Community Investment Fund F.A.Q.

Please see the questions and answers related to the 2019 Community Investment Funding process and application below. 

Also note that the questions below are organized into two main sections:

  • Questions about the funding process
  • Questions about the application and online tool itself

Funding Process Questions

How does UWGT define “family” in the context of this RFP? Is there an age limit in terms of the target population served by our program or initiative?

UWGT does not have age limits in this RFP process. We understand the definition of family within the broadest framework and will consider proposals that seek to serve people at any point in the life cycle birth through old age.

Can government entities apply for funding from UWGT?

Government entities can apply as a funded partner within collaborative proposals but may not submit individual applications.

What level of budget detail would UWGT like to see?

At a later date, we will ask for a program or initiative budget with an accompanying, brief budget narrative that provides a summary explanation of each line item and makes any necessary connections between the proposal and the corresponding budget. At this time please complete the “funding mix” portion of the application.

What if the budget I propose has UWGT funding more than 30% of our total program or initiative budget?

UWGT recognizes we are shifting in asking our grantees to present a more diversified funder base. Because this is a new request by us, we see it as something that may take time for some grantees to achieve. Therefore, UWGT will reward grantees with extra points in the grant evaluation process for achieving this funding diversification but will not disqualify those who don’t.

Are there pieces of my work UWGT will not fund?

Impact is key for UWGT. We look for feasible budgets that strategically align with the program or initiative plan. We neither encourage nor prohibit any particular funding categories, with the exception of lobbying, which we do not fund.

Has anything changed about United Way of the Greater Triangle’s investment (UWGT) priorities?

UWGT continues to drive toward its mission of eradicating poverty and improving social mobility through the power of partnerships in the Triangle. Our new RFP process reflects our ongoing commitment to young people and their multi-generational families. Our priority areas have been refined to allow us to communicate, to both our grantees and donors, the kind of impact we are looking to support. The UWGT January 2019 RFP provides detailed information on these priority areas, as well as the outcomes we are best positioned to support in Appendix A at the bottom of this document.

Below are some critical things to note:

  • Our most recent investments focused primarily on collaborative efforts. This RFP organizes around our desired outcomes, and allows our grantees to tell us how they will achieve those outcomes, and indicate whether their work is best supported at this time with a collaborative or individual proposal.
  • We remain committed to collaborative efforts but also want this RFP process to give individual organizations the opportunity to seek direct support.
  • Local and national best practices continue to inform our work. Second-generation collective impact, trauma informed practices and social determinants of health are examples of frameworks that have guided our thinking. Evidence of how they help to inform the work of our partner organizations is extremely helpful to us. We encourage you to share how these and other best practices influence your work in your proposal.

Can my organization submit more than one proposal in response to the January 2019 UWGT RFP?

The short answer is yes. UWGT will accept an individual proposal from organizations that are also seeking funding through a collaborative proposal. Organizations should submit no more than one individual and one collaborative proposal requesting funding from the United Way of the Greater Triangle. Organizations can be named as a partner in additional proposals so long as they are not requesting additional dollars within that proposal.

How should my organization or collaboration determine what level of funding to ask from UWGT?

Here are several factors to consider:

  • UWGT asks that grantees review the Measurement and Funding Alignment section. Organizations should be confident they can meet the performance reporting expectations at the investment level for which they apply.
  • Please note: At the larger investment levels ($100,000 or higher), UWGT asks its grantees to complete multi-year impact evaluations. UWGT recognizes the need for organizational capacity as it relates to the personnel and data required for effective evaluation. Grantees may include up to 15% of their program/initiative grant proposal budget toward evaluation support that builds their capacity to track multi-year performance outcomes. UWGT welcomes the opportunity to thought partner with grantees as they identify the right supports to assess and meet their evaluation needs.
  • UWGT will be funding program or initiative budgets rather than general operating requests. We recognize how important a diversified funder base is to the longterm sustainability of programs or initiatives. Therefore, we encourage our grantees to determine their funding request levels keeping in mind that UWGT seeks to provide funding to projects or initiative where we will be less than half of the total budget. While this is not an eligibility requirement for a proposal to be accepted as part of the January 2019 RFP process, our proposal review framework will favor applicants who are able to meet this criteria.

What if our proposal is funded but not at the level we have requested? What will that mean for our proposed services/collaboration, budget and outcomes?

