Grants

United Way of Washtenaw County invests in solutions that improve lives. Grants for programs and services that address critical community needs are a key strategy in our work. From childcare to permanent supportive housing, job placement services to meals for seniors, programs funded by United Way are making a difference every day.


OPPORTUNITY FUND

Overview: These grants provide support for organizations whose work benefits priority populations in Washtenaw County: lower-income populations, communities of color and groups deemed to be marginalized. In addition to the above, the work of an application organization must align with one or more of the following criteria:
Meet an emergent, unmet community or organizational capacity need
Leverage United Way support as match for additional grant funding
Pilot a promising or evidence-based practice
Increase the financial stability of individuals and families
Prioritize systematic racial equity* Read more about our commitment to equity here.
 
*Racial equity is the condition that would be achieved if one's racial identity no longer predicted, in a statistical sense, how one fares. When we use the term, we are thinking about racial equity as one part of racial justice, and thus we also include work to address root causes of inequities not just their manifestation. This includes elimination of policies, practices, attitudes and cultural messages that reinforce differential outcomes by race or fail to eliminate them.
 
Racial Justice [is defined] as the proactive reinforcement of policies, practices, attitudes and actions that produce equitable power, access, opportunities, treatment, impacts and outcomes for all. (Sources: Center for Assessment and Policy Development; Catalytic Change: Lessons Learned from the Racial Justice Grantmaking Assessment Report, Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity and Applied Research Center, 2009.)
 
Priority is given to applicants whose work aligns with one or more of United Way’s priority areas: early childhood; school-aged youth; safety-net health & nutrition; housing & homelessness; seniors and financial stability. 
 
There is no “floor” or “ceiling” for funding requests. Grantees may only apply once every 12 months.  In FY18, approximately $100,000 in grants will be made through the Opportunity Fund.  
 
Timeline: Please see this full timeline of dates for the Opportunity Fund Process.

Apply: The Opportunity Fund Application is now closed for Round 1. Click here for the application and timeline.

For a complete list of all FY 2016-17 Opportunity Fund grantees, click here.
For a complete list of all FY 2015-16 Opportunity Fund grantees, click here.
For a complete list of all FY 2014-15 Opportunity Fund grantees, click here.


FINANCIAL STABILITY FUND

Overview: A component of United Way’s Financial Stability Initiative, these grants provide one-time support for programs, projects or initiatives that prioritize the following Washtenaw County populations: women, low-income individuals and families; communities of color; historically marginalized groups. Funding is open to both new/pilot or existing programs, projects or initiatives. 
 
Funded programs, projects or initiatives must align with one or more of the following goals of United Way’s Financial Stability Initiative:
  • Advance the economic well-being of low-income working individuals and families.
  • Reduce reliance on predatory financial practices in Washtenaw County neighborhoods.
  • Ensure that low-income working individuals and families are aware of available asset-building resources.
  • Increase opportunities for low-income individuals and communities to increase their economic asset base through education, coaching and practice
Local community organizations, through community conversations, have affirmed the following areas as funding priorities:
  • Job training/skill building
  • Literacy (e.g. digital, language, health)
  • Financial Stability Capacity Building (e.g. Integration of financial services into an agency’s existing social service array)
  • Direct Service Staff Capacity Building  (e.g. Increasing the knowledge and skills of social/case workers to provide financial empowerment services to clients)
  • Public Policy, Advocacy and Community-Mobilizing (e.g. community campaign on predatory lending practices)
Note: A subset of awards will be made to programs, projects or initiatives that primarily or exclusively prioritize services for women as part of United Way’s Women United Initiative. Funding previously invested through Women’s Leadership Initiative Grant Program will now be invested through the Financial Stability Fund.
 
Eligibility: Local 501(c)(3) non-profit human service organizations,  local governments, higher education institutions and school districts that are located within and serving Washtenaw County. Applicants may apply through a fiscal agent.
Timeline: We will once again be investing in local organizations through our Financial Stability grants program. We anticipate announcing key dates regarding this funding opportunity prior to the end of this calendar year.
Apply: Application period for the Financial Stability Fund is now closed. 

For a complete list of all FY 2016-17 Financial Stabiltiy Fund grantees, click here.


COORDINATED FUNDING

United Way of Washtenaw County is a proud member of the Washtenaw Coordinated Funders. The Washtenaw Coordinated Funders adopted a funding model with three distinct components (Sector Leaders (formerly Planning & Coordinating Entities), Program Operations Funding & Capacity Building Grants) designed to prevent gaps and avoid redundancies in services while streamlining application and reporting procedures for grantees. This effort involved better sharing of information, closer work with local nonprofits to establish common community goals, and increased cooperation in funding decisions.

The Washtenaw Coordinated Funders seek to better coordinate our funding of human service programs in Washtenaw County around shared priorities. This effort involves better sharing of information among us, closer work with local nonprofits to establish common community goals, and increased cooperation in our funding decisions.

Program Operations Grants are multi-year funding to support essential services within five priority areas: early childhood, school-aged youth, safety net health & nutrition, housing & homelessness, and aging. The Upcoming FY 18 Program Operations Cycle has been announced! Learn more here.

Capacity Building Grants support one-time initiatives that strengthen a nonprofit organization and/or the local nonprofit sector as a whole. Annual focus of this fund shifts in response to local capacity building needs.

Sector Leadership Grants support leadership, infrastructure and support to steer issue-specific collaborative efforts among nonprofit agencies.


CONTACT

For more information about our work, contact:
Bridget Healy, Director of Community Impact, 734.677.7209, bhealy@uwwashtenaw.org 
Amanda Reel, Community Impact & Volunteer Center Manager, 734.677.7234, areel@uwwashtenaw.org