Apply for grants
Partnering with local nonrprofits to achieve our strategic goals
We’re investing in nonprofits doing great work in our areas of focus.
United Way of Rhode Island makes grants consistent with our mission: Uniting our community and resources to build racial equity and opportunities for all Rhode Islanders.
Our mission and its specific, measurable goals are presented in our LIVE UNITED 2025 strategic plan. You can download the plan, and read more about our mission and history here.
Our grantmaking focus
United Way of Rhode Island is committed to leveraging all of our assets (i.e., advocacy, convening, fundraising, strategic investments, awareness building) to create a more equitable Rhode Island. Much of our work is done in collaboration with grantees and other partners. We strive to engage with our grantees and partners in a spirit of trust, candid communication, and transparency. Our collective efforts also depend on the support and resources of governments, the private sector, communities, and individuals.
We primarily make grants to 501(c)(3) public charities. We also make grants to support organizations or projects that work with qualifying fiscal sponsors. We do not make grants to individuals or for scholarships. It is also rare for United Way of Rhode Island to fund capital projects or event sponsorships.
United way's strategic pillars
From 2021 through 2025, United Way of Rhode Island’s investments and work will be organized around the four pillars and respective focus areas outlined in the LIVE UNITED 2025 strategic plan.
Our "Achieve United" pillar is about advancing childhood learning. Its focus is early childhood literacy and out-of-school time learning programs.
Our "Lift United" pillar concerns building economic security, including housing, workforce development, and adult education.
To see current open requests for proposals (RFPs) and apply for grants, visit our grantmaking portal.
United Way of Rhode Island supports a diverse set of grantees across our program areas. You can see examples of recent grantees here.
For each round of grants, we issue a request for proposals (RFP) that outlines the work we are funding, the amounts of grants, the application process, and how we measure and evaluate results.
Additional funding and capacity building support
United Way of Rhode Island’s strategic goals include both increasing the number of Rhode Island nonprofits in stable financial condition and increasing the amount of Rhode Island households that contribute to charities. We raise millions of dollars a year for local nonprofits via our workplace campaigns and 401Gives. In these programs, donors designate gifts for the qualifying nonprofits of their choice.
- Workplace campaign donors may select any 501c3 and nonprofits do not solicit gifts; learn more about our workplace campaigns here.
- Nonprofits elect to participate in 401Gives and may actively solicit designated contributions; learn more about raising money via 401Gives here.
Designated funds from workplace campaigns are distributed through our agency portal and 401Gives through the GiveGab dashboard. Agencies may reach the agency portal the login link at the top of our webpages.
IN THE NEWS
United Way starts 21-Day Equity Challenge
Rhode Island Monthly
"If you’d like to learn more about equity and its role in the fight against systemic racism, United Way… is here to help. Starting on Wednesday, February 24, Rhode Islanders can take part in United Way’s 21-Day Equity Challenge. Participants will receive a daily email that will feature different topics on racial equity, [including] racial identity, implicit bias… and allyship."
11 Ways Nonprofits Can Garner Feedback
Forbes Nonprofit Council
"As with any business, [nonprofits must] balance… where… donors want to go and what… [customers] desire… [and] find a way to make giving feedback as painless as possible… To help, 11 members of Forbes Nonprofit Council discuss how [nonprofits can] generate feedback from both donors and customers to better plot the trajectory of the organization."
United Way’s Nicolato: Support All 7 Bonds
"Cortney Nicolato with United Way of Rhode Island appeared on GoLocal LIVE to advocate for all seven bonds on the March 2 special election ballot — and one bond question most importantly. Nicolato explained why United Way believes question three to support affordable housing is most critical for the community."