United Way of Rhode Island has released a request for proposals (RFP), making available $2 million in grants from its Community Impact Fund. The funding is part of the organization’s commitment over the next five years to further increase support of nonprofits addressing systemic inequity and working to create a more equitable Rhode Island.

Interested organizations must submit a Letter of Intent by Dec. 17, 2020, with selected applicants invited to submit a full proposal due Feb. 3, 2021. The application process is available via United Way’s online portal.

“These funds align our community investments with our LIVE UNITED 2025 strategic plan and commitment to targeting the root causes of the racial inequalities that have plagued our state for far too long,” said Cortney Nicolato, president and CEO of United Way. “In order for Rhode Island to thrive in the post-COVID world, we must go deep, rather than wide to dismantle the barriers that hold back our neighbors.”

The $2 million available through this RFP – which represents a portion of United Way’s expected $4 million in grantmaking during the coming year – offers both programmatic and operational support to nonprofits addressing the goals in its strategic plan. The pillars of the plan and the leading priorities for this funding opportunity are:

·         Achieve United: early childhood literacy; out-of-school time learning programs

·         Advocate United: state and municipal policy and advocacy; research

·         Lift United: housing; workforce development; adult education

·         Invest United: nonprofit capacity building; resilience; diversity

United Way staff will hold virtual information sessions on Friday, Dec. 4 at 12:00 p.m. and Monday, Dec. 7 at 3:30 p.m., including an overview and walkthrough of the application and review process, and Q&A.  Registration is available online.

Additionally, United Way will hold a series of virtual office hours via Zoom throughout December. Sessions will feature group and one-on-one discussions. A schedule and registration form can be found online.

This grant period will begin March 2021 and end Feb. 2023. Up to $75,000 is available for individual programs; up to $50,000 is offered in general support grants. A subsequent three-year grant opportunity will be announced in 2022, taking into account evolving community needs over the next two years.