United Way to Accept Applications for Community Grants

Community Grant

Written by Diana Block

Diana Block is the Vice President of Brand Management at United Way of Greater Toledo. For media inquiries please email diana.block@unitedwaytoledo.org.

December 27, 2023

[TOLEDO, Ohio] – United Way of Greater Toledo (UWGT) announces the re-opening of its community grant application. This is the second three-year grant cycle offered by the organization through its Collective Impact Model of funding. UWGT is committed to providing essential funding to local programs addressing critical issues in education, financial stability, health, and housing.

Requests for Proposals open January 8, 2024, for community-based entities within Lucas, Ottawa, and Wood counties. Organizations are invited to submit applications for monetary support over a three-year period. Comprehensive details on the application process and qualifications are available at www.unitedwaytoledo.org/grant.

“This is perhaps one of the most important times in recent history for health and human services,” said Jill Bunge, vice president of Impact and Outreach, “We continue to see needs rising in the aftermath of the pandemic as we navigate considerable social and economic challenges. The human services sector is the lifeline that provides residents and families connections to help and to hope.”

Bunge continued, remarking that no challenge stands alone, those without food often also experience challenges in affordable housing and employment, which affects children’s stability and ability to grow healthy and learn successfully.

Wendy Pestrue, CEO, sees UWGT’s role as a backbone of the community, convening partners, donors, and on-the-ground organizations to change the future of our community for all residents.

“Collective Impact is a national best practice model that says if we want to solve these issues sustainably for future generations, we need to help agencies work together,” she said, “They need to talk to one another and collaborate toward shared resources and goals. United Way doesn’t just provide funding for these programs, we bring everyone in the community who cares about these issues together to steward better communication and cooperation, and we leverage our role to bring additional resources and relationships to the table to make this happen.”

Since the Collective Impact program launched in 2021, UWGT has invested over $23 million in key community strategies such as access to food and housing, student success, basic needs, school readiness, and healthy lifestyles. During this period, over 400,000 individuals were served by UWGT-supported services, not including those assisted through United Way 211, a free, 24/7, 365-day health and human service resource.

Pestrue emphasized the organization’s commitment to improvement through data analysis. “We have one of the best data resource teams in the region. Clear information helps agencies refine their own programs, and it facilitates consensus on how the whole community can best move forward,” she said.

One unique aspect of UWGT’s Community Partner Grants is that the applications are reviewed and selected by Community Reviewers and volunteers serving on UWGT’s Community Impact Cabinet (CIC). This process ensures fairness and transparency in the selection process by community members with diverse life experiences in the areas served, as well as those with professional background and knowledge. Once selected, funded organizations are not restricted on how to use the funds within their program, a rarity in the world of nonprofit grants.

“We believe that the organizations running these programs know best how to use their dollars to make an impact. Once the program is vetted by our community volunteers, it is up to the agency to determine how the funds are used, be that covering expenses like supplies, increasing awareness, or maintaining costs to retain quality staff to ensure there is always someone to work with clients,” Bunge said.

Community Partner Grant Request for Proposals open on January 8, 2024. The deadline to apply is February 23, 2024. Details on this additional opportunity can be found at www.unitedwaytoledo.org/grant.

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