Providing our Neighbors with Opportunities to Thrive!

Community Initiatives Fund

Deploying resources, services, and dollars to where our neighbors need it most!

United Way is dedicated to providing our neighbors with opportunities to thrive through our Live, Work & Learn initiatives. We offer funding opportunities for local area nonprofits through the Community Initiatives Fund. Local Area Agencies are able to apply for one project based funding request and one sponsorship funding request for community events (non-fundraising) each year.

Project Based Funding Each Year:


Applications Accepted Annually May 1st - May 30th
Checks Distributed July 15th
Final Reports Due January 31st


Applications Accepted Annually October 1st - October 31st
Checks Distributed January 1st
Final Reports Due July 31st

Sponsorshops for Community Events:

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

If you are have questions regarding the Community Initiatives Fund, please contact Heather Novak, Chief Operations Officer, at

Funding Areas

Improving Lives

Every person should have access to the basic necessities to sustain life. We fund projects and efforts that help meet the most basic needs of our neighbors.

Improving Jobs

Every person should have the opportunity to maintain their financial stability. We fund projects and efforts that help people retain employment.

Improving Futures

Every person should have the opportunity to improve their life through education. We fund projects and efforts that help people receive education & training.

Overview and Guidelines

Funding Requests & Applications

  • We have developed an abbreviated application form
  • One submission allowed per agency unless participating in a Collaboration Request
  • Agency may request up to $10,000 in funding
  • Funding decisions will be made on as rolling basis by a committee
  • Funding must be spent by December 31, 2020

Community Collaboration

The One Fund Community Relief Effort encourages collaboration amongst agencies working towards common goals. Joint proposals will be welcomed. Specific guidelines for joint requests are listed below: 
  • Each agency may only apply for one collaboration request
  • If you are part of a collaboration, you may also apply for funding for your agency individually
  • If applying for a collaboration request, all agencies must be listed on the grant application and appoint a fiscal agent who will be held responsible for the grant application requirements
  • Collaboration grants will adhere to the guidelines and terms of use


  • Maintain eligibility as a public agency, including Indian tribes and nonprofit private organizations, both secular and faith-based, which serve individuals in Greater Grand Forks Area. This requires that private nonprofit organizations obtain and maintain a 501(c)(3) status with the Internal Revenue Service
  • Abide by Federal and State laws regarding anti-discrimination, Equal Opportunity, affirmative action, and anti-terrorism
  • Programs/projects must serve participants in United Way's service area: Grand Forks County, Northwestern Polk County and surrounding areas
  • Applicants must have submitted an application for a 2020 Community Investment Grant to be eligible for this funding
  • To receive funding, proposed programs must align closely with one or more of the focus areas: Live, Work, Learn
  • We will be prioritizing requests for funding that fall into the Live category
  • Request for funding must be for direct client services, no operational or staffing request will be funded
  • Be able to demonstrate effectiveness of programs and projects through measurable outcomes
  • Be willing to fully participate in United Way marketing efforts regarding program/client success
  • Allow United Way the right to use data from funding to "Tell the Story" of community impact
  • Funding will be competitive process based on the potential impact of the program for the community
  • All requests, regardless of the amount, will be held to the same principles and practices of accountability
  • All agencies that receive  funding will sign a Memorandum of Understanding


If you have questions regarding the One Fund Community Relief Effort, please contact Heather Novak at or by calling 701.775.8661