If UWGT is able to award a grant, but at a lesser amount than requested in the proposal, we will contact the applicant(s). The organization or collaborative will be asked to:

  1. Submit a revised budget and program/initiative summary detailing how the scale of the work and its impact will be adjusted based on reduced dollars awarded.OR
  2. Let UWGT know that they are unable to accept a grant at this time as a scaled back version of the work is not possible.

When will UWGT announce its grant awards?

Grant awards will be announced in April 2019 and investment dollars provided in July 2019.

If we are awarded a grant in the 2019 grant cycle, will it be multi-year and/or renewable?

UWGT awards grants through the generous donations of individuals, organizations and businesses across the Triangle. Multi-year grant awards are always subject to fluctuations in our own fundraising.

  • Grantees of $75,000/year and above will be awarded a two-year grant (dollars distributed from July 2019 through June 2021) with agreed upon measures of progress required in year one to allow for a continuation of funding in year two.
  • Grantees of $75,000/year and below will be awarded renewable, one-year grants.

How are we investing in equity and 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 an evolving focus for United Way of the Greater Triangle. We will intentionally invest in the leadership capacity building of these communities while also providing the resources needed for them to successfully carry out their organizational missions.

  • We are currently investing over $300K this year in 10 to Watch. The investment includes Leadership Triangle’s “Transforming Leaders” program for the nonprofit leaders and $25K to each agency.
  • We deeply respect and admire the work of our current grantees and look forward to continuing these critical efforts. No further grants will be awarded in this area during this RFP cycle.
  • During the 2019 funding cycle, grants at $100,000 and above will involve leadership development opportunities for mid-level emerging women leaders and leaders of color.

When is the UWGT’s next funding cycle?

UWGT will request applicants for a next 10 to Watch class in winter of 2020 within our equity in leadership priority area.

As we learn from our 2019 investment partners and continue our organizational strategic planning process, we will be best positioned to release specific details about additional RFP timelines and processes in early 2020.

What level of engagement does UWGT require from its grantees?

UWGT promises our donors a clear view into the impact of their investments. We are proud to create opportunities where your organizations’ work can be showcased so donors can see for themselves the value of the critical work you do. As a result, we ask that our grantees provide us details in the application process about how/ how often they will be able to engage with our donors. This includes providing volunteer opportunities, whenever possible and beneficial to the work, as well as leadership/participant time to engage with our donors directly. We recognize this ongoing commitment requires time and effort on the part of our grantees but also know it is critical to our ability to fundraise on behalf of your work.

How will UWGT determine which proposals to fund?

After the UWGT team screens each proposal against our eligibility requirements, a diverse group of community volunteers will serve as readers – evaluating proposals on a rubric that includes elements detailed below. We expect each proposal to have at least three volunteer readers. After the volunteer readers provide feedback, prior to the UWGT team will conducting a final determination weighing in factors including geography and available funds within each priority area.

Key elements to be assessed by reviewers:

  • The need being addressed and its direct fit with the priorities and desired outcomes UWGT is best positioned to support
  • The feasibility of the proposed work (e.g., ability to implement successfully the proposed work including evidence of prior or proposed impact.
  • The ability of the organization/collaboration to create and meaningfully evaluate the impact of their work
  • The ability of the organization/collaboration to incorporate best practices like trauma informed care, incorporation of the social determinants of health, etc.
  • Evidence of strong partnerships to create holistic support for young people and their families
  • The ability of the organization or collaboration to support donor engagement of UWGT donors as their the applicant’s capacity and scope of services allow

How many grants will be awarded?

The resources available from our own fundraising efforts will always guide our grant making. While we cannot say with certainty how many grants will be awarded, awards at the higher dollar amounts, beginning at $75,000, will be increasingly competitive.

What if I have questions about the RFP or would like further support in completing my application?

UWGT looks forward to supporting current and prospective grantees with the application process. We will be hosting RFP review sessions in Wake, Durham and Orange County over the next month. Organizations are welcome to attend any and all sessions. Dates and times for these sessions will be available shortly on our website as well as in the news updates that accompany the RFP.

Appendix A – Priority Areas and Performance Outcomes


Cradle to Career

Education is critical to improving the social mobility of the most vulnerable children and families in the Triangle. Far too often young people fall off track during points of transition and don’t recover, leading to limited educational and career attainment and the poverty that results. Within our Cradle to Career Focus area we prioritize educational and career development at key transition points in the journey of a young person.

Performance Outcomes 

Proposals should detail programs and services that contribute to at least one of the desired outcomes below.

