What sets the United Way apart from other nonprofit organizations serving the River Region is the fact that we assess community needs before we fund programs to address those needs. The River Region United Way (RRUW) currently funds more than 90 programs and works closely with 40+ affiliate agencies in four key focus areas: Health, Education, Financial Stability and Basic Needs. While these programs directly impact nearly 135,000 lives every year, there are sometimes very specific needs for programs and services that still need to be addressed.
RRUW is conducting Community Needs Assessments for our five-county region on a rotating three-year cycle:
Year 1 - Autauga & Elmore Counties
Year 2 - Lowndes & Macon Counties
Year 3 - Montgomery County
RRUW was pleased to announce its first Community Investment Grants to help bridge existing service gaps in 2018. These grants focused on Autauga and Elmore counties and were open to area nonprofit organizations, including RRUW affiliate agencies, that could help address those needs.
The 2019 Community Investment Grants will help bridge gaps in services for people served in Lowndes and Macon counties.To help identify and prioritize needs, volunteers serving on our Community Impact Council conducted needs assessment surveys (in fall of 2018) to obtain feedback from 150 local citizens and community leaders in Lowndes and Macon counties. These surveys addressed the community’s perceptions of the most pressing local issues and priorities facing their communities, as well as their perceptions of how well these issues were being addressed. Based on the results of these assessments, it was determined that immediate assistance is needed in Lowndes and Macon counties in the following areas: 1) to help address food insecurity for senior adults; 2) for mental health services for children or adults; and 3) after-school programs for children and youth.
- Basic Needs – Projects up to $10,000 per county (Lowndes and Macon counties)
These grants will focus on programs addressing food insecurity for senior adults in Lowndes and/or Macon counties.
- Mental Health Services -- Projects up to $10,000 per county (Lowndes and Macon counties)
These grants will focus on mental health services for children or adults in Lowndes and/or Macon counties.
- Education – Projects up to $5,000 per county (Lowndes and Macon counties)
These grants will focus on after-school programming for children and youth in Lowndes and/or Macon counties.
Organizations addressing these types of community needs should review the criteria and FAQ below, to determine their eligibility.
For more information, contact Ann Cooper, VP of Community Impact, at acooper@RRUW.org or at 334-323-2504.
Grants to River Region Nonprofits:
For Basic Needs, Mental Health Services and Education Programs
Grantmaking Organization: River Region United Way
Grant Application Timeframe: March 1 - 31, 2019
Grant Project Timeframe: Up to 12 Months (1 year) from receipt of grant funds
Description: Grants ranging up to $20,000 to River Region nonprofits addressing food insecurity for senior adults in Lowndes and Macon counties (up to $10,000 per county); grants ranging up to $20,000 to River Region nonprofits addressing mental health needs and services for children or adults in Lowndes and Macon counties (up to $10,000 per county); as well as grants up to $10,000 in education for after-school programs in Lowndes and Macon counties (up to $5,000 per county).
Eligibility: See FAQ, below.
Additional Eligibility Criteria: Grants are considered for IRS-qualified 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations. The River Region United Way does not make grants to individuals. An applicant organization must have provided similar services for three or more years, and the organization's mission statement must align with the grant project.
Required Application Materials:
- A Letter of Request from organization seeking support from RRUW, not exceeding three pages in length, which includes a brief description of the purpose of the organization, and a brief outline of the program or project for which funding is sought.
- In addition to the letter, the request should include a 200-word synopsis of the proposal. The request should include the budget for the program and the total operating budget for the organization.
- A copy of the most recent audit report or financial statements.
- A copy of the applicant’s IRS 501(c)3 tax-exemption letter.
- A list of the applicant organization’s current board of directors.
All applications will go before a grant review subcommittee of RRUW’s Allocations Committee. In early April 2019, applicant organizations will be notified about funding decisions and grant funds will be awarded. If funded, the applicant organization must agree to provide both a six-month and a 12-month/year-end project report during the funding year. Failure to provide such reports will result in the applicant organization’s ineligibility to participate in any future funding applications with RRUW.
Applications must be submitted online at https://form.jotform.com/72213948072153
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- What agencies are qualified to apply?
Any IRS nonprofit 501(c)3 organization operating in the River Region which meets eligibility and can provide services specific to these grant needs in Lowndes and/or Macon counties. Both RRUW affiliate and non-affiliated agencies are welcome to apply. An applicant organization must have provided similar services for three or more years, and the organization's mission statement must align with the grant project.
- How does an organization apply?
All applications must be submitted online at https://form.jotform.com/72213948072153
- What is the application deadline?
All applications must be submitted online between March 1 - March 31, 2019. No applications will be accepted past midnight (11:59pm) on March 31, 2019.
- Do I have to be an RRUW affiliate agency to apply?
No. Any qualifying 501(c)3 organization may apply; however, the applicant organization's mission statement must align with the grant project.
- What kinds of projects qualify?
A strong candidate for an RRUW Community Investment Grant award:
- Serves a health, education or basic needs purpose in Lowndes and/or Macon counties
- Can be a one-time purchase or short-term project
- Generates community interest and volunteer participation
- Leaves a lasting, positive impact on the community
- Shows collaboration with other agencies, if possible
- What types of requests are not appropriate?
These funds are not designed to support ongoing social service program expenses, sponsor annual events, or fund capital campaigns. Examples of inappropriate funding requests include operating expenses, salaries, and consulting fees. Individuals are NOT eligible to apply.
- How will I know if my organization has been selected?
All applications will go before a grant review subcommittee for evaluation. Winning grant applicants will be notified and funded in early April 2019.
- What are the requirements of a grant recipient?
- If selected, the applicant organization must agree to provide a six-month and a 12- month/year-end itemized cost report with receipts within 30 days of project completion. Failure to provide such reports will result in the applicant organization’s ineligibility to participate in any future funding applications with RRUW.
- Grant funds will be used for completion of the project in accordance with a Service Provider Agreement which will accompany the award notification and award check.
- In recognition of the award, we request that grant recipients acknowledge River Region United Way “Community Investment Grant” in all printed and visual materials related to the project. Grantees are not authorized to use the River Region United Way logo.
- Who do I contact with questions?
Ann Cooper at acooper@RRUW.org or 334-323-2504;
Zachary Beasley at zbeasley@RRUW.org or 334-323-2544