Nonprofits are essential to the health and vibrancy of our community because they embody the shared values and spirit of the Coastal Empire. From social services to arts and humanities, you will find champions, advocates, innovators, protectors, and drivers of change, across our local nonprofit sector.
United Way of the Coastal Empire is proud to support over 90 specific programs and services at nearly 60 nonprofits each year. Without our nonprofit partners, we could not fulfill our mission to improve lives.
Interested in United Way’s nonprofit funding process? Explore the FAQs to find out more!
1. What types of nonprofit programs and services are funded by United Way?
Donor contributions to the United Way Community Fund are invested in specific, direct service programs that align to one of our six priority outcomes within the areas of education, income, and health.
2. What qualifications are necessary to apply for United Way funding?
To be considered for a program grant from United Way, nonprofit organizations must have a physical presence in our four-county service area and meet our funding eligibility criteria.
3. How does a nonprofit apply for United Way funding?
Nonprofits that are new to United Way program funding must first apply through Opportunity Funding; this is a separate, smaller grant process from United Way’s annual program funding cycle. The Opportunity Funding application is not necessarily an annual process but is opened at the discretion of United Way’s Board of Directors based on available resources. Monitor our e-newsletter for Opportunity Funding announcements.
Once funded, United Way invites its nonprofit partners to re-apply for annual program funding in the fall. The funding process includes a written application and the provision of financial documents, a program site visit, an in-person application review meeting and follow-up Q&A, as needed. The process spans approximately four months. If a grant is awarded, a counter-signed program funding agreement will be required, along with semi-annual reporting.
4. How does United Way make its grant funding decisions?
United Way Community Investments staff facilitates an outcomes-based evaluation process that employs dozens of trained community volunteers to serve as grant evaluators, which is overseen by a standing committee of United Way’s Board of Directors. Decisions are based on the merit of organizational and program performance and the resources available for investment.
5. Will United Way continue to allow donors to designate their gift to a specific nonprofit?
Donors may direct their gift to a qualifying nonprofit, according to our donor designation gift policy. Please note that United Way cannot guarantee how directed gifts are used by the recipient organization, unlike gifts to the United Way Community Fund, which are invested in specific programs and services that are held accountable to United Way under contract. For questions about donor designations, contact United Way’s Finance department at (912) 651-7700.
6. For questions regarding grant funding, contact Community Investments.
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