Community Investments and Partnerships

UWABC Building


Welcome to our Community Investments and Partnerships page. We invite you to explore the information below detailing our new investment process. For more information, please contact Deborah Calhoun, Director of Community Partnerships, or Jen Buell, Community Partnerships and Contracts Manager.

United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County (UWABC) holds a vision of a united and resilient community where everyone belongs and everyone thrives. To help achieve this vision, we mobilize and support a robust network of people, partners, and resources to co-create opportunities for every person in our community to live free from poverty and injustice. We believe that all of our work is integral toward achieving this focus and that the financial investments we make through our Community Partnerships are a critical part of that strategy.

We make our external investments in two ways: United for Youth Community grants that support the Bold Community Goal and Community Schools contracts that support services provided directly at one or more of our seven Community Schools.


Funding partner organizations fundamental to the success of United for Youth and incorporating our organizational guiding principles of community wisdom and equity at the center have led us to reimagine how we financially invest in our community. 

Led by community members this new investment process represents a fundamental shift from our past and seeks to place the decision-making process of which organizations, individuals, and initiatives are funded by UWABC into the hands of those working for the betterment of our community. 

Collaboration is the cornerstone of UWABC’s culture. We hold no illusions that a single organization or corporation can create the systemic-wide community change needed for the benefit of all.

That’s why we’re investing in our partners that are on the ground providing services to students and families in 7 Community Schools. Their work is critical to the success of the community school strategy because it addresses the often overlooked and invisible issues that undermine academic success; hunger, homelessness, violence, poor health, inequity, and other social problems.

These contracts seek to:

  • Work in tandem with community partners to increase mental health support services to students in Community Schools through individual and group opportunities
  • Provide caring adult role models during the school day supporting students enrolled at full-service Community Schools, Asheville Middle and Asheville High/SILSA
  • Provide Restorative Practices Training to Community Schools and Community Partners
  • Provide high-quality after-school programming for all Asheville City Schools middle school students
  • School-based Health Clinics 
    • Connect Asheville, Enka, and Erwin middle students, families, and school staff to critical health services via onsite School-Based Health Clinics
  • Kindergarten readiness
    • Providing programs that foster children's school readiness, increases families' understanding of how to support their child’s school readiness and the transition to kindergarten process
  • Provide afterschool enrichment activities and clubs for middle school students at all 5 Buncombe County Community Schools



Fulfilling our role as the Backbone Organization for Community Schools and United for Youth includes funding organizations and individuals in support of our common goals. Community organizations and individuals aligning their work in support of Community Schools and the Bold Community Goal are ideal candidates for UWABC funding. 

  • United for Youth Community Grants & Contracts 
  • Community Schools Contracts
    • Most contracts will be made after we issue a Request For Proposal (RFP) for a specific service. Similar to the grant-making process, all applications will be reviewed and rated.
    • Sometimes there is only one entity that provides this service and in those cases we will negotiate and contract directly with that provider therefore an RFP will not be issued
    • RFPs will be issued throughout the year, as needed


There are currently no funding opportunities being issued by United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County. Please check back regularly for updates.


An up-to-date full listing of funded partners can be found HERE


Supporting and Investing in Community Partners



In order to address policies that impact the education, health, and financial stability of our neighbors, and directly address issues related to poverty, we support the work of Children First/Communities In Schools' Success Equation through an ongoing contract and provide staff representation on their leadership team. From time to time, we share their advocacy agenda and calls to action on our website and social channels. We encourage you to sign up for their Advocacy Alert Newsletter to stay better connected in how you can get involved in efforts to support early childhood development and family economic stability.

Non-Profit Capacity Support

WNC Nonprofit Pathways -- WNC Nonprofit Pathways is a collaboration of the funding organizations Cherokee Preservation Foundation, The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, and United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County. These funders came together recognizing that nonprofits must operate from a place of organizational strength in order to carry out their missions effectively.

Why Invest with United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County

For over 100 years, United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County has financially invested in the education, health, and financial stability of our community by making grants to high-impact nonprofit organizations that serve a wide range of people across our county. We've recently overhauled our investment strategy to align with our work in support of United for Youth, the achievement of our Bold Community Goal, and our community school strategy.

We believe that our investment tools, coupled with our Community Schools work, NC 211's ability to connect people to the health and human resources they need during a crisis, and our volunteer center's ability to mobilize people to take action, provide the powerful combination of resources we need to tackle critical issues here in Asheville and Buncombe County.

Make a donation to support this vital work in our community today.