Apply For Funding

United Way of the Greater Triangle (UWGT) has the bold mission to eradicate poverty and increase social mobility through the power of partnerships. We serve a four county region in pursuit of that mission: Durham, Johnston, Orange and Wake Counties, NC.

For 133 years, United Ways across the country have served those crushed under the weight of impoverished environments. That service has looked, felt, and sounded like charity: direct social services in response to existing, immediate needs. Yet the issues have not gone away; they have gotten worse and that’s especially true for Black and Brown communities.

The next 133 years demand more. United Way of the Greater Triangle is up to the challenge to act. We believe in:

1. An acknowledgment that the burden of poverty does not rest on the shoulders of the impoverished but on the systems with which they interact and the people that hold those systems up.
2. An orientation to justice where we look for solutions that attack the root causes and don’t just deal with the effects of poverty.
3. A re-imagination of philanthropy where authentic partnerships with marginalized communities mean they retain the right to design the solutions for their lives rather than have approaches imposed on them.
4. An anti-racist community.

Lifted up by our values of Equity, Excellence, Dedication, Responsiveness and Integrity, most opportunities to apply for funding from United Way of the Greater Triangle are available every other year within the three core pillars of our investment strategy:

1. Equity in Leadership

Many of the solutions we seek will come from the minds and experiences of the communities we serve and the leaders that represent them. Creating pathways that lead to resources and decision-making tables for these communities is a focus for United Way of the Greater Triangle.

Through the Equity in Leadership investment pillar, we will:

  • Empower under-resourced and under-represented nonprofit leaders by investing unrestricted dollars in organizations with leaders who are Black, Latinx, and/or Woman.
  • Amplify their voices, visibility, and stories via UWGT’s diverse networks, audiences, and engagement opportunities.
  • Prepare the Triangle for the full inclusion of people of color by building the capacity of the local nonprofit ecosystem to be anti-racist.
  • 10 To Watch: identify and invest in the next cohort of 10 local nonprofit leaders who fit specific criteria
  • Anti-racist capacity building (operational)

10 to Watch

National and local nonprofit data tell us that:

  • Leaders who are Black, Latinx, and/or Women are under-resourced and underrepresented in the nonprofit sector.
  • Leadership development programs often lack specific components that address how racial, ethnic, and gender identities impact our interactions with those around us.

With a commitment to ensuring that the local nonprofit sector is diverse, inclusive, and equitable, United Way of the Greater Triangle launched 10 to Watch in 2018 to intentionally address disparities experienced by these underrepresented leaders by:

  • Providing funding.
  • Providing access to customized leadership development training.
  • Providing technical assistance and facilitating a network of peer learning.

We’re addressing the aforementioned disparities by investing a total of $500,000 into the selected “10 to Watch” organizations. Each of the 10 recipients will be awarded two-year grants of $25,000 each year.

The application is a two-phase approach.

  1. Phase 1: Written application
    • Successful applications will move onto the next phase.
  1. Phase 2: Virtual interviews.
  • Annual organizational budget under $1M.
  • Ability to drive impact in UWGT’s Cradle to Career or Healthy Families focus areas.
  • Leader must show high potential to grow and sustain their organization.
  • Leader must identify as a member of an under-represented and/or under-resourced community: Black, LatinX, and/or Woman.

UWGT commits to:

  • Partnering with Leadership Triangle to develop and deliver capacity-building curriculum to the 10 to Watch leaders.
    • Programming will ultimately be led by goals identified by 10 to Watch participants.
    • Through these partnerships, the 10 to Watch, UWGT, and Leadership Triangle will address additional barriers to sustainability using a holistic approach that includes leadership development, strategic management skills development, mentoring, networking, and peer support.
  • An annual grant of $25,000 to each 10 to Watch participant.
  • Amplifying the voices, visibility, and stories of the 10 to Watch through accessing UWGT’s various communication platforms and relationships.

Triangle 10 to Watch participants commit to:

  • Fully participate in the leadership development activities designed for the program during the two year funding cycle.
    • Approximately 3 hours per week from September 21 to May 22
  • Fully participate in the activities designed to market, promote, and build awareness of the Triangle 10 to Watch program.
    • Activities include, but are not limited to: corporate speaking engagements, engagement of volunteers, program planning, and feedback activities.
  • Track and report data connected to the desired outcomes of the 10 to Watch.

