Community Impact Grants

Community Impact Grants

Community Impact focuses United Way resources on the needs that matter most to the people of Northern Shenandoah Valley. The Community Impact Grant Program (formerly the Venture Grant Program) was established in 2003 by the United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley to focus resources on the priority health and human care needs that matter most to the people of our communities.  

Program grant reviews are undertaken annually by the Fund Distribution Committee. 

The intent of this program is to respond to local priority needs as established through the United Way Community Needs Assessment and the ALICE Report, including education, income and health. Our grant priorities are outlined in our Community Impact Strategy. To review these documents, click here.

For more information on how to apply please contact Jennifer Hall, Senior Director of Community Investment, at jhall@unitedwaynsv.org

Applicants must meet the following criteria to be considered for funding: 

  1. Be a 501(c)(3) non-profit and be a Virginia registered charity.
  2. Be directed by a volunteer governing body with an organizational structure to administer programs.  
  3. Account for funds in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).
  4. The organization performs the required financial due diligence necessary(see requirements below).
  5. Provide health and human services in the UWNSV catchment area (Winchester, Frederick, Clarke, Warren, Shenandoah and Page Counties).
  6. Operate without discrimination.
  7. Overhead cost (management and general/fundraising) should not exceed 25% of revenue.
  8. Certify that United Way funds and donations will be used in compliance with all applicable anti-terrorism financing and asset control laws, statutes and executive orders.
  9. Verify that they are able to complete the post-award reporting requirements in a timely matter.

Agencies are required to submit the following:

  1. A completed United Way Impact Grant application with program budget either included or attached.
  2. IRS determination letter–501(c)(3).
  3. Proof of Registration with Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) (determination letter, online search result showing valid registration or exemption from annual registration)
  4. IRS Form 990, 990 EZ or 990N (based on organization size and requirement).
  5. Current Annual Report (including list of Board Members).
  6. Copy of most current financial report (statement of activities/operating budget).
  7. Completed Patriot Act Compliance Memo (provided by UWNSV)
  8. Verification- agency has local presence in the UW catchment area.
  9. 25 word description of the organization and the health and human care services.
  10. Financial Due Diligence (one of the following is required based on criteria in the chart below): 
    • Receipts for Allowable Expenditures
    • Financial Compilation
    • Financial Review
    • Finance Audit
  11. Bi-yearly grant reports post grant award detailing grant inputs, activities, outputs, outcomes, and spending. Subsequent quarterly payments will be contingent on the submission of grant reports.

Financial Due Diligence requirements are based on organization size and award size. 

  • Organization size is based on the IRS definition of gross receipts - https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/charitable-organizations/gross-receipts-test-section-501c3-exemption-application
  • When applying for your grant, please note that you will need to produce the financial due diligence for what you are awarded not what you have requested. When determining the amount to request, keep in mind that if awarded that amount, you will need to produce the appropriate due diligence documents.  
  • Please note that in every circumstance in the chart the requirement is the MINIMUM required. If an organization is only required a MINIMUM of a compilation but does an audit (maybe for other grants), an audit is acceptable and fulfills the compilation requirement.

chart

 

Grant requests are reviewed by a panel of United Way volunteers (typically 5-6 people including one high school student).

A scoring rubric will be provided to you in training and will break down how each review criteria is weighted. 

The following criteria will be used in reviewing Impact Grant requests:

  1. Application including all accountability documents (see "Agency Eligibility" Tab) - Sample Application
  2. Site Visit - These one-hour site visits allow Fund Distribution Volunteers to see the programs in action and ask questions about the agency. 
  3. Panel Presentation - See more information here
  4. Alignment with United Way NSV priority needs area based on the 2020 Community Needs Assessment and 2020 ALICE Report - to review these documents click here.
  5. Collaboration with other organizations
  6. Program Impact
  7. Program Outcomes - Review the Program Outcome Logic Model here
  8. Budget – Use of funds (specific to the program)

For a full description on the Grant Process, please see our Guidebook in the Documents section. 

Impact Grant Process:

  1. The Community Needs Assessment is performed by United Way and our partners, determining the biggest needs in our community and where Impact Grant Funding should be directed. (Every 3 years) See community needs assessment and ALICE page for more details.
  2. Grant Guidelines and dates are published for the upcoming year (November/December)
  3. A Letter of Intent is written to United Way communicating the intention to apply for an impact grant (January)
  4. Agencies receive training on the impact grant process (January/February)
  5. Applications are submitted (February)
  6. Volunteers apply to serve on a volunteer review panel (February/March)
  7. Volunteers receive training on the impact grant process (March)
  8. Agencies and Volunteers participate in agency site visits (March/April)
  9. A final presentation is scheduled and volunteers score and rate applying agencies and make funding recommendations (April)
  10. Funding recommendations are reviewed and finalized with panel chairs (May)
  11. UWNSV Board votes on funding recommendations (May)
  12. Agencies are notified of awards (May)
  13. First grant check is issued (July 1)
  14. Grant reports are due January 15 (for period July 1 - December 31) and July 15 (for period January 1 - June 30).

