What kinds of funding does UWSC have available?
United Way of Story County provides funding to support health and human service programs in a few ways:
a) Annual investments through the ASSET process – The bulk of United Way’s annual funding for health and human service programs gets distributed through this process, with applications due the end of September for the following fiscal year (ex/grants due September 30, 2021 are for funding for July 2022-June 2023). In order for agencies to be considered for ASSET funding, they must serve clients within the geographic area of Story County and be approved to participate. Criteria for funding eligibility include being a non-profit corporation or chartered as a local unit of a non-profit corporation. (View Application for Agency Participation for more detail.) To learn more, please visit the Story County ASSET (Analysis of Social Services Team) webpage. Note: To request United Way funding through the ASSET process, an agency must also be a United Way of Story County Partner Agency. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request the form to start this process.
b) Community Impact Grants – These grants for $7,500 or less are to support unanticipated, emerging, or other distinct under-funded needs that further the mission of UWSC. Priority will be given to those programs that reach underserved populations and/or are focused on UWSC’s 2025 Community Impact Goals. Any non-profit organization with a 501(c)3 designation serving Story County is eligible to apply. Grants are accepted and reviewed throughout the year (see FAQ #2 below). Proposals must be submitted on the form linked on our website and emailed to email@example.com.
c) Golf Fore Kids Grants – These grants for $3,000 or less disburse funds raised by our annual Golf Fore Kids event (held annually in the summer). Grants are available to fund human services programs and initiatives that impact the lives of Story County children above and beyond current funding opportunities. Proposals may address expansion of programs and initiatives that are already funded by UWSC (through the ASSET process or grants process) or they may address programs and initiatives not currently funded by UWSC. Priority will be given to programs that reach underserved populations and/or are focused on UWSC’s 2025 Community Impact Goals. Proposals for capital expenditures will not be considered. The annual deadline for proposals is typically in August or September, with deadlines and the application form provided on our grants page.
d) LIVE UNITED Food Drive – Every spring, UWSC holds a food drive and also raises dollars specifically to support food pantries and food distribution programs in Story County. The opportunity to receive resources is made to participants in the Story County Food Pantry Collaboration convened by United Way. If you are interested in joining this group, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
e) Other/Special – Occasionally, special grants are announced. For example, during the coronavirus pandemic, funds were raised specifically to help partner agencies contend with Covid-19 related expenses and service delivery changes.
What are application deadlines?
Deadlines differ depending on the funding being sought:
ASSET funding - New ASSET agency applications are due in June of each year (access the ASSET calendar to check the deadline date). Eligible agencies must then submit their budget requests by the end of September of each year. Approval to be considered is not a guarantee that funds will be awarded. ASSET produces a detailed calendar of all deadlines and events, available for viewing here.
For Community Impact Grants funding – Applications are accepted throughout the year when funding is available. The Allocations Committee generally meets on the first Thursday of each month. Grant applications that have been received the Monday of the week prior will generally be included in the monthly review unless additional information is needed for consideration. (Example: To be considered for November 2021 review, applications should be received by October 25.)
Golf Fore Kids funding – There is one application deadline per year, typically in August.
Who can apply?
To apply for UWSC funding, an organization must serve Story County and be a registered non-profit organization, 501c3 (or a local unit of a non-profit corporation). In addition, the organization’s work must further the mission of the UWSC, with focus areas in health, education, or financial stability. Additional eligibility criteria are specified in each grant application.
Do you offer any workshops to support grant applicants?
We recognize the need for grant support. We welcome emailed queries at any time (email@example.com) and also plan to offer Q & A sessions. Watch our social media for announcements.
How are decisions made as to who gets funded?
United Way of Story County depends on the expertise of appointed community volunteers to make funding recommendations (see detail below), with support provided by UWSC staff. Final approval on all funding recommendations comes from vote(s) by the UWSC Board of Directors.
- For ASSET, UWSC has 6 volunteers (also referred to as “liaisons”). Two of these volunteers also sit on UWSC’s Board of Directors, while the remaining 4 volunteers are community members. The current list of liaisons for UWSC and the other ASSET funders is posted publicly at the ASSET webpage (view “Assignments” link).
- For Community Impact Grants and Golf Fore Kids, the UWSC Allocations Committee reviews applications and makes funding recommendations to the full board. This committee is comprised of UWSC’s ASSET Liaisons (discussed above) and UWSC Board members.
Can organizations apply for funding more than once?
Yes. Through the ASSET process, once approved to participate, organizations may apply annually for funding to support a program(s). If an approved organization is seeking funding for a new or expanded service, they must typically apply for approval in May of a given year.
Through the Community Impacts and Golf Fore Kids processes, organizations also can apply more than once. However, organizations are cautioned not to rely on annual funding for general program expenses given the limited grant dollars, different priorities for various grant cycles, etc.
What kinds of applications are ineligible?
Grants shall not be made for:
- Programs that include inherently religious activities such as worship, prayer, proselytizing, or instruction. Those activities must be separated from the UWSC-funded program by time, location, or both.
- Purchase of land or buildings (real property).
- Capital expenses (such as computers or other technology hardware) unless you are able to demonstrate that it is essential to implementation of the program.
- Expenses not critical to the implementation of the program (such as T-shirts for events or prizes).
Also, please do not rely on funding annually through the grants program (Community Impact or Golf) to meet ongoing general program expenses (such as staff salaries).
What are the reporting expectations for grants?
Each of our funding opportunities has different reporting expectations made clear in annual contracts (for ASSET funding) or funding award letters (other UWSC funding). Common to all of these is the expectation that funded programs provide data on outcomes using the “results-based accountability framework.” Why? We want to ensure that our donors’ dollars are effectively addressing community needs. As such, we ask funded organizations to collect program data that can help us determine several key questions:
- How much did you do? (quantitative/numeric data)
- How well did you do it? (qualitative data)
- Is anyone better off? (both quantitative and qualitative data)
Support from our Community Impact Director is available to those new to data collection.
To learn more about the ways UWSC – and community partners - leverage data, you may wish to view some of the “Impactful Data for 2021” workshop series (available online).
To view data on some of the impact we are making collectively, please visit www.uwstory.org/our-impact.
What are the "UWSC 2025 Community Impact Goals" referenced in the grant forms?
United Way of Story County recently announced 3 bold goals in our pillar areas:
- Health: Improve community health by serving 4,500 more people
- Education: Decrease the achievement gap by reaching 30% more underserved learners
- Financial Stability: Strengthen financial stability by increasing the number of people served by 25%
Our intent in announcing these goals was to help raise awareness of key issues in Story County, increase accountability for change, and highlight the need for continued action.
To read more about our 2025 Community Impact Goals and to learn about our progress to date, please visit www.uwstory.org/our-impact.
What other funding opportunities are there in Story County?
There are numerous other funding opportunities through grants from service clubs, municipal governments, businesses, faith-based organizations, and more. A good starting place in exploring other opportunities is the Story County Community Foundation website: SCCF not only offers major grants, community grants, and capacity building grants, but also offers nonprofits training, workshops, and links to other resources. Good luck!