Grant Information and Training

Oct. 18, 2013 update: The letter of intent deadline has passed. You can still find some documents for informational purposes below.

Background for 2015-2017 Request for Proposal Cycle


For almost 100 years, United Way has been a critical partner in strengthening our community’s ability to respond to pressing health and human service needs.

United Way’s Community Building team is dedicated to “Advancing the Common Good” and creating stronger communities. This means focusing on the building blocks for a better life – Education, Income (Financial Stability) and Health. By addressing the root cause of community problems in these areas, we can get real results and create lasting, positive change. We are guided by a powerful belief in the limitless potential of the community to create a better future leading to high capacity and resilient individuals, organizations, neighborhoods and systems.

Effective solutions emerge from the shared learning of diverse partners. A key element of the Community Building team’s learning has been understanding our communities’ current condition. In fact, we commit significant staff time and other resources to learning more about our region’s demographics, economic condition and perceptions of our communities’ quality of life. We use the reports and studies we produce to help identify funding priorities, emerging needs and growing trends in our community. You can check out some of these trends by visiting

We focus on identifying the root cause of our most critical challenges. United Way realizes to create positive, lasting community change it is not enough to find shelter for a family. Instead, we must also strive to change the condition that led to homelessness in the first place. We must map the underlying issues and critical obstacles that lie in the way of stability. Then we can build effective strategies to change these conditions. This requires the collaboration of diverse community partners: businesses, partner agencies, schools, organized labor, government, neighborhood associations, faith-based organizations and many others.


Once volunteers, partners and staff have discovered the root cause of key issues that block our progress towards greater well-being we pursue innovative solutions that leverage our community’s strengths. Partners explore best practices, work in other sectors and engage stakeholders to uncover new strategies for achieving change. Multi-sector design teams were the architects of such successful new initiatives as RED Ahead and the KPACE career pathways project.

We pursue excellence and optimal impact. We look for process improvements. Sometimes small changes make a big difference. In the summer of 2012 partners wanted to increase the amount of fresh produce donated and collected at the Farmers Market so more could be distributed to families in need. The team made small changes in how food was collected and as a result grew the pounds collected from a few hundred to over thirteen hundred!

We measure and evaluate results. Each focus area has a business plan and a report card to assess our annual progress on key strategies and our overall community goals. The Solutions teams along with staff review achievement data twice a year.

We fund strong partners. There are three Solutions Teams that help guide the funding priorities of the United Way of East Central Iowa. Each Solutions Team is comprised of a group of volunteers who were carefully selected based on their professional expertise, diverse background and regional representation. The teams have been trained in their focus area Early Childhood and Youth (Education), Financial Stability (Income) or Health and Independence – with an overview of research and best practices, agency performance, ongoing community initiatives and collaborations.

It is the goal of the Solutions Teams to fund the strongest and best strategies to achieve the three community goals. They conduct an intensive and competitive review process every three years. The teams give priority to strategies that:

  • demonstrate a strong fit with the community goals
  • demonstrate a strong connection between community need and proposed strategies
  • demonstrate strong performance in improving the well-being of clients
  • can measure their performance
  • integrate promising and best practices, and consider leveraging resources and collaborative opportunities
  • demonstrate a probability of success
  • provides costs that are reasonable and appropriate for the activities required to achieve the goal.

If you believe your work can help us all achieve our community goals you are welcome to apply. Please review the materials posted below to determine your eligibility and alignment with the three focus areas.

Eligibility, policies and a description of the funding process are included in the Partner Agency Guidelines.

A Letter of Intent must be submitted no later than noon, October 18th, 2013 if you intend to apply for funding.

A Letter of Intent must be submitted no later than noon, October 18th, 2013 if you intend to apply for funding.

Click on the applicable documents below to view and/or download the PDFs at the links. Documents are listed under impact areas.


Theory of Change

Business Plan



Financial Stability

Theory of Change

Business Plan

RFP Framework



Theory of Change

Business Plan

RFP Framework


Common Documents

Scoring tool

Partner Agency Guidelines

Counter Terrorism Compliance Forms

RFP Timeline

Submission Checklist

Scoring Tool

CIPF RFP Cover Page

Strategy Budget (Downloads a spreadsheet)

Budget Form Definitions

Funding Request Justification Form (Downloads a spreadsheet)

FY2015-17 Community Building Database Training Manual

November 14th, 2013 Agency RFP Training


November 14, 2013 RFP Training



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