2017-2018 RFP for Community Investment Grants

United Way of the Inland Valley

2017-2018 Request for Proposals (RFP)


United Way of the Inland Valleys (UWIV) is pleased to announce the release of the Request for Proposals (RFP) for its 2017/2018 Community Investment grants process. The RFP will cover the program period of January 1, 2018 – December 31, 2018. 

UWIV is committed to creating lasting change with measurable improvements for our communities. Our vision is to create a thriving community where adults and children have equal access to Education, Financial Stability, Housing, and Health/Critical Needs, which are the building blocks to self-sufficiency and a high quality of life.

As part of that commitment, UWIV invests in organizations that provide programs and services that are in alignment with our strategic priorities.  

Focus Areas Strategic Priorities/Investment Areas 

1. Education

Programs that supply/support STEM-based education (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)

Tutoring or other programs that will increase the reading proficiency of elementary school students

Programs focused on increasing students’ interest in local colleges

Programs focused on facilitating college/vocational preparation 

Programs focused on facilitating career placement assistance and/or training

Programs providing English as a Second Language (ESL) courses for youth in our service area

Programs focused on increasing high school and college graduation rates 

2. Financial   Stability (Income)

Programs focused on increasing financial independence

Programs focused on increasing employment opportunities through coaching and job preparation

Programs focused on increasing income and savings 

3. Housing

Programs focused on improving access to affordable housing

Programs focused on helping individuals and/or families reduce debt

Programs focused on providing housing for foster and/or homeless youth

4. Other (Health/Critical Needs)

Programs focused on improving community critical needs issues, which include mental health and physical well-being.

General Information and Community Funding Strategy

The mission of the United Way of the Inland Valleys is to unite people, ideas, and resources with the community to improve lives. UWIV seeks to achieve its mission in Western Riverside County by:

  • Investing in strategies and programs that deliver cost effective, measurable results
  • Prioritizing needs in Education, Financial Stability, Housing, and Health/Critical Needs
  • Supporting programs and agencies that have sound fiscal and management practices 
  • Fostering efforts that build lasting collaboration and strong partnerships
  • Forming innovative and effective partnerships with other organizations to improve overall     well-being
  • Addressing the root causes of problems that challenge our community
  • Leveraging community resources beyond the annual campaign
  • Strategically raising and investing resources to make lasting change
Who is Eligible for Funding? 

Organizations that provide human service programs in Western Riverside County focused on Education, Financial Stability, Housing, and Health/Critical Needs are eligible to apply. Only organizations that hold a valid Internal Revenue Service determination letter that the organization is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization are eligible for funding. A copy of the IRS tax-exempt determination letter must accompany the proposal. Organizations must have an IRS Form 990, plus attachments, for the most recently completed fiscal year. 

Collaborative partnerships are encouraged.  Please remember that your programs need to fit our funding priorities!

Funding Guidelines for Grants Awarded for 2017/18 

1. Organizations may apply for funds to start a new program or for the expansion of an existing program. 

2. Grant funds can be used to cover administrative expenses (staffing, supplies, rent, etc.) required to support the program. Please note, grant funds can only be used to cover up to 25% of the program budget.

3. Community Investment Grants cannot be used for capital expenditures such as building, plans, construction, or renovation. 

4. Funds cannot be used for political campaigns. 

5. Funds cannot be used for religious instruction or proselytizing.  

6. Funds cannot be used for non-human service programs (such as dog shelters) but can be used for service/therapy animal programs).

7. Funds cannot be used for loan payments or deficit spending 

8. Organizations that are awarded grants will be required to submit interim semi-annual reports and must be open to occasional scheduled site visits. 

Applying for Community Impact Grants

What is a Community Impact grant?

United Way of the Inland Valleys’ Community Impact grants are how we invest dollars in our communities to address specific community-centered issues. Funding decisions are made through an annual competitive application process.  Our Community Impact grants are invested in high-performing nonprofit organizations that provide programs and services aligned with our strategic priority areas of Education, Financial Stability, Housing, and Health/Critical Needs.  Awardees help to improve community conditions across our regional footprint in the Western Riverside County.

Who can apply for a Community Impact grant?

