2024-2025 Grant Cycle RFI FAQs

Phase One of United Way of Greater Cleveland’s 2024-2025 Grantmaking Cycle is open from May 22-June 16.

For more information about this grant cycle, please review the Frequently Asked Questions below, or attend the virtual Center for Excellence Grantmaking RFI Information Session on Friday, June 2 at 9:30.

Once agencies submit their Idea, United Way will begin the review process and select Ideas to move forward and complete a full, detailed application. Agencies will be notified in July 2023 regarding whether they will be invited to submit a full application and subsequently a virtual site visit. In addition, virtual site visits will be shared broadly for public feedback and input. Final award notifications and funding will begin January 2024.

The RFI is an online SurveyMonkey form. It is recommended agencies prepare answers before beginning submissions. The following narrative questions require answers of 500 characters or less:

  • Describe the challenge you seek to address, the population(s) who will benefit, and the geographic scope of the concept.

  • Describe your innovative solution. How does this solution contribute to ensuring the here & now needs are met in the identified Investment Area?

  • How are you creating a racial equity culture in your organization and how is it embodied through your work and specifically with this solution?

  • How was this need identified in the community by your organization?  Why is your organization the one to provide a solution? How is your organization positioned to facilitate this solution? 

  • Do you have a collaborative partnership with another organization to offer a continuum of services that can facilitate movement along the pathway to economic mobility & resiliency?

  • How would funding from United Way impact your organization’s ability to facilitate this solution? What type of support would you need to move into a full proposal?

  • What are your anticipated outcomes for this solution?

  • Provide a line-item budget.  website.

  • Provide a project budget narrative. Include the total cost of the program/project and any additional secured funding. (1,000 characters maximum).

United Way of Greater Cleveland’s grantmaking cycle is two-step process which allows programs to seek funding from United Way’s HUB for Basic Needs. Under this model, United Way is asking agencies to align the work of various programs under common goals in hopes of funding many programs in the same direction to impact poverty.   

Step 1: 
Organizations interested in being considered for funding in this grantmaking cycle must first complete the Request for Ideas (RFI) form describing their organization’s project proposal and narrative.   

The RFI is a brief set of questions that describe an innovative community solution that aids people in crisis with immediate relief for basic needs by tapping into our collective ability to provide food and housing and create conditions that advance health and economic mobility and resiliency, within a selected Investment Strategy.  

Ideas must be submitted via the survey monkey link. Any submissions not received in Survey Monkey will not be considered.  

Step 2: 
Proposals will be scored by United Way staff and the highest scoring proposals will be invited to submit for the full Request for Proposal (RFP). A select group of RFP applicants will be invited to interview prior to our funding announcements which will be made in December 2023.  

United Way has identified three Investment Strategies in which it will focus its funding. These are Economic Mobility, Health Pathways and Housing Stability.  

  • Economic Mobility Investment Strategy seeks ways to create conditions to economic mobility through key investments in early childhood development and income pathways. The ultimate goal is to identify long-term and/or scalable solutions that can propel movement for families out of crisis towards sustainability and long-term economic resiliency and prosperity.  
  • Health Pathways Investment Strategy seeks to ensure that intergenerational populations are nourished with food, clean and healthy environments, and social connections along with expanded access to trauma-informed care for children, adolescents, and their families.  
  • Housing Stability Investment Strategy seeks to ensure Greater Clevelander’s have – or are on a pathway to – safe, stable, and healthy housing and are able to access resources to meet their basic housing needs. 

An organization may only submit a total of one application. Organizations can apply once in one Investment Strategy. It is recommended to apply within the area where the organization believes it has the strongest idea

No, ideas should address one Investment Strategy. It is recommended to apply within the area where the organization believes it has the strongest idea There will only be one (1) award per organization. Please call your Director to discuss if your organization has additional questions. 

United Way has not specified that its funding in this cycle will be for programs or organizations. Funding is for strategies that will help the community achieve the recommended Investment Goals. Therefore, the use of funds should be identified, along with the rationale, within the budget narrative portion of the submission.  

EXAMPLE (adjust according to your own budget) 

Line Item 

United Way Request 

Other Funding 


Salary & Wages 



2.5 FTE Case Managers 












Laptops & Phones 

Supplies & Materials 



Postage & Printing 








Staff Training 





United Way funding is, and always has been, year-to-year funding based on trends in the Annual Campaign. Funding levels may vary based on the availability of funds, program performance, and compliance with the Terms of Grant Agreement. However, United Way will not issue another RFI or application process for two (2) years. Organizations will not be required to re-apply on an annual basis. Programs will still be expected to submit updated documentation on a yearly basis, such as an updated 990, and to comply with data reporting requirements. Programs not in compliance with the terms of the award could see their award reduced or eliminated.

Yes, new programs will be considered for funding. The timeline for launch of a new program, if not already in operation, should be clearly outlined within the submission. This is not a planning grant. Program must be in operation within six (6) months of the start of the grant period.

In this application cycle, United Way engaging in a practice called Emergent Evaluation. Organizations, ideas, and/or programs that receive United Way investment will have tailored outcome indicators created during the funding review process. This avoids the use of outcome indicators that do not actually match with the strategies selected for funding.

We recommend that dollars applied for should be directly applicable to the work you are doing in the strategy you apply in. If the dollars will affect one area of your agency-defined program directly but will have a ripple effect on other areas of the agency-defined program through a continuum of care that you can demonstrate in your application, then you may choose to submit the entire agency-defined program’s budget. If your agency-defined program covers multiple different strategies, then please divide the budget up to show the costs of delivering services in each strategy. This is a complicated question in many cases. If you have any questions about this issue, please reach out to the Director over the strategy you’re applying in and have a discussion. 

No. Funding provided is flexible to meet the necessary conditions to operate and grow the program applied for. These needs should be outlined in the budget narrative.

United Way does not provide capital support. Ideas, while they may have a built or physical component, should focus on programming and engagement.

No but UWGC funding may not cover all program expenses. You must continue to seek diversified funding. 

Yes, this is our first investment principle and is non-negotiable.

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