Anti-Racist Capacity Building

This investment opportunity focuses on improvement that ensures nonprofit organizational practices, policies, and culture are not perpetuating systemic racism.

We are building the capacities for organizations to operate and serve through an anti-racist lens in the following domains: strategic planning, staff development, board development and governance, evaluation, technology, communications, fundraising, and program delivery.

With the understanding of limited time and capacity, in collaboration with the Triangle Capacity Building Network, we are excited to provide a common application for funding to support equity capacity building.  Though evaluated through the mission and vision of each funding group, questions are mirrored to lessen the burden and encourage qualified nonprofits to apply for both opportunities.

  • Clear organizational statement of anti-racism.
  • Clear articulation of what anti-racist structures currently exist within the organization, where there is opportunity for growth, and the impacts it will have on the organization and the people that they serve.
  • Nonprofits, nonprofit leaders, and potential nonprofit leaders have skills, knowledge, and commitment to adapt, innovate, and improve
  • Nonprofits have access to skilled, diverse, and high-quality capacity building providers and opportunities

2. Cradle To Career

Education is critical to improving the social mobility of the Triangle’s most vulnerable children and families. Far too often, young people fall off track during points of educational transition and do not recover. The impacts of those failed transitions last well into adulthood.

We want to invest in access back to the path to success and empower heads of households to achieve their goals. Within Cradle to Career, we choose to focus our resources on educational and career development at key transition points in the journey for young people and adults.

  • Early childhood development that supports kindergarten readiness
  • Literacy
  • Educational enhancement activities including social emotional learning
  • College and career readiness
  • Career preparation and development including certifications
  • Employment placement including apprenticeships and internships
  • Parents have the skills to positively support the learning development of their children.
  • Children enter kindergarten ready to learn and succeed.
  • Children and adults have the reading skills to be successful in the classroom or job market.
  • Young people have the support and tools to manage their emotions and make positive decisions.
  • Adults find, maintain, or grow in livable wage jobs because they have increased their skills and reduced barriers.
  • Young people have the education and credentials for their next stage of life, whether college or career.

3. Healthy Families

Family and generational poverty can only be eradicated when all families have access to the holistic supports needed to be stable, healthy, and productive. We recognize that healthy families need a range of opportunities and resources to meet their needs for nutritious food, safe/affordable housing, and healthy minds. We strive to serve our community across the continuum of immediate needs, to intermediate, stabilizing programs to long-term, transformational services.

Within our Healthy Family area of focus, we seek a balance of single organization and collaborative partnerships that are able to meet basic needs and address the root causes of broken systems.

  • Safe and affordable housing (including home ownership)
  • Mental health: violence, trauma, and addiction
  • Adequate and nutritious food
  • Food insecure people have adequate and nutritious meals.
  • Families find homes that are safe and affordable.
  • Children and adults, through treatment and environments, are able to move beyond traumatic stress towards healing.

Anti-Racism Accelerator (ARC-Celerator)

Do you consider your impact work that will be described in your Cradle to Career or Healthy Families application to be Anti-Racist?

This is a new funding opportunity available within UWGT’s 2021 RFP. We are able to provide additional funds for organizations that win grants within our Cradle to Career and Healthy Families investment pillars.

Through an additional, short application process, we will seek the most impactful, anti-racist programs in the Triangle. ARC-Celerator applications will be scored and evaluated by local anti-racist and equity practitioners.

Winning award amounts will range from $5,000 to $25,000 in additional funds and is dependent upon:

  • The award amount of the Cradle to Career/Healthy Families grant.
  • The viability and potential impact of the anti-racist work described.
  • The number of applying agencies.
  • A clear organizational statement of anti-racism.
  • A clear understanding of racial inequities, their root causes, and the structural components holding them in place.
  • Scalable solutions.

Grant Eligibility

  • Does the organization currently have 501(c)(3) status or a fiscal sponsor?
  • Does the organization operate in/serve the Triangle (Durham, Johnston, Orange, and Wake Counties)?
  • Has the organization completed a 990 tax return or audit for the previous fiscal year?
  • Is clear about ultimate outcomes.
  • Demonstrates meaningful partnerships with both the constituencies they serve and other community partners who offer complementary services or resources.
  • Has a healthy mix of revenue sources.
    • UWGT dollars are not overrepresented in their organizational budget.
  • Can offer clear opportunities for the community to engage in meaningful volunteer support.
  • Can tell clear, concise stories of their organization, the people that they serve, and their impacts.
  • Shares our values of Equity, Excellence, Dedication, Responsiveness, and Integrity.