  1. Early childhood indicators including evidence of quality childcare, early assessment and intervention.
  2. Kindergarten readiness indicators
  3. Academic on track or growth indicators at any grade level, particularly during transition grades from elementary to middle and middle to high school
  4. College and career readiness indicators
  5. College acceptance, retention and graduation
  6. Employment readiness certifications
  7. Employment and apprenticeship/internship placement and retention

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. Within our Health Family area of focus, we prioritize organizations that are getting basic needs to many but also those partner organizations that support families deeply along the continuum of increased stability and mobility. For example, we are interested in supporting the continuum from homelessness to affordable rental to home ownership.

Performance Outcomes 

Proposals should detail programs and services that contribute to at least one of the desired outcomes below. 

  1. Improved quality of life and reduced mental health symptoms due to treatment
  2. Families are safe and free of violence
  3. Families maintain long-term, stable housing through affordable rental or affordable homeownership

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 an evolving focus for the United Way of the Greater Triangle. We will intentionally invest in the leadership capacity building of these communities while also providing the resources needed for them to carry out successfully their organizational missions.

  • We are currently investing over $300K this year in 10 to Watch. The investment includes Leadership Triangle’s “Transforming Leaders” program for the nonprofit leaders and $25K to each agency
  • We deeply respect and admire the work of our current grantees and look forward to continuing these critical efforts. No further grants will be awarded in this area during this RFP cycle.
  • We will offer limited opportunities for leadership capacity building for mid-level leaders as a funding requirement for investments over $100K.

 

Appendix B – Narrative Program Questions

General Program Questions

  1. What are the characteristics of the clients you are trying to serve?
  2. How many Program/Collaborative participants were served in the previous year?
  3. What are the Program/Collaborative Goals and Objectives, including Theory of Change if one has been defined?
  4. How will you evaluate success at each phase of the program? (please include both process indicators and performance outcome measures)
  5. Please describe the partnerships and collaborations that anchor and support this work and provide holistic support for families you serve.
  6. What challenges do you anticipate and how will you address them?
  7. In what way does your work support increased social mobility and decreased poverty?

General Community and Corporate Engagement Questions

  1. Explain how your organization/collaborative will creatively engage community and corporate volunteers.

    Collaborative Request (if applicable)
  2. What is the common understanding of the problem you are trying to address?
  3. What is the overarching goal your collaboration is working toward?
  4. How is each partner contributing to that goal with their services?
  5. What is the aspiration (systems change) that moves the collaboration beyond each agency operating in a “business as usual” way?
  6. Who are the partners receiving funding? What are their roles?
  7. What partners are involved that are not receiving funding? What are their roles?
  8. Who, if any, are the public sector, school systems, or private-for-profit organizations involved in the collaboration? What are their roles?

Priority Area: Safe and Affordable Housing

  1. Which transition point(s) on the continuum between homelessness and home ownership will you be addressing?
  2. How will your work help support movement from one point on the continuum from homelessness to stable housing/home ownership? What core partnerships will allow that work to be most holistic and effective?

Priority Area: Mental Health: Violence, Trauma, and Addiction

  1. In what way does your work support safer and healthier communities?
  2. How do you identify those suffering from primary or secondary trauma in your work?
  3. What evidence-based practices do you use to identify and address trauma?
  4. What core partnerships will allow that work to be most holistic and effective?
  5. How do you address the symptoms and root causes of trauma within your work?

Priority Area: Adequate and Nutritious Food

  1. Which areas on the continuum that includes feeding the hungry, food security and access to nutritional options are you addressing in your work?
  2. What specialized populations will you serve? (I.e. those with juvenile diabetes, etc.) What core partnerships will allow that work to be most holistic and effective?

Priority Areas: Early Childhood Development, Literacy, Educational Enhancement

  1. What point of educational transition will your work address?
  2. For how long, and using which indicators, will you track educational outcomes for your participants?
  3. How will you insure a warm and effective hand off between the phase at which you seek to support children/young people and the next phase of their development? What core partnerships will allow that work to be most effective?

Priority Areas: College and Career Readiness, Career Preparation and Development, Employment Placement

  1. What point of transition and career development will your program address?
  2. Please provide evidence that your program is designed to support young people toward a high growth, living wage career path.
  3. For how long, and using which indicators, will you track outcomes for your participants?
  4. How will you insure a warm and effective hand off between the phase at which you seek to support children/young people and the next phase of their development? What core partnerships will allow that work to be most effective?

Online Application Tool Questions