2024 Community Impact Grants

Please contact Jen Arends at with any questions. 

Applicant Guide


For 100 years, United Way of North Central Iowa has raised funding and fostered community and agency partnerships in the north-central Iowa region.  While the United Way has always raised money for good causes, our focus has sharpened to impact communities by advancing the common good in education, income, and health.  Our goal is to fund programs that help us advance the common good in our impact areas and further our mission of affecting systemic change in our community.  We want to ensure that the programs we fund will provide measurable outcomes in our impact area that will demonstrate to United Way donors and the north Iowa region, our shared commitment to fostering positive changes in our community.  When filling out the application for funding, we ask applicants to keep in mind our core impact areas and how their programs best address issues under one of the three impact areas.

United Way of North Central Iowa Impact Areas


Education: Helping community members connect with the tools they need to reach their potential

Income Stability: Providing connections to aid in financial stability & independence

Health: Increasing access to ensure health & well-being

United Way of North Central Iowa Small Grants can be used for projects such as planning, training and/or development, organizational capacity building, including strategic planning, governance, and other types of organizational planning and/or development activities;   community and/or human service work, and innovative solutions to local issues.

Determining Program Eligibility

  1. Programs will self-select which Issue area, priority, and strategies they would like to address based on their ability to align with the individual strategic investment plans outlined for each issue area.
  2. Programs must be able to address the information outlined in the Community Impact Roadmap.
  3. Programs must serve residents in at least one or more of the following counties: Cerro Gordo, Floyd, Franklin, Hancock, Kossuth, Mitchell, Winnebago or Worth.
  4. Applicants must be a registered tax-exempt nonprofit organization and maintain a volunteer board that meets regularly.
  5. The following are not eligible for funding:
    1. Programs for which previous grant compliance issues have not been addressed.
    2. Applications requesting less than $3,000
    3. Applications for political purposes, religious purposes, or programs requiring religious participation.
    4. Applications for fundraising or debt reduction
    5. Applications for funds to directly benefit a specific individual or family
    6. Projects that were completed prior to the grant application
    7. Private organizations whose sole purpose is to provide lobbying, environmental, religious, or fundraising activities.
    8. Organizations that do not comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws, rules, and regulations; meet applicable state and local standards for licensing and certification within their specific discipline.
    9. Organizations with programs or activities that are contrary to the goals, aspirations, and policies of the UW of North Central Iowa or which are incompatible with the mission of the UW, as determined by the UW of North Central Iowa Board of Directors.

Community Investment Process Overview-Programs applying for community investment grants should anticipate the following steps. 

  1. Submission of Letter of Intent: The LOI is the first step in our Community Impact Grant-making process. Your responses will determine your alignment with our 2024 grant cycle focus on Childhood Success, Youth Success, Access to Health, and Economic Mobility.  The Community Impact Committee will review each LOI to determine eligibility to complete a full proposal. 
  2. Grant Orientation. Eligible applicants have the option to attend a grant orientation held by UW staff to answer any questions they may have regarding the application process.
  3. Submission of an application through the e-CImpact system.
  4. Initial Volunteer Review. Applications will be randomly assigned to one of six Community Impact Teams for review.
  5. First Community Impact Team Meeting-Community Impact Team Volunteers meet with each other to discuss each application assigned for review. Volunteers submit questions to applicants regarding their program or application.
  6. Program Questions Submitted-Community Impact Team Questions are submitted to each applicant prior to their Community Impact Presentations.
  7. Program Community Impact Presentations applicant will be asked to attend a meeting with their Community Impact Team to address submitted questions and tell more about their program.
  8. Community Impact Team Executive Meeting The Community Impact Team Panel Lead will meet with the allocation recommendations from their respective panel. Allocation decisions are finalized and sent to the United Way Board of Directors.
  9. UW Board Approval of Community Impact Team Allocation Decisions
  10. Notification to Applicants
  11. Signing of Funding Agreements-Paperwork must be submitted to United Way of North Central Iowa by June 15th for funding to be distributed.
  12. Feedback Sessions- Applicants have the option to meet with United Way staff for feedback or to answer questions regarding their award or non-award. 
  13. Program Reporting-Awarded programs will be required to submit a 6-month and 12-month grant report. Grant reports will be reviewed by the Community Impact Committee.

To Submit your Letter of Intent, please log in to e-CImpact at:

Letters of Intent are due November 30, 2023, at  5:00 p.m..