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United Way Seeks Ideas for $2M-Plus in 2021 Two-Year Strategic Grants

United Way Quad Cities is accepting applications for its Strategic Impact Grants from nonprofits, grassroots organizations and others serving the residents in Scott and Rock Island counties.

Grants will be awarded to organizations working to improve education, income and health outcomes in the Quad-Cities.

“We know there is still uncertainty given the pandemic heading into this year, but the long-term future of our region is bright,” said Rene

United Way Seeks Ideas for $2M-Plus in 2021 Two-Year Strategic Grants

Rene Gellerman is president/CEO of United Way Quad Cities.

Gellerman, president and CEO of United Way Quad Cities. “For 50 years, our United Way has been proud to be the stewards of our community’s collective generosity and of our role in bringing organizations together to find common-ground approaches to take on big challenges.”

“These Strategic Impact Grants serve as catalysts for regional nonprofit collaboration. Together, we can build the interventions that give people the opportunity for economic mobility, quality education and health care – regardless of race or ZIP code. We have every opportunity to make our region’s future even brighter.”

United Way will invest over $2 million in grants to selected recipients for a period of two years beginning this July. The application is available at unitedwayqc.org/apply and is due Feb. 26.

Grants are available to eligible applicants that align with United Way’s three impact areas and at least one of the nine strategy priorities:

  • Education:
    • Strong Start:  Improve the achievement of key early childhood milestones and the development of young children so they are prepared for success in school and beyond, while promoting meaningful parent engagement opportunities.
    • Academic Success:  Provide in-school and out-of-school programming that bolsters school-day activities, helps keep kids on track or develops life skills in order to improve their academic success.
    • Success after High School:  Ensure students can access post-secondary options, graduate high school ready for college or the workforce, and persist to obtain a degree or credential that will put them on the path to success.
  • Income:
    • Career Pathways:  Connect people with the skills and support needed to get and keep good jobs, such as career development, job training and supportive services, and adult literacy.
    • Financial CapabilityConnect people with safe and affordable financial products and services to establish savings and credit and to build wealth.
    • Stabilization Services: Stabilize people who are facing hunger, homelessness or financial crisis.
  • Health:
    • Primary and Clinical Care: Prevent illness before it occurs and lessen the impact of chronic illness for individuals and communities. Treatment and screening of patients is provided in a clinical setting by a certified medical professional.
    • Behavioral & Mental Health:  Increase well-being by preventing or intervening in mental illness such as depression or anxiety, as well as substance abuse, addiction, family violence and trauma.
    • Health Promotion: Empower individuals and communities to increase control over and improve their health.

Eligible to apply are:

  • Nonprofits: 501(c)(3) IRS status or 170(b)(1)(A) public institutions;
  • Grassroots Organizations: community-based organizations or organized groups of individuals who have identified a specific issue/problem and are working collectively toward a solution;
  • Social Entrepreneurs: Individuals, companies or aspiring nonprofits with a novel solution to a social problem.

United Way Seeks Ideas for $2M-Plus in 2021 Two-Year Strategic GrantsFunding recommendations will be reviewed and ratified by approximately 100 trained, informed and impartial volunteers from the Q-C area. United Way Quad Cities’ Board of Directors will approve final funding amounts in May 2021 with the first allocation distributed to selected partner agencies in July.

“As a longtime volunteer, advocate and donor, I take pride in the investments I make with the United Way,” said Linda Bowers, United Way Board Chair. “My undesignated contributions go to the Strategic Impact Grant Fund and are used to tackle root causes of the issues facing our region, rather than symptoms.”

“Education, income and health are interdependent and interconnected,” Bowers said. “United Way and these Grant Partners address them together. When children have good early health care, they are more likely to be prepared for school. And kids who enter school ready to learn are more likely to be ‘reading to learn’ by third grade. Students who read proficiently are more likely to graduate from high school ready for college or career and self-sustaining wage jobs, when they can save for the future and cover the cost of health care – leading to success in school and life for their own children.”

This cycle comes on the heels of first-time equity grant applications – which were due earlier this month – to help reduce or prevent racial inequities in the region.

Grants totaling $200,000 were available to eligible applicants offering solutions focused on one or more of three priority areas:

  • Strengthen Families: Providing support to parents and families of color by increasing access to social services.
  • Empower the Next Generation: Supporting and engaging youth of color to better inform them about the issues of today and equip them to tackle the challenges of the future.
  • Educate and Equip the Community: Creating safe spaces to unpack the history of race and systemic inequalities alongside making diversity, equity, and inclusion training widely available.

The United for Equity Fund is open to:

  • Nonprofits: 501(c)(3) IRS status or 170(b)(1)(A) public institutions;
  • Grassroots Organizations: community-based organizations or organized groups of individuals who have identified a specific issue/problem and are working collectively toward a solution;
  • Social Entrepreneurs: Individuals, companies or aspiring nonprofits with a novel solution to a social problem.

The fund’s priorities were based on an analysis of the nonprofit’s October Equity Summit virtual event, featuring hundreds of Quad Citizens.

A diverse panel of over a dozen Quad-Cities residents, led by Dr. Burl Randolph Jr., Colonel U.S. Army, Retired, selected the top three priorities. The panel will decide how grants will be awarded in mid-February.

For the new strategic impact grants, apply or learn more about application requirements at www.unitedwayqc.org/apply. For more information, email Karrie Abbott at kabbott@unitedwayqc.org or call 563-344-0330.

United Way Seeks Ideas for $2M-Plus in 2021 Two-Year Strategic Grants

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Sean Leary Director of Digital Media

Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.

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