Grant Review Process

There is no “standard” process for grant review, although there are common principles:


What follows is a protocol for reviewing the “Fund for Rural America” proposals to the AgStar Fund (this is not necessarily the format AgStar uses, but it is a process that is commonly used, especially for federal grants).



1. Each reviewer will assess each of the assigned proposal using the criteria and assigning points as indicated below.

         Full points may not be assigned if any weaknesses are noted.

         Strengths & weaknesses should be noted by including direct reference to the proposal

  1. Following their individual assessments, the review team shall discuss any criterion or sub-criterion which shows more than a 3-pt. spread, and arrive at a more nearly common assignment of points based on the strengths and weaknesses that they noted in their reviews.
  2. Reviewers should combine their individual assessments into a single review.

         Comments should be combined into a single list

         Scores should be recorded separately at the end of the review, and an average score computed.



  1. Meets Requirements (reject if not met)

         $10,000 maximum

         Operating support, program support, technical assistance, or equipment requests only

         No excluded activities


  1. Funding Priorities (100 pts.)
    1. Purpose (10 pts.)

         8-10 pts. –Demonstrates significant impact on needs of region

         4-7 pts.—Shows moderate impact on needs in region

         0-3 pts. –Impact is basically similar to what is already available in community

    1. Needs/Beneficiaries (20 pts.)

         15-20 pts. –Immediate and primary impact on target groups

         8-14 pts.—Indirect or delayed impact on target groups

         0-7 pts. –Impact is not primarily on target groups

    1. Measured Outcomes (20 pts.)

         15-20 pts. –Both outcomes and evaluation are clear and achievable

         8-14 pts.—Either outcome or evaluation are clear and achievable, but not both

         0-7 pts. –Both outcomes and evaluation are problematic

    1. Responsibilities/Staffing ( goals & design, resources, qualifications of personnel) (20 pts.)

         15-20 pts. –Resources, personnel, and responsibilities are adequate and appropriate

         8-14 pts.—Some of resources/personnel/responsibilities are not justified

         0-7 pts. –Responsibilities, resources and personnel are not adequately explained or justified.

    1. Appropriateness of project to AgStar’s mission/audience/constituency (20 pts.)

         15-20 pts. –Project clearly aligned with mission and community

         8-14 pts.—Project aligned with mission or community but not both

         0-7 pts. –Alignment with mission or community is unclear or missing

    1. Budget (10 pts.)

         8-10 pts. –Budget is adequate and appropriate

         4-7 pts.—Some of budget is not justified

         0-3 pts. –Budget is not adequately explained or justified.



____/ Meets Requirements

____/100 Funding Priorities
____/10 Purpose

____/20 Needs/Beneficiaries

____/20 Measured Outcomes

____/20 Responsibilities/Staffing

____/20 Fit with Priorities

____/10 Budget



2005 A.J.Filipovitch
Revised 29 October 2008