For specific dates for the current grant cycle, please see the "Impact Grant Timeline (Current Cycle)" tab.

For a full description on the Grant Process, please see our Guidebook in the Documents section.

Impact Grant Graphic

Fund Distribution volunteers represent the contributing public and help to insure that donated funds are well spent. Panel members work with other volunteers to review four to six grant applications and recommend monetary levels of support for specified programs.  

For more information about the volunteer opportunity, review the Fund Distribution Volunteer Job Description

Are you interested in volunteering to be a part of a volunteer review panel? Apply to be a part of fund distribution here!

The deadline to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) for the 2024-2025 Impact Grant program is January 12, 2024.  Agencies will need to set up a profile through the Community Force portal: https://unitedwaynsv.communityforce.com/Login.aspx

Click HERE to view step by step instructions to create an account and complete the Letter of Intent. 

2024 Grant Process Guidebook - this will help you fill out your grant application and explains the process in its entirety. 

Virtual grant application trainings will be held to assist agencies with the process and answer questions. These will be held via ZOOM on January 19, 2024 from 2:00-3:30 pm or January 26, 2024 from 9:30-11:00 am. It is highly recommended that a representative from your agency attend one of these trainings (preferably the person writing your grant request). The training is required for agencies new to United Way. 

Eligibility guidelines and review criteria for Impact Grants can be found on our website - https://www.unitedwaynsv.org/community-impact-grants.

If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Hall, Senior Director of Community Investment, at jhall@unitedwaynsv.org.

United Way NSV will invest $525,000 in Community Impact Grants to support 46 agencies that focus on improving health, education, and financial stability in the community. A record 51 organizations in the City Winchester, Frederick, Clarke, Shenandoah, Page, and Warren Counties requested $1,051,809 in program funding.

Twenty-six agencies based in the northern region (City of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke Counties) will receive $312,800 in grant funding, while 20 agencies based in the southern region (Shenandoah, Page, and Warren Counties) will receive $212,200.

In addition, United Way NSV will distribute $39,493 in donor designated funds to various agencies across the service area. Agency designations are distributed separately from the grant program.

Funding for the Impact Grant program is specifically earmarked by donors and is only a portion of the total money raised and given out by United Way NSV. 

The Fund Distribution Committee, which is made up of volunteers from area businesses, schools and community representatives focused on high need areas as identified in the United Way Needs Assessment and Virginia ALICE® Report in the areas of education, financial stability and health. Outcome reports will be submitted to United Way quarterly to measure the success of these program investments.

Click here to see the full list of Impact Grant recipients! 

 

Applications will be accepted for the 2024-2025 Grant Cycle starting in January 2024. 

Letters of Intent Due*  
*Agencies will need to set up profile through Community Force portal to submit

January 12, 2024 – 5:00 PM
Grant Application Training - Virtual through Zoom (Mandatory for new agencies) January 23, 2024 – 3-4:30 pm OR January 26, 2024 – 9:30-11 am
Applications Due    February 16, 2024 – 11:59 pm
Volunteer Training - Virtual through Zoom

March 1, 2024 – 3-4:30 pm OR
March 7, 2024 – 9:30-11 am

Panel Site Visits - In person
 
March 11 – April 12, 2024
Agency Presentations to Panels - 
Virtual through Zoom (evenings) 
Agencies will be assigned a 30-minute time slot in advance 
April 15 & 16, 2023 - Winchester/Frederick, Clarke, Warren Counties
April 22 & 23, 2023 - Shenandoah & Page Counties
Final Panel Chair Meeting - In person May 1, 2024 – 3-5 pm
United Way NSV Board Vote May 21, 2024
Grant Notifications May 24, 2024
First Grant Check Issued July 1, 2024

Through the 2022-2023 Impact Grant Program, United Way will invest $540,000 in Impact Grants in thirty-six education, financial stability and health programs throughout the Northern Shenandoah Valley (covering Winchester City, Frederick, Clarke, Shenandoah and Page Counties). This amount totals $35,000 more than what was distributed to agencies last year, and is nearly a $100,000 increase over what was distributed to nonprofits in 2020. 

