Venture Grant Guidelines

United Way of Berks County

Venture Grants2019

Download a printable version of the 2019 Venture Grant

Submit an application

Venture Grant Purpose:

United Way of Berks County utilizes Venture Grants to provide one-time funding opportunities in support of innovative projects or programs that address a specific community issue that is identified each year. For 2019-20, Transportation Services has been selected as the focus for Venture Grants. There are many areas within Berks County that have no or very limited public transportation offered to residents. Access to employment, high-quality early learning, medical treatment and access to healthy food are all impacted by the limited transportation options. All proposed programs for funding should be designed to achieve one or more the following outcomes:

  • Provide dependable transportation that will help Berks Countians secure and/or maintain employment, especially with employers located in remote areas with limited existing public transportation.
  • Offer additional transportation options that help Berks Countians access preventative medical and/or dental care.
  • Partner with high-quality early learning centers to give families access to services outside of their neighborhood.
  • Assist at-risk populations, especially those located in food deserts, access to healthy food options.
Proposed programs that include the following elements are highly desirable:

  • Serves city and/or rural populations.
  • Designs a comprehensive plan for collecting data on the effectiveness and impact of the transportation service.
  • Fosters collaboration among providers/businesses to better ensure the continuity of the innovative solution beyond the one-year funding provided by the Venture Grant.
Grant Conditions:

Venture 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.

Receipt of a Venture Grant does not entitle a recipient organization to receive Partner Agency 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 Venture Grant funding expires.

Eligibility Criteria:
  • Any 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing health and human services to Berks County residents is eligible to apply
  • Grants must support the delivery of new, expanded or enhanced programs and cannot simply fund existing programs
  • Priority will be given to programs that demonstrate meaningful and ongoing engagement with participants over an extended period of time, and that provide an opportunity for participants to apply new knowledge or skills to achieve the desired outcome.
  • Stand-alone one-time events or large group presentations will NOT be eligible for consideration.

Award Amount: A maximum grant of $25,000 may be requested, with United Way reserving the option to award a lesser amount based on demonstrated need and available resources.

Funding Period: November 1, 2019 – October 31, 2020. 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: Click here to submit an application through United Way’s e-CImpact software system. The following information will be addressed during the application process:

  • Overview of the lead organization, including current organizational programs, numbers of clients served, and how the proposed program is consistent with the organization’s mission and history.
  • Overview of the need for the program, the target population to be served, and estimated client numbers
  • Description of the proposed program, including its activities, staffing, and a specific timeline and benchmarks for implementation of the program
  • Identification of any research or best practice experience that supports the proposed program’s effectiveness.
  • Description of any collaborative partners and their roles in either planning and/or implementation of the program
  • Identification of key staff/volunteers providing direct service, and their qualifications and experience
    Completion of a basic logic model, including program outcomes to be achieved and indicators to be measured to demonstrate the program’s impact on participants (include the tool to be used to gather data)
  • One-year operating budget for the program
  • Plans for ongoing operation of the program, including potential future funding sources

Application Process: Venture grants will be awarded through a competitive proposal process after review and evaluation by a panel of community volunteers and approved by the United Way Board of Directors. Interested applicants should submit their applications via the web-based e-CImpact software no later than Friday, August 23, 2019. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

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

  • How well the program matches the purpose of the Venture Grant
  • A clear understanding of the community issue to be addressed and the demonstrated need for the 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

Monday, July 22, 2019 Applications open for completion on e-CImpact

Friday, August 23, 2019 Applications due in e-CImpact, by 5:00 pm

By October 1, 2019 Applicants receive notice of funding

November 30, 2020 Final Report due in e-CImpact, with photos

Questions or Support:

For technical assistance support with eC-Impact, please contact Jennifer Tinsman at 610 685-4576 or

2019 Venture Grant Application Directions
  1. Click here to access e-CImpact
  2. Click on the link that states “If you are an agency, click here to enter.”
  3. Use your e-CImpact login and password to access the system. If you have forgotten your password click Forgot your password?. Contact Jen Tinsman at 610-685-4576 or if you need assistance with your user name. (NOTE:If you have NOT applied for United Way funding before, click on the green “Agency Registration” link under the title “Agencies Who Have Not Previously Applied for United Way Funding”. Please be ready to enter your agency’s EIN, contact information and mission. Preferred User Name is your email address.)
  4. When you log in, click on the Link to Available United Way of Berks County Grants in the Application/Grant List box on the left. You will need to answer two eligibility questions.
  5. To access the full application and forms, you’ll need to Assign Programs to this Application (towards the top right). Select an existing program that will be expanded or enhanced or Create a New Program and Assign it to this Form Packet.
  6. You will now see all eight sections (including attachments that will need to be uploaded) of the application. All must be completed before you can submit the application. Simply click on each link to complete that section of the application.
  7. Remember to “Save My Work” (located at the bottom of each section. Only click “Save My Work and Mark As Completed” when you have completed and reviewed all questions within a section.
  8. When all areas are completed as required Submit this Application Now.You have the option to print your application on the submission page if you would like to keep a hard copy.