Thursday, July 16, 2020 |Register |Login | Search

Community Investments

United Way envisions a world where all individuals and families enjoy a better quality of life through education, financial stability and healthy lives.

One of the most unique benefits of investing in United Way is that a single contribution supports more than 40 local community programs, providing resources for families youth and seniors – people from all walks of life, facing all types of situations. 

United Way funding priorities are centered on three interrelated focus areas:

Education — Helping Children and Youth Thrive

The purpose of United Way’s commitment in this area is to fund programs and initiatives that directly work to nurture, engage, and connect kids. Helping our youngest citizens develop their potential by providing academic and social supports, access to quality childcare, mentoring, tutoring, after-school programming, character development, programs that foster parent engagement, and initiatives that support cradle-to-career educational opportunities. 

Income and Basic Needs — Supporting Financial Stability
United Way invests in programs that work together collectively to provide low-income families with the skills and resources they need to take an active role in their own success.
At the same time, ensuring emergency shelter, food shelves, emergency childcare, domestic violence services, financial literacy, transitional housing, and employment services are available for individuals and families in crisis.

Health — Building Healthy Communities
United Way works to build strong communities as a whole by equipping individuals with the resources to lead healthy, responsible lives. United Way invests in programs and initiatives that support individuals to overcome mental health and addiction challenges, address barriers to health care, provide isolated seniors and people with disabilities with community connections, and support children and adults to become active in their neighborhoods.

A Community Investment Panel, comprised of dedicated volunteers from the community, is charged with reviewing agencies applying for United Way funding by evaluating programs, visiting agency sites, interviewing staff and board members, and reviewing financial records to develop an understanding of the agencies community impact. The council then determines funding recommendations based on criteria such as program outcomes, fiscal accountability and demonstrated need in the community. The recommendations are then presented, reviewed and approved by the United Way's board of directors.

Want to lend your support to future efforts that prepare kids to graduate and succeed, help families leave poverty permanently and enable greater Itasca residents to live healthy, responsible lives? Give to United Way Community Investment Fund>


Funding Opportunities

Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program (EFSP) - Open
Funding Period: Phase 36
Deadline to apply is 4 p.m. Wednesda
y, July 17, 2019

General Information

Qualifying emergency food and shelter services run by local service agencies are urged to apply for a portion of $28,426 in federal funds that Itasca County has been awarded by the Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency (DHS/FEMA). 

Funding is based upon 12-month (December 2017-November 2018) unemployment rates, the total number of unemployed, number of individuals below the poverty level, and the total population of Itasca County. Awards are appropriated annually to supplement and expand ongoing efforts to provide shelter, food, and supportive services for individuals and family who are experiencing hunger, homelessness, and in economic crisis.  

A local board, facilitated by United Way of 1000 Lakes, with representatives from county government, The Salvation Army, and American Red Cross, as well as advocates for the homeless, faith-based organizations and community partners governs how the funds will be distributed.

Under the terms of the grant from the national board, local agencies chosen to receive funds must:

• Be private, voluntary non-profits or units of government, 
• Be eligible to receive Federal funds, 
• Have an accounting system, 
• Practice nondiscrimination,
• Have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs, 
• Have a voluntary board (if they are a private voluntary organization)

To apply, submit cover letter describing the use of funds and completed application to United Way of 1000 Lakes by mail to 350 NW 1st Ave., Suite A, Grand Rapids, MN or email info@unitedwayof1000lakes. Applications must be received by 4 p.m. on Wednesday, July 17, 2019Applicants are required to attend the meeting of the Local Emergency Food and Shelter Board on Thursday, July 18 at 1 p.m. at the United Way offices.

Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program (EFSP): Application

Public Announcement: Media Release


Community Investment Fund Grant - closed

Funding Period: July 2019-June 2021

Community Investment Funding is open to registered 501(c)(3) organizations that align with United Way's mission, service area, and impact priorities. 

United Way funded programs are chosen from a competitive application process. Approval will be based on the merits of the program, community need, and available funds. Funding is made possible by the financial contributions of hundreds of community investors through United Way's annual campaign (September - March). 

Community Investment applications are reviewed by an investment panel that consists of dedicated volunteers and members from United Way's board of directors. Between the months of February and May, these community members attend a training; visit the program sites and talk with agency staff, leadership and program participants; review budgets and evaluate program impact; and bring funding recommendations to the United Way board of directors. 

The grant allocations begin July 2019. Results for funded programs will be measured, tracked, and reported annually through June 2021.

Interested organizations must complete an electronic application. New programs seeking funding should schedule a pre-application session and send a letter of intent to United Way, indicating which focus area they are addressing, outlining the community program or service they hope to provide, and the funding amount they intend to request. 
For information about United Way's grant process or to schedule an in-person Grant Session with staff, contact (218) 999-7570 or email

Community Investment Grants: ApplicationApplication Guide Site Visit Guidelines