September 15, 2022 

Impact Partner Grant application closes 

The application will close at 11:59 pm ET on Thursday, September 15, 2022 

September 15 - September 30, 2022 

Proposal review and evaluation 

Proposals will be reviewed by the Office of Strategy and Innovation and a panel of experts within the Raleigh innovation ecosystem. Applicants may be contacted with follow up questions or an interview. 

Mid October 2022 

Impact Partner Grant winners selected 


DISCLAIMER: We know innovation comes from organizations of various sizes/industries/stages. Are you not sure you fit 100 percent of the above criteria but are committed to helping the City of Raleigh foster bold new programs? Apply!  

If you have questions or need any assistance completing the application, please send an email to Cristina Leos, senior innovation strategist with the subject line, “Impact Partner Grant.” 



Office of Strategy and Innovation



Lead Department:
Strategy and Innovation
Service Categories:
Community and Small Business DevelopmentStrategy and Innovation