United Way requests applications for EUP Community Impact Grant – Deadline Feb 11

EASTERN UPPER PENINSULA – For over 65 years, United Way of the Eastern Upper Peninsula (UWEUP) has supported Chippewa, Mackinac and Luce counties through volunteerism, advocacy, and grant support to a variety of human service organizations. Through this foundation of support, we have encouraged and assisted nonprofits across the region in reaching organizational sustainability goals, increased service availability to our EUP community, and given a hand up to those in need through the many partners with which we collaborate.

With the EUP averaging approximately 46% of households living in or just above poverty, there continues to be a population of people who fall short trying to make ends meet even though they are working. Over 6,000 of these households are a subpopulation who, even though they are working, cannot access help because they earn more than the maximum income allowable for assistance. This Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (also known as “A.L.I.C.E.”) population struggles to maintain basic expenses such as rent, utilities (including internet, especially now that much of what we do is virtual), food and transportation. The pandemic has made it even more difficult for A.L.I.C.E as many are employed as teachers, healthcare workers and other essential employees.

UWEUP remains at the forefront of uniting partners, developing resources, and creating opportunities to build a more sustainable future for many of these households in our region. One way in which we strive to better the lives of our residents is to invest donor gifts in high-quality programs that make – or show the potential to make – measurable progress in three specific priority areas: Education, Health, and Financial Stability. Typically, multiple grants are awarded between the range of $2,000 and $15,000 annually.

UWEUP encourages well thought out collaborations between human service groups to pool resources, creating greater impact with fewer dollars. “When we talk about a collaboration of partners submitting a grant jointly, we’re talking about seeing several like-minded organizations who, under one fiduciary, use their expertise and mission-specific services to support one another as they are working together toward supporting the same client base,” explains Raulaniesa Aranda, CEO of United Way of the EUP. Historically, when a client needs emergency services, often a root cause can be found as the culprit that creates a recurring crisis. “If we can work together to disrupt that cycle and look far enough back to where the predicament began, our residents have a better chance of pulling out of the cycle of crisis they find themselves fighting against every day. It’s not something any one agency can do alone, we all have to be on the same page, working together and lifting up the work of others before those we’re trying to help will begin to see a measurable difference in their lives.”

Beginning January 3, 2022, United Way of the EUP’s annual grant cycle is open to any nonprofit organization (or collaborative group with a nonprofit partner willing to act as a fiduciary) serving the Eastern Upper Peninsula’s Chippewa, Luce, or Mackinac counties. Deadline to submit an application is Friday, February 11, 2022 at Noon. Applications should be submitted via email to raulaniesa@unitedwayeup.org or mailed to United Way EUP, PO Box 451, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783 (mailed applications must be received in office by the stated deadline).  A grant packet is available for download by visiting https://bit.ly/2022CIgrants (case sensitive).

To qualify for competitive funding review applicants must:

  • Provide documentation showing the parent organization’s status of a tax-deductible organization that serves human service needs
  • Provide services and advocacy in the Eastern Upper Peninsula (Chippewa, Luce, and Mackinac Counties)
  • Avoid duplication of services
  • Include a plan for collaborative outside partnerships to increase efficiency of services and create a wraparound of service for clients
  • Be prepared to demonstrate measurable outcomes
  • Demonstrate fiscal responsibility and the capacity to produce specified outcomes

United Way investors encourage the following:

  • Matching funds from local, state, federal, nonprofit, private or other foundation sources and in-kind support
  • High impact, innovative program ideas
  • Sustainability plan for future funding
  • Utilization of community assets and grassroot efforts

This annual grant funding process is led by volunteers through our annual Citizen’s Review Panel which will be held March 16, 2022. Due to trending and forecasted COVID-19 positivity rates across the EUP, this will be held over Zoom with the potential of small pod groups attending from various areas. Community minded volunteers are encouraged to contact the United Way office early if they would like to sit on the panel. Interested volunteers should navigate to https://bit.ly/UWEUPCRP22 (case sensitive) and register their interest, or email david@unitedwayeup.org to be emailed the registration link.

For more information on grant funding, contact Raulaniesa Aranda or Barbara Reed at 906-632-3700 or email raulaniesa@unitedwayeup.org.

CITIZEN PANELISTS TAKE ON GRANT REVIEW – Annually, United Way of the Eastern Upper Peninsula reaches out to community-minded residents from across the EUP to review grant applications and help determine external funding of programs for the upcoming Fiscal Year. Pre-COVID consideration, this took place in-person as shown in this 2018 photo. This year’s Citizen’s Review Panel will take place March 16, 2022 and is slated to be a hybrid event.

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