How Funding Decisions Are Made At United Way

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Requests For Proposals

In the late fall of each year, United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County releases a Request for Proposals (RFP).  The RFP is just that – a request for nonprofit and public entities to submit program proposals for United Way to consider investing in.  The RFP provides eligibility guidelines, timeframes and contact information.  More importantly, the RFP contains specific details on what we will invest in: programs that have measurable results that align with community-level changes we are dedicated to supporting in the areas of Education, Income and Health.   Shortly after the RFP is released, United Way staff offer two orientation sessions to ensure all potential applicants understand our guidelines and the process for submitting a grant application (i.e. proposal).

Application Review and Ranking

After proposals are submitted, three groups of about 20 knowledgeable volunteers with content expertise in the areas of Education, Income and Health begin the application review process.  Volunteers read applications in their focus area and score the applications (during late winter and early spring).

Each focus area group then holds several meetings in April to discuss applications individually and to finalize the ranking.  Based on available funding, each focus area recommends which program proposals to fund, at what amount, and whether the programs should receive three-year funding.  Three-year funding is possible for those programs that have a proven track record with United Way and receive high scores on applications for 3 or more consecutive years.

Recommendations and Decisions

The funding recommendations from the Education, Income and Health focus areas are presented to United Way’s Community Fund Committee and then United Way’s Board of Directors for approval in May.  Funding begins on July 1st for the next year.