Twenty-seven agencies based in Winchester City, Frederick and Clarke Counties will receive $379,050 in grant funding, while nine agencies based in the Shenandoah and Page Counties will receive $160,950.

In addition, United Way NSV will distribute $147,475 in donor designated funds to various agencies across the service area. Agency designations are distributed separately from the grant program.

Funding for the Impact Grant program is specifically earmarked by donors, and is only a portion of the total money raised and given out by United Way NSV. 

The Fund Distribution Committee, which is made up of volunteers from area businesses, schools and community representatives focused on high need areas as identified in the United Way Needs Assessment and Virginia ALICE® Report in the areas of education, financial stability and health. Outcome reports will be submitted to United Way quarterly to measure the success of these program investments.

Click here to see the full list of Impact Grant recipients! 

United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley (NSV) reaffirmed its commitment to lift families and individuals to financial stability and create a healthier community when its board of directors approved funding recommendations made by community volunteers for the 2021-2022 Community Impact Grant Program.

Through the Impact Grant Program, United Way will invest $505,047 in 36 education, financial stability and health programs throughout the Northern Shenandoah Valley (Winchester City, Frederick County, Clarke County, Shenandoah County and Page County). This amount is a 10% increase over what was distributed to nonprofits last year.

Twenty-five agencies based in the northern part of our region will receive $346,422 in grant funding, while 11 agencies based in the southern counties will receive $158,625.

In addition to the impact grants funds, United Way NSV will distribute $173,132 in donor designated funds to various agencies, with these funds distributed separately from the grant program. Funding for the Impact Grant program is specifically earmarked by donors, and is only a portion of the total money raised and given out by United Way NSV.
United Way NSV received $735,772 in requests from 39 organizations. The review process involved more than 60 community volunteers on nine panels, who reviewed funding applications, participated in online and in-person site visits, and panel presentations.

The Fund Distribution Committee, which is made up of volunteers from area businesses, schools and community representatives focused on high need areas as identified in the United Way Needs Assessment and Virginia ALICE® Report in the areas of education, financial stability and health. Outcome reports will be submitted to United Way quarterly to measure the success of these program investments.

Click here to see the full list

2020 Impact Grants:

Through the Impact Grant Program, United Way will invest in 34 education, financial stability and health programs throughout the Northern Shenandoah Valley (Winchester City, Frederick County, Clarke County, Shenandoah County and Page County). In addition to the impact grants funds, United Way NSV will distribute more than $100,000 in donor designated funds to various agencies, with these funds distributed separately from the grant program. Funding for the Impact Grant program is specifically earmarked by donors, and is only a portion of the total money raised and given out by United Way NSV. 

$780,408.80 was requested for program grants from 36 organizations in Winchester, Frederick, Clarke, Page, and Shenandoah Counties. The review process involved 53 diverse community volunteers on nine panels, who reviewed funding applications, participated in online panel presentations via Zoom and recommended grant funding to focus on priority human care needs. Volunteers read proposals, analyzed financial statements, and deliberated for about a dozen hours before coming to a group consensus. 

The Fund Distribution Committee, which is made up of volunteers from area businesses, schools and community representatives focused on high need areas as identified in the United Way Needs Assessment and Virginia ALICE® Report in the areas of education, financial stability and health. 

The Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program was created in 1983 to supplement the work of local social service organizations within the United States, both private and governmental, to help people in need of emergency assistance. The program is governed by a national board composed of representatives of the American Red Cross; Catholic Charities, USA; United Jewish Communities; The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.; The Salvation Army; and United Way of America. The Board is chaired by a representative of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The program's objectives are to:

  1. Allocate funds to the neediest areas. 
  2. Ensure fast response. 
  3. Foster public/private sector cooperation. 
  4. Ensure local decision making. 
  5. Maintain minimal, but accountable, reporting.

How is the Program Governed Locally?

The program is a model of public-private cooperation. Each civil jurisdiction (a county or city) funded by the program must constitute a local board. The board must be composed of representatives of the same organizations as those on the National Board, with a local government official replacing the FEMA representative. The Local Board members elect their chair. Local boards may also have additional members, and, since 1993, local boards have been required to include a homeless or formerly homeless person as a member. If a jurisdiction is located within or encompasses a federally recognized Indian reservation, a Native American representative must be invited to serve on the local board.

The National Board awards funds to jurisdictions based upon a formula; in addition, a small portion of the overall award is allocated by formula to state set-aside committees, who then allocate funds to jurisdictions based upon the criteria they feel is most appropriate.

