Grants

For over 90 years your local United Way has been supporting organizations to improve the lives of Washtenaw County people. We envision an equitable community where opportunity is not limited and every member reaches their full potential. By the year 2030 we aspire to live in a community where: 

Your zip code no longer determines your opportunity in life
Life expectancy is the same across all populations and communities in our County
The academic achievement gap is eliminated
Everyone in our community has a home
Poverty is not generational. If it exists, it is intermittent and brief
Community members seek understanding and awareness of their own power and privilege and actively work to end poverty in our County
Everyone in our County is able to thrive and meet their needs—housing, food, transportation, education, health expenses and childcare
 
Children entering kindergarten this fall will be graduating high school in the year 2030. Before those children don a cap and gown, there is much work to be done.  If our vision resonates with you, we invite you to apply for funding. 

OPPORTUNITY FUND

Overview
These grants provide support for organizations whose work benefits people with low incomes, communities of color, and historically and/or systematically marginalized people. In addition to the above, the proposed work must align with one or more of the following criteria:
Increase organizational capacity to deliver a community solution
Leverage United Way support as match for additional grant funding
Pilot a promising practice
Engage in advocacy and/or community mobilizing 
Aligns with one or more of United Way’s priority areas: early childhood; school-aged youth; safety net health & nutrition; housing & homelessness; older adults, financial stability.
Prioritize systematic racial equity* 
 
Equity Commitment

Equity is a central tenet in United Way’s grantmaking. All applicants — regardless of where in their equity journey they may be today — must demonstrate a commitment to ongoing growth through the integration of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) principles into both their external programming or services and internal structures and operations. Learn more about how United Way thinks about equity at www.uwgive.org/equity

*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.  Racial justice is the underlayer for all other forms of justice – we can’t achieve educational, environmental, criminal justice, etc. until we achieve racial justice. (Sources: Center for Assessment and Policy Development; Catalytic Change: Lessons Learned from the Racial Justice Grant making Assessment Report, Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity and Applied Research Center, 2009; Fakequity, 2019.)

There is no “floor” or “ceiling” for funding requests. Grantees may only apply once every 12 months.  In FY20, approximately $200,000 in grants will be made through the Opportunity Fund.

NOTE:

  • Funds invested through this grant program are a complement, not a supplement, to other United Way and Washtenaw Coordinated Funding grant programs. 
  • The Opportunity Fund does not resource ongoing/core services of local organizations.
Apply
The Opportunity Fund application is now closed for 2019-20.
 
To be notified of future UWWC grant opportunities, complete this online form.

Past Opportunity Fund Investments


FINANCIAL STABILITY FUND

A note regarding UWWC’s Financial Stability Grants Program

Coupled with the expansion of our VITA and Financial Coaching programs, the Financial Stability Fund was a pilot grant program authorized by UWWC’s Board of Directors in December 2015 with three years of funding.  Over the past three years, we are proud to have invested in the efforts of local nonprofits that:

  • Built the capacity of staff to deliver financial education

  • Enabled organizations to pilot programming that increased the financial stability and economic opportunity of those they serve

  • Expanded the scope of current financial education and financial stability programs in Washtenaw County

Our last traunche of funding through this grants program was awarded in FY19.  We are sunsetting this grants program at this time. We will continue to deliver, and grow, our VITA and Financial Coaching services to the community.

Funds generated through proceeds of United Way’s Power of the Purse event will continue to be invested in local nonprofits working to increase the financial stability and economic opportunity of people who identify as women.  

We invite all organizations to stay connected with us on issues of financial stability by participating in the Washtenaw Financial Stability Coalition, which meets quarterly.

Please contact Bridget Healy, Director of Community Impact, bhealy@uwwashtenaw.org, with your questions.

 
Past Financial Stability Fund Investments

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 (Systems Change (formerly Sector Leadership), 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.

Program Operations Funding Cycle News: We will not be operating an RFI/RFP cycle for Program Operations grants this year. Instead, we will be providing our current Program Operations grantees with a third year of funding. Click here to learn more.

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.

Past Coordinated Funding Investments


CONTACT

To be notified of future UWWC grant opportunities, complete this online form.

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.o
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In the service of transparency and improving the grant-making sector, please consider providing anonymous feedback about United Way of Washtenaw County at GrantAdvisor.org.