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 2020 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, Director of Community Engagement at

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, 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. Quarterly grant reports post grant award detailing grant inputs, activities, outputs, outcomes, and spending. Subsequent quarterly payments will be contingent on receipt of the quarterly report from the prior quarter.

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

  • Organization size is based on the IRS definition of gross receipts -
  • 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.



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’s. 
  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 are 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. Quarterly Grant reports are due each quarter

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

Letters of Intent Due   January 15, 2021 – COB
Grant Application Training - Virtual through Zoom (Mandatory) January 27, 2021 – 9:30AM-11AM
Applications Due    February 19, 2021 – 11:59 pm
Volunteer Training - Virtual through Zoom March 4, 2021 – 9:30AM-11AM
Panel Site Visits - In person or via Zoom March 8 – April 9, 2021
Agency Presentations to Panels - Virtual through Zoom April 12 – 23, 2021
Final Panel Review Meetings - Virtual through Zoom April 25 – 30, 2021
Final Panel Chair Meeting - In person, if possible May 6, 2021 – 3-5 pm
United Way NSV Board Vote May 18, 2021
Grant Notifications May 18-21, 2021
First Grant Check Issued July 1, 2021

2021 Grant Application (Word) - please note this document is for your planning purposes, all applications must be submitted in the online portal.

2021 Grant Process Guidebook (NEW) - this will help you fill out your grant application and explains the process in it's entirety. 

View this Technical Assistance Video if you need help navigating the online application. 

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 five to nine grant applicants and recommend monetary levels of support for specified programs.  

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

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.