Once an award is made by either the National Board or a state set-aside committee, local boards decide which agencies are to receive funds, and then those agencies are paid directly by the National Board. Within a jurisdiction, no more than 2% of the entire award may be used for administrative costs by the local board and agencies combined.

Current Awards:

In February 2023, the Emergency Food and Shelter Program announced an award to the City of Winchester of $8,341 for Phase 40 to be used by local agencies to assist households living in the City of Winchester.  

On March 10, 2023, the local board voted to provide the following amounts to local agencies to support pressing community needs:

  • $4,500 - Faithworks for Other Shelter (Motel Vouchers)
  • $2,000 - Winchester Rescue Mission for Served Meals
  • $1,841 - WATTS for Mass Shelter

Previous Awards:

Phase 39 & APRAR Awards in Winchester City:

Winchester City was awarded $29,525 for Phase APRA-R.  On April 27, 2022, the local board voted to provide the following funding amounts to local agencies:

  • $9,645 – Salvation Army for Mass Shelter and/or Served Meals
  • $9,645 – Winchester Rescue Mission for Mass Shelter and/or Served Meals
  • $9,645 – WATTS for Mass Shelter and/or Served Meals
  • $590 - United Way NSV for administrative expenses

The Winchester City jurisdiction was also awarded $9,013 for Phase 39.

  • $8,833 – Faithworks for Rent/Mortgage assistance
  • $180 - United Way NSV for administrative expenses

Phase 38 Award Shenandoah County:

  • $50,277 - Faithworks for rent/mortgage assistance ($24,000), motel vouchers ($17,500), and food ($8,777).

Phase 38 Award Clarke County:

  • $6,000 - FISH of Clarke County for food vouchers
  • $5,995 - Faithworks for rent/mortgage assistance. 

United Way NSV will receive $1,026 in administrative allowance (2%) in Shenandoah County and $245 in Clarke County. 

December 2020 - The Winchester jurisdiction has been selected to receive an award of $9,468 under Phase 38 of the National Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP). Congress has appropriated $125,000,000 to supplement and expand emergency food and shelter programs. The National Board has also included a reallocation of $15 million in the Phase 38 awards. The total available for allocation in Phase 38 is $140 million. The jurisdiction's award is based upon the jurisdiction's total number of unemployed as compared to the total number of unemployed in all qualifying jurisdictions.

Phase 38 Award Winchester City:

  • $9,468 - Faithworks for motel vouchers ($4,000) and rent/mortgage assistance ($5,468)
  • $5,000 - Blue Ridge Housing Network for rent and utility assistance
  • $3,380 - The Laurel Center for shelter and meals
  • $11,947 – Faithworks for motel vouchers ($2,220), utility assistance ($3,247), rent/mortgage assistance ($6,500)
  • $7,784 was awarded to Faithworks to provide rental assistance.
  • $7,621 was awarded to Faithworks to provide rental assistance. 
  • $4,112 was awarded to Faithworks
  • $2,500 was awarded to The Laurel Center
  • $4,000 was awarded to Faithworks for rent/mortgage assistance
  • $3,332 was awarded to Highland Food Pantry for utility assistance

May 2020 - The Winchester jurisdiction has been selected to receive an award of $8,380 under Phase 37 and $11,947 under Phase CARES of the National Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP). Congress has appropriated $120 million under Phase 37 and $200 million under Phase CARES to supplement and expand emergency food and shelter programs. Our jurisdiction's award is based upon total number of unemployed.

Phase 37 Awards:

  • Phase CARES Award:

    July 2019 - The Winchester jurisdiction has been selected to receive an award of $7,784 under Phase 36 of the National Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP). Congress has appropriated $120 million to supplement and expand emergency food and shelter programs. Our jurisdiction's award is based upon total number of unemployed.

    July 2018- The Winchester jurisdiction has been selected to receive an award of $7,621 under Phase 35 of the National Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP). Congress has appropriated $120 million to supplement and expand emergency food and shelter programs. Our jurisdiction's award is based upon total number of unemployed.

    August 2017 - The Winchester jurisdiction has been selected to receive an award of $6,612.00 under Phase 34 of the National Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP). Congress has appropriated $120 million to supplement and expand emergency food and shelter programs. Our jurisdiction's award is based upon total number of unemployed. 

    August 2016 - The Winchester jurisdiction has been selected to receive an award of $7,332.00 under Phase 33 of the National Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP). Congress has appropriated $120 million to supplement and expand emergency food and shelter programs. Our jurisdiction's award is based upon total number of unemployed.