How does an agency become a United Way partner?
Each year after its annual Community Campaign, United Way determines the amount of resources it has raised for health, education, and financial stability. Depending on the available resources, United Way may admit new agency partners that operate programs focusing on health, education, or financial stability.
Agencies/programs may be considered for partnership status only after successfully completing and reporting on at least two years of funding and receiving recommendations from United Way staff and volunteers. Most programs require three years within this process.
Approved agencies join the 110+ partnership agencies that receive ongoing, programmatic funding, and will be subject to organizational and programmatic requirements.
What criteria are used to determine if an agency is eligible for United Way grant funding?
United Way makes program investments in health, education, and financial stability.
Organizations requesting funding must (unless otherwise noted in a specific fund or initiative):
- Have an active board of trustees,
- Be categorized as health and human services agencies,
- Have demonstrated broad community support and a record of fiscal and administrative stability.
- Annually agree to and sign the United Way Agency Partnership Agreement.
- Adhere to ethical standards,
- Provide for an appropriate audit,
- Be able to demonstrate long-term financial viability and
- Be tax-exempt as described in section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, are in good financial standing, and have been operating locally for a minimum of a year.
United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County does not fund:
- Organizations that discriminate on the basis of social or economic class, gender, gender identity, age, sexual orientation and identification, disability, special health care needs, race, color, national origin or religion,
- Organizations that refuse services based on religion or require attendance or participation in religious services/activities as a condition of assistance,
- Political causes, candidates, organizations or campaigns,
- Fundraising activities, which provide more than token benefits in exchange for contributions sought,
- Athletic teams or events,
- Booster or social clubs,
- Extracurricular activities of educational institutions and
- Individual needs, such as scholarships or other forms of financial aid.
What initiative funding or competitive grants are available?
United Way is pleased to offer annual funding opportunities to community organizations within Greater Milwaukee. As community priorities shift, United Way directs these dollars toward particular investment strategies. For current funding priorities and eligibility criteria visit our Funding Opportunities page. Sign up there to receive email notifications when new funding opportunities are posted.
What are urgent needs grants?
Urgent Need grants address important, pressing needs caused by the current economic landscape or other serious issues.
- United Way Program Partner agencies are the top priority to receive funding from this stream.
- Eligible activities include agency-level funding, funding for health and human services programs, as well as support for programs not currently receiving United Way funding.
- All programs applying must be in alignment with United Way policies and guidelines.
- On a case-by-case basis, non-partner agencies may be eligible if they are responding to an emergency need in the community.
Can an agency reapply if they are declined funding?
Several grant opportunities are available every year. Visit our Funding Opportunities page to learn more about each opportunity and the criteria for each. Organizations may apply for more than one funding opportunity, as long as they meet the specific criteria for each.
If a funding application meets United Way’s criteria, but is not approved for lack of resources, the organization/program may reapply. If a funding application is declined because it falls outside United Way’s guidelines or fails to meet the criteria, the agency may not reapply for that grant/program.
Can an organization apply for more than one funding opportunity in the same fiscal year?
Yes, organizations are allowed to apply for and receive more than one funding opportunity each fiscal year, July 1- June 30.
What are United Way’s reporting requirements?
Typically, grant recipients must provide status and evaluation reports that:
- describe what program activities have taken place,
- discuss program results in relation to stated and measurable goals,
- outline any anticipated or unanticipated events that have been addressed and
- provide a financial report of how funds have been expended.
Specific reporting requirements, if any, above and beyond normal annual reports to the community will be outlined in a grant agreement and customized to each recipient’s unique circumstances.
Can my organization be listed on the United Way pledge card if they are not a program partner?
We no longer list nonprofits on our paper pledge form.
Donors can designate part or all their gift directly to any eligible 501 c 3 through United Way. If you have any questions about designations to your organization, please contact our Agency Help Desk.