At United Way of Larimer County (UWLC), we believe the nonprofit sector plays a vital role in creating and maintaining a resilient community. During the COVID-19 pandemic, partnerships between public, private, and nonprofit organizations enabled an effective, efficient response to community needs. Nonprofits participated in collaborative efforts to distribute direct financial assistance and facilitate crucial programs for everything from meeting basic needs to increasing vaccine access and utilization. These activities highlighted the essential role of grassroots and community-led organizations (GCLOs) in serving Larimer County residents, particularly those from historically marginalized communities.
However, this work has also shed light on the critical need of many organizations for access to resources which increase their capacity to provide services and sustain their operations. This became especially clear as state and local agencies reviewed applications for pandemic-related funding support from local GCLOs. Although these applicants presented a compelling case for support and were well-qualified to facilitate the programs they sought support for and connect with their communities, many lacked the necessary infrastructure to successfully compete for and manage government funds.
To support GCLOs in developing policies, processes, and other requirements for successfully securing and managing grant funding (e.g., Title XI requirements, cash management, etc.), UWLC will select up to 10 local GCLO leaders to participate in a seven-month Grant Readiness Cohort program from June–December 2022.
Training and technical assistance will be provided by an experienced consultant with expertise in securing and managing federal funds, with additional support from UWLC’s Nonprofit Excellence program staff, who will work closely with UWLC’s partners in state, county, and municipal governments and other funding organizations to ensure alignment with standards and requirements applicable to cohort participants. There is no cost to participate in this program.
This opportunity includes a variety of resources and support to prepare cohort participants for successful grant seeking and management, including:
- Five two-hour group training sessions in topics such as understanding funding solicitation requirements and evaluation criteria; OMB Uniform Guidance; pre-and post-award best practices for grants management and compliance; strategic considerations for collaborative funding partnerships; and other topics as needed or requested by cohort participants*
- Five hours of 1:1 consulting/coaching and individualized support for their organization’s specific needs
- Facilitation and other support for collaborative grant funding opportunities with partner organizations
- A general operating grant for their organization
*As part of our commitment to centering impacted leadership, cohort participants will meet with the consultant at the start of the program to determine the specific areas of focus to be included in the cohort curriculum.
Training and other meetings may be conducted virtually, at our offices, and/or at another location within Larimer County.
UWLC understands that many local GCLOs are operated by unpaid volunteers or part-time staff who may find it difficult to take time away from their jobs or other obligations for financial reasons. To eliminate this barrier, cohort participants will be compensated at a rate of $28.54/hour (Independent Sector’s current estimated national value of a volunteer hour) for 16 hours, or a total of $456.64.
Participant Requirements and Key Dates
All participants in the cohort will be required to:
- Attend the initial planning session with all cohort participants scheduled for Wednesday, June 8th from 1–2 p.m.*
- Attend at least 4 out of 5 group training sessions, which will be held on the second Tuesday of each month from 1–3 p.m.*
- Utilize all five hours of 1:1 consultation and individualized support no later than December 31, 2022
- Participate in pre-and post-cohort assessments to assist United Way in evaluating the success of the program
- Submit a brief report outlining how the general operating support they received from United Way was used and the outcomes achieved* through their participation in this program.
*If needed, participants will receive support for establishing outcomes and developing tools to track their outcomes by the end of the cohort program.
We strongly recommend that applicants reserve the dates listed above to ensure their complete and successful participation in the program. If you have concerns about your ability to meet the requirements listed above, please contact Morgan Vanek, Director of Nonprofit Excellence, at firstname.lastname@example.org before submitting your application.
Eligibility and Selection Criteria
To be eligible for this opportunity, applicants must represent organizations which:
- Are located in Larimer County and providing programs or services which benefit Larimer County residents
- Are registered as a 501(c)(3) with tax exempt status in the State of Colorado, or are working with a fiscal sponsor (must have secured a fiscal sponsor by May 13th, 2022)
- Provide services which address community needs or opportunities in one or more of United Way’s focus areas
- Have annual operating budgets of less than $500,000 and/or are led by people from the communities they serve
- Require support to develop knowledge, skills, and organizational infrastructure needed to successfully secure and manage grant funding
United Way’s Equity Advisory Committee, which is comprised of community members with lived experience and professional expertise in advancing equity, will evaluate proposals and determine which applicants will be selected to participate in this program. UWLC has allocated $120,000 through its Equity & Excellence Fund to pair the technical assistance provided with general operating grants for selected organizations. The Equity Advisory Committee will determine funding award amounts across the 10 selected organizations.
The deadline to submit an application is April 15th by 11:59 PM. UWLC will notify applicants of our decision by May 31st.
How to Apply
To submit your application, please use this link. Please find our comprehensive application guide, including the questions you will be asked and additional context to support the development of your responses here. At the end of the document, you will find a list of weighted review criteria that will be used to evaluate your application. This is intended to help you understand the relative importance of each question and element in your responses. We encourage you to reference this guide and the review criteria frequently as you complete your application.
If you have questions, need help, or experience technical difficulties, please contact Morgan Vanek (she/her), Director of Nonprofit Excellence, at email@example.com or (970) 407-7045.