2024 LIVE UNITED Grant Guidelines
United Way of Berks County has established the LIVE UNITED Grant to support grassroots, collaborative projects and innovative programs designed to creatively address neighborhood and community challenges.
LIVE UNITED Grant Purpose: The LIVE UNITED Grant opportunity is based upon the belief that united, we can all be part of the positive change we wish to see in our community. When people mobilize together for a common goal, we create positive and lasting changes that multiply and build a stronger community for all.
LIVE UNITED Grants are one-time grants, up to $5,000, provided to grassroots or community-based organizations working on “great ideas” and creative projects that bring people together to help improve the quality of life for Berks County residents. Proposals may include one-time or ongoing events/projects that present the opportunity to make a big difference in one of the identified target areas using a small amount of funds.
Grant Criteria: Project ideas and goals must address one of the issue areas within the four focus areas identified by United Way of Berks County and members of our community as the building blocks necessary in creating a thriving community for people to live, work, and raise their families.
- Education: Helping Children and Youth Reach Their Potential
- Early Care and School Readiness
- School Success
- Youth Development
- Education Case Management
- Financial Stability: Promoting Self-Sufficiency and Independence
- Affordable Housing
- Employment/Job Skills-
- Personal Financial Management
- Financial Stability Case Management
- Health: Improving People’s Health
- Mental Health
- Health and Wellness
- Self-Sufficiency and Independent Living
- Health Case Management
- Safety Net Services: Helping Vulnerable Populations Meet Basic Needs
- Basic Needs
- Safety Net Case Management
LIVE UNITED Grants can be used for:
- Events or projects that connect people to one another through volunteer work or community building efforts.
- Events or projects that mobilize people and provide opportunities for positive social interaction resulting in improved neighborhoods or communities.
- Events or projects that unite us as a community yet celebrate our diversity.
LIVE UNITED Grants CANNOT be used for:
- Individual assistance
- Deficits or debt reduction
- Fundraising, Religious, or Political events
- Attendance at conferences or workshops
Receipt of a LIVE UNITED 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 further program efforts.
Eligibility: Any non-profit 501(c)(3) organization or community organization utilizing a fiscal agent, with a yearly budget below $250,000 providing health and human services to Berks County residents, is eligible to apply. If collaborating with another agency, that partner’s budget must also be below $250,000. Grassroots, neighborhood–based or smaller organizations are especially encouraged to apply. Previous LIVE UNITED Grant recipients are eligible to apply; however, funds cannot be used for the same program previously funded.
Award Amount: A maximum grant of $5,000 may be requested, with United Way reserving the option to award a lesser amount, based on demonstrated need and available resources.
Timeframe: Agencies may request funding at any time. Requests will be reviewed in the order received based on the following timeline. An agency is applicable to receive funding once per year.
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Funding Period: Funds must be spent within a 12-month period after the grant is awarded. A final report will be due at the end of the 12-month period.
Application Format: Applications must be submitted through the e-CImpact software system. The following information will be addressed during the application process:
- Description of the organization including its history, mission, and past accomplishments
- Project description, including its activities and how the funds will be used
- Description of how project success will be measured and how it will impact the community
- Demographic and budget information
- 501(c)(3) IRS tax determination letter for non-profit organization or fiscal agent
Review Criteria: Completed and submitted applications will be evaluated based on the following:
- How well the project matches the purpose of the LIVE UNITED grant and the use of collaboration to meet a goal.
- The strength of the program’s plan to address a community need and makes a positive impact for participants and the community.
- The ability to deliver the project within the specified budget and requested funds and in the timeframe.
- An understanding and articulation of the community need and how the program decreases disparities faced by your target population.
Report Process: Successful organizations are required to complete an e-CImpact report to provide qualitative and quantitative results of the program. This report also includes both demographic and budget actuals and at least 2 photos of the program and clients.
Questions or support: