Impact Grant Guidelines

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Impact Grant Purpose: United Way of Berks County is the recipient of a financial gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. In her blog “384 Ways to Help,” published on December 15, 2020, Ms. Scott wrote, “This pandemic has been a wrecking ball in the lives of Americans already struggling. Economic losses and health outcomes alike have been worse for women, for people of color, and for people living in poverty.”

As a result, United Way of Berks County has created an opportunity for Berks County nonprofits providing health and human services to apply for grants addressing critical community needs in the areas of Education, Financial Stability, Health, and Safety Net Services, keeping in mind Ms. Scott’s intentions behind her generous gift to our community. Ms. Scott shared, “…I asked a team of advisors to help me accelerate my 2020 giving through immediate support to people suffering the economic effects of the crisis. They took a data-driven approach to identifying organizations with strong leadership teams and results, with special attention to those operating in communities facing high projected food insecurity, high measures of racial inequity, high local poverty rates, and low access to philanthropic capital.”

Grant Conditions: Impact Grants are intended for one of the following purposes:

  • To provide short-term support for the start-up and development of new programs or services.
  • To provide financial support that can enhance effectiveness or expand the capacity of an existing program.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing health and human services to Berks County residents.
  • Grants must support the delivery of new, expanded or enhanced programs and cannot simply fund existing programs.
  • Critical capital needs related to program operation may also be considered.

Award Amount: There is no minimum or maximum amount for which agencies may apply; however, United Way reserves the option to award a lesser amount, based on demonstrated need and available resources. This opportunity is for one-time awards to be used in 2021. A detailed program/project budget will be provided as part of the application.

Application: Grant applications will be accepted, via e-CIMPACT and includes program overview, projected outcomes/outputs, projected organization and program budgets, and projected demographics. Non-UWBC agency partners are required to upload documents including 501(c)(3) documentation, most recent audit and 990 and current board of directors.

If awarded the grant, a final report will be requested, which will include final budget, outcomes achieved and demographics of those served with grant funding. In addition, at least 2 program photos as well as a client success story is to be provided (please maintain client permissions). UWBC Community Level Outcomes and Program Level Outputs for reporting can be accessed via the Resource Center on e-CIMPACT. e-CIMPACT is a comprehensive grant and performance management software tool that helps simplify the grant application, evaluation, and reporting processes for success.

Application Process: Impact Grants applications will be reviewed and evaluated by a panel of community volunteers and approved by the United Way Board of Directors.

Review Criteria: Fully completed applications will be evaluated based on the following:

  • How well the program matches the purpose of the grant program.
  • The strength of the program to effectively address the identified community issue.
  • The reasonableness and appropriateness of the budget for the proposed program.
  • Demonstrated ability and capacity of the organization (and collaborating partners, if applicable) to ensure timely implementation and successful achievement of desired outcomes.

Receipt of an Impact Grant does not entitle a recipient organization to receive Agency Partner status with United Way of Berks County (if not already) or to receive ongoing funding of any kind. Organizations who apply for this grant must be aware that they will need to find other sources of funding to continue their project efforts after the Impact Grant funding expires.

Questions or Support:.

  • For technical assistance with e-CImpact, contact Jennifer Tinsman at 610-685-4576 or jennifert@uwberks.org.
  • For any other grant-related questions or assistance, contact Kristin Gehris at 610-685-4567 or kristing@uwberks.org.