By County

# of Partners (69 total)

Dollars ($3.53M total)














By Grant Duration

# of Partners (69 total)

Dollars ($3.53M total)

1 Year Grants



2 Year Grants




By Pillar

# of Partners (69 total)

Dollars ($3.53M total)

Healthy Families



Cradle to Career



Equity in Leadership



We understand that our partner organizations’ work is complex. For many, that work extends into more than one of our focus areas or overlaps between several of UWGT’s funding priorities. ​

Prospective organizations should only be named as a funded partner in:​

  • ​No more than 1 single agency application and 1 collaboration proposal for a total of no more than 2 proposals​

Please select the strategies you feel best align with the goals of the program for which you are seeking funding.

We recognize that the work of eradicating poverty can only happen through collective action and intentional partnership and collaboration. This is true whether a partner organization applies for individual or collective funding. ​

We ask that prospective grantees determine whether a collaborative or single program request for funding best aligns with the goals and outcomes they wish to achieve. ​

Regardless of the type of application, we will evaluate an applicant’s ability to maximize partnerships in the pursuit of meaningful impact. ​

Please note: We are willing to consider collaborative proposals from organizations that have also applied individually.

Available Funding Levels:

Funding request amounts have been pre-determined and are broken into 1-year and 2-year award requests.

  • All grant periods will start July 1, 2021.

Cradle to Career and Healthy Families:

  • $10,000, $25,000, $50,000: 1-year grant, renewable
  • $100,000; $150,000: 2-year grant


  • $5,000-$25,000: 1-year add-on grant

Equity In Leadership:

  • 10 To Watch: 2-year grant, $25,000 per year
  • Anti-Racist Capacity Building: 1-year grant, $10,000- $15,000

Decision-Making Priorities​:

  • Impact
  • Leadership demographics/organizational equity statistics
  • Balance of UWGT’s portfolio by county and focus area

We acknowledge that we are still in the midst of a global pandemic that is widely changing how we operate, especially in the nonprofit space dedicated to supporting our most vulnerable neighbors. As seasons of this pandemic change, we understand that the work is also changing. Therefore, we have opted towards gathering projected impact through our wider-ranging Impact Statements. ​

Please know that we understand these are projections, that how your work is done will surely change again, and we want to be flexible in understanding the impact of funding from United Way of The Greater Triangle. ​

As we learn more about impacts of the pandemic, we will follow up with funded partners to understand specific measures of success made during these very unusual times.

Have Questions About The Application Process?

United Way’s Community Impact team is hosting virtual open office hours each Tuesday, 9-10 am and 3-4 pm, from January 25 to March 1. Click the link below to access the Zoom link at the correct time.

Glossary of Terms

The journey to justice is a spectrum and United Way intends to meet organizations where they are currently, with a commitment to helping each partner reach their full potential. Below are key words and phrases that you might see in this RFP and throughout United Way’s work. The goal is to provide the definitions that United Way utilizes so that we can begin our partnership from common ground.

The policy or practice of opposing racism and promoting racial equity.

Charity is the giving of help to those who are in need, while justice is the system which oversees that the concept of moral rightness is applied to a situation when someone has become the aggrieved party.

  • Charity addresses an immediate need while justice gets to the root of the problem.

This 2021 RFP represents the next phase of United Way’s strategic commitment to charity and justice, supporting the solutions that combat the immediate effects of poverty while also focusing on long-term solutions that attack the root causes. It also intentionally addresses how systemic racism perpetuates the cycle of poverty in the Triangle.

Two or more nonprofit organizations working together toward a common goal

  • Nonprofit organizations can apply for UWGT grants as collaboratives, individual agencies, and/or both.

The state of not being equal

  • Refers especially to status, rights, and opportunities.

Lack of justice or fairness

  • Refers to unfair, avoidable differences arising from poor governance, corruption, or cultural exclusion.

Able to be changed in size or scale.

  • Scalability is a characteristic of an organization, system, model, or function that describes its capability to cope and perform well under an increased or expanding workload or scope.

Outside of the Triangle?

If you are seeking partnership opportunities with United Way but are not located in Durham, Johnston, Orange, or Wake County, please visit United Way Worldwide’s website for more details.