United Way seeks proposals from agencies fighting poverty

United Way is pleased to announce the request for proposals (RFP) for its financial stability impact fund grant in Westmoreland, Fayette and Southern Armstrong Counties.

“The belief that no family should struggle to make ends meet is one that’s core to our mission,” said United Way vice president for development and impact Alyssa Cholodofsky. “We want to help people and families break the cycle of poverty, and also help them in their immediate time of need, whether that means emergency food or shelter or help paying the rent. And a big part of how we do that is by funding effective partner agencies.”

In Westmoreland County, 11% of people live in poverty. In Fayette County, 1 out of 5 people live below the poverty line.

“We know that too many people in our communities still aren’t able to earn a reliable, livable income,” said Cholodofsky.

Earlier this year, with the aid of a strategy development committee, United Way identified three community deficiencies linked to financial instability in Westmoreland, Fayette and Southern Armstrong Counties. They include a lack of: 1) support for families facing generational poverty, 2) adequate resources for people facing acute crisis (including hunger, homelessness and disasters), and 3) collaboration between organizations combating similar, poverty-related issues.

United Way will prioritize funding programs that address one or more of these issues.

“Our strategy committee volunteers did a great job of assessing the current needs of our community and honoring our traditional funding priorities, while also incorporating a new priority – the emphasis on collaboration. We know the only way to truly fill these gaps in our community and help everyone live financially healthy lives is by working together. The shelter, the food bank, the crisis center – we’re all working towards the same end result and the only way we’re going to get there is through collaboration,” said Cholodofsky. 

Last year, United Way awarded over $600,000 in grant funds to 14 programs through its financial stability impact fund grant.

United Way’s impact fund grant program offers awards in three key areas – education, financial stability and health. Each area is administered through a separate RFP process and funding cycle. The grant program is driven by United Way’s mission to help people in need by improving local education, income and health.

All eligible organizations are encouraged to apply to the financial stability impact fund grant. For full eligibility requirements and to download the complete RFP, visit unitedway4u.org/non-profits.

Interested organizations must apply by submitting a letter of inquiry per the application instructions no later than 4 p.m. on January 5, 2018.