Current Western Riverside nonprofits providing services which align with our priority areas of Education, Financial Stability, Housing, and Health/Critical Needs are eligible to apply for Community Impact grants during the open application period. The 2017/2018 Community Impact grant awards will be announced in December 2017. Network of Caring/Map of Service Areas

What is the process?

Once your agency has reviewed the RFP, the next steps consist of:

1. Your attendance at an informational training session on July 6, 2017 at the UWIV offices (First 25 registrants will be able to attend in-person.  All others will be able to join via webinar). 

2. The session will allow for the submittal (electronically, in person, or by US mail) of the Letter of Intent (LOI) for Committee review. The deadline for this year’s LOI will be July 14, 2017 at 4:30 pm. Mailed LOI’s must be postmarked by July 14, 2017. Applications will not be accepted after the July 14, 2017, 4:30 pm deadline.

If you choose to submit your LOI electronically, please email it as an attachment to Jennifer Thornton at jthornton@uwiv.org or Cordell Thomas at cthomas@uwiv.org.

The LOI Should include:

i. Where your nonprofit does business,

ii. Your nonprofit status as a qualified 501(c) 3 and for how long,

iii. Your annual budget, and

iv. Your plans for the use of the funding.

3. If your LOI is approved, your agency will be sent an invitation to submit an online application . This online application serves to provide UWIV with an in-depth description of the program for which you are requesting funding.

4. The deadline for completion of the online application is August 18, 2017 at 5:00 pm. Please do not miss this important deadline! No applications will be accepted after the August 18, 2017, 5:00 pm deadline.

5. The entire application process is scheduled to take place from August to December. Each applicant that is selected to receive funding will be notified via letter, which will also include the funding agreement.

6. Your signed funding agreement is due back to the UWIV office no later than December 18, 2017.

7. You will be invited to attend a grant award ceremony set to take place on January 3, 2018 and January 4, 2018. Attendance is not mandatory in order to receive funding. However, this will be an exciting event, and we hope you will attend. You will be given the option to attend either of the two dates above (whichever date works best for you).

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does United Way of the Inland Valleys focus more deeply on specific issues?

Like most organizations, we are challenged to meet the needs of our constituents and effectively drive change with limited resources. By investing strategically in a streamlined set of priorities that align with our organizational goals, we are able to make a more meaningful and measurable impact in the communities we serve.

Will grants be awarded for one year or multiple years?

Grants will be awarded for a period of one year.

What is the maximum amount of funding an organization can request?

The maximum grant amount UWIV will award is $25,000. If your organization is selected to be a grantee, the grant award will be for an amount up to $25,000. However, there is no guarantee that the grant amount will be at the maximum award level. Grants awarded are on a per annum/year basis and must not exceed 25% of your agency’s annual budget.  

Should I still apply if we have not been previously funded or currently funded by United Way of the Inland Valleys?

YES! UWIV welcomes new potential programs for funding. Current grantees or organizations that have received funding in prior years are not given special consideration by the grant review committee.

How does organizational size affect ability to compete?

It doesn’t. Organizational size is not a factor in evaluating applicants. Funding decisions are based on alignment with the priorities of United Way of the Inland Valleys and the applicant’s ability to demonstrate tangible, measurable results.

Can I get feedback about our previous year’s grant application?

Based on the volume of applications we typically receive, we will not be able to provide individualized feedback to nonprofits on their specific proposals. 

Who reviews the final grant applications?

The application process is overseen by UWIV in partnership with its Community Impact Committee, which is comprised of eight to ten highly-engaged external professionals. Together, they represent our board, local corporations, local nonprofits, and other community representatives. External reviewers are selected from academia and the public and private sectors based upon their experience and knowledge of community needs. As diversity is also an important factor, we have made certain the entire region is represented.

Reviewers are also thoroughly vetted for any conflicts of interest. Throughout the rigorous review process, reviewers utilize assessment tools to rate applications (which will be anonymous) based on their quality, alignment with UWIV’s funding priorities, and ability to demonstrate measurable results in their respective area of focus.

Have questions or need technical assistance? Please email jthornton@uwiv.org or cthomas@uwiv.org.