United Way Investing

Investment Strategies

United Way runs a competitive application process to support high quality programs serving individuals and families in our geographic footprint. Those that are selected for funding align precisely with our areas of focus, present evidence-based models for service delivery, and demonstrate effectiveness with data-rich results. Before it receives United Way support, a program must undergo a rigorous evaluation to ensure sound strategies and measurable results. We hold our programs to the highest standards, so donations have the greatest impact. Because we value building long-term, population-level change, but not at the expense of protecting emergency response, investments are made through a two-track funding model:

  • An intervention/crisis-based funding cycle--Meeting Basic Needs--to support emergency and/or transitional services.

  • A prevention-based funding cycle--Breaking the Cycle--to support collaborations aligned with our overall goal of Breaking the Cycle of Childhood Poverty.

The majority of our funding historically addresses the results of the poverty cycle. We now add a second, wider effort to attack its root causes. This allows us to fund not just programs, but solutions as well. In fiscal year 2016-17, United Way's community investments will total more than $800,000.


Program Funding

If your nonprofit organization serving people in Benton and/or Lincoln counties is interested in applying for a grant United Way in the FY 2017/18 cycle, please carefully review the guidelines and due dates below.

Meeting Basic Needs:

This direct-impact funding stream is intervention-based, prioritizing services that are emergency and/or transitional in nature. The goal of direct impact funding is to meet need today.

United Way invests a substantial amount of resources each year in emergency and transitional services both for individuals and families in crisis and those living in chronic poverty. Funding for Meeting Basic Needs is available annually. 

2017 cycle timelines- <Benton> <Lincoln>

Breaking the Cycle:

Community Impact funding is prevention-based, and seeks to make measurable, population-level change on identified issues. The goal of community impact funding is to keep problems from happening in the first place. 

Breaking the Cycle investments focus on collaborative partnerships that achieve specific objectives in the areas of Income Stability and Education. Funding for Breaking the Cycle will be available for up to a two-year period. Funded projects work closely with United Way and each other to deliver services in a highly collaborative way, engage volunteers and work towards using shared data collection and reporting methods to achieve community-level outcomes.

Read a synopsis of Breaking the Cycle here, or the full case statement here.


EFSP - Emergency Food & Shelter Program:

The Emergency Food & Shelter Program (EFSP) awards funds made available through the Department of Homeland Security under the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program.


SBAG - South Benton Advisory Group: