Greater Gallatin United Way Community Investment Grants

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Greater Gallatin United Way Community Investment

Our mission is to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of our communities.

We’re proud to partner with service providers to address community challenges and deliver vital services throughout Gallatin, Madison, Meagher and Park Counties. These organizations and programs are central to Greater Gallatin United Way working for community change.  We support nonprofits’ work with resources including advocacy, volunteers, and—where strategies align—funding.  Greater Gallatin United Way has invested over $14 Million into this region of Montana over the past 40 years.

Awarding grants to help fund partner programs is one strategy GGUW uses to tackle priority community issues surrounding health, education and financial stability.  Funding decisions are made in conjunction with the organizations own program strengthening, capacity building, public policy and community initiatives that seek to find solutions.  Many traditional and non-traditional partners, working together to be innovative, creative, flexible, and measurable, are needed to make lasting positive changes in community conditions. 

GGUW Board of Directors actively reviews areas of focus toward which the organization will direct funds raised in GGUW’s Annual Fundraising Campaign.  Resources may be invested within the organization to advance community priorities or externally through a competitive grant process. 

Funding priorities are based on a variety of tools including community assessments, focus groups, surveys and information gleaned through the grant application process.  Ultimately, GGUW is guided by the desired outcomes of the community.

GGUW's annual Community Investment grant application is an online process opening during the month of February.  It is community-driven and volunteer-based with a focus on improving lives of people served.  The process is open, competitive, accountable, straightforward, and user-friendly.    

Community Investment Grant Application Eligibility

  • Not-for-profit status:  The organization must be in existence as a not-for-profit for a minimum of one-year at the time of application, operating under tax-exempt status as provided for by the Internal Revenue Service, and governed by written by-laws in accordance with Montana law.
  • Mission:   The organization’s purpose, approved by the organization’s Board, should be formally and specifically stated in a mission statement and be human service based.

Program(s) for which funding is requested must:

  • Be consistent with its stated organization mission
  • Have a substantial presence in providing human services to the residents of Gallatin, Park, Madison, and/or Meagher Counties
  • Strong governance
  • Demonstrate effectiveness, experience and capacity using measurable outcomes
  • Quantitative goals
  • Robust financial systems in place
  • Ability to demonstrate financial need

It is understood that Education, Health and Financial Stability/Income are not separate but rather they are interconnected building blocks for a better life and a strong community.  Grant applicants should determine PRIMARILY, not exclusively where their work falls.

  • Health: To increase knowledge, resources, access and opportunities to be healthy and make healthy choices.
  • Education: To keep kids on track to achieve their full potential.
  • Income (Financial Stability): To fulfill basic needs and helping to build long-term financial stability and self-sufficiency.

Successful Grant Application Requirements (in addition to online grant application) must include:

  • Most current IRS Tax Determination letter
  • Previous year’s revenues less than $250,000: Previous completed fiscal year Financial statements and current year-to-date Financial Statements (include Balance Sheet and Statement of Activities)
  • Previous year’s revenues greater than $250,000: Most recent Audit and current year Financial Statements (include Balance Sheet and Statement of Activities)
  • IRS 990 or 990EZ that matches the same year as the completed Financial Statement or Audit
  • Budgets for organization and for program(s) applying for funding
  • Full Grant Applicant Presentations
  • A representative(s) of the organization is required to perform a 15-20 minute oral presentation.  GGUW will contact organizations with presentation date, time and location.

Community Investment Timeline

Grant Applications Open – February (specific date TBD)

  • Applications for Mini-Grants (amount $2500 only) and Full Grants and the eligibility criteria to apply are made available through advertising and notification to current funded programs.  A general training session for writing a successful grant is conducted by GGUW staff.  The due date for grant applications is midnight on February 27, 2017.  Staff will check in grants to determine completeness of applications and compliance with eligibility criteria.

Volunteer Recruitment Opens -  February  (specific date TBD)

Volunteer Application Deadline - March (specific date TBD)

Financial Review by CPAs – March (specific date TBD)

  • The finance review team, comprised of board members and other volunteer accounting persons conduct an in-depth review of applications; they analyze the budget and financial statements of each organization and grant application including any audit report and the IRS 990 tax document.  An evaluation of the financial well-being of each organization is developed.  

Volunteer Orientation and Training @ GGUW – March (specific date TBD)

  • Volunteers on learn about the community and are trained in evaluating the grant proposals.  Volunteers are provided with an understanding of their specific roles and responsibilities as well as a general knowledge of GGUW mission and goals.  

Grant Application and Program Review/Evaluation - March/April (specific date TBD)

  • Teams of board members, donors, community volunteers review grant applications and complete an evaluation for GGUW Board of Directors.

Full Grant Presentations – March/April (specific date TBD)

  • Full grant applicants participate in 20-minutes presentations to volunteer evaluators and GGUW board members

Full Grant Evaluations Close – (specific date TBD)

Mini Grant Evaluations Close - (specific date TBD)

Mini-Grant Review - (specific date TBD)

  • Teams of board members, donors, community volunteers review mini-grant grant evaluations and complete summary and recommendations for the Community Investment Committee.

Compilation of Applications and Evaluations - April/May (specific date TBD)

  • The staff prepares a compilation of each application inclusive of all evaluations for full review by the Community Investment Committee.

Community Investment Committee - April/May (specific date TBD)

  • The Community Investment Committee leads the fund distribution process.  They utilize the compiled evaluation results and any other community assessment tools to prepare final funding recommendations and comments for the GGUW Board. The Community Investment Committee is comprised of Board Chair, Past Chair and additional board members.  Each year 2-3 board members experienced in the process are added to the committee to maintain leadership and continuity.

GGUW Board of Directors Executive Committee - April/May (specific date TBD)

  • The BOD Executive Committee reviews results and award recommendations from the Community Investment Committee and prepare to present to GGUW Board of Directors.

Community Investment Awards Final Approval – GGUW Board Meeting - May/June (specific date TBD)

  • The BOD Executive Committee and Community Investment Committee presents the results and award recommendations to the GGUW Board.  After discussion, the Board votes as presented or with changes.

Award Notification, Grant Agreements and Site Visits - June (specific date TBD)

Organizations are notified.  Site visits and grant agreements are delivered

Fund Distribution - Begins July 1, 20XX

Community Investment Volunteer Roles

Community Investment Committee Chair

  • Preside over the Community Investment Committee for a term of two years
  • Member of the GGUW Board of Directors
  • Facilitate the preparation and presentation of final investment recommendation for disbursement of GGUW Community Funds to the Board

Board Members, Donors and Volunteers

  • Attend all meetings required and be prepared to read grants, complete evaluation forms, and prepare any questions
  • Report to Community Investment Chair
  • Disclose any possible conflicts of interest
  • Respect confidentiality of information, program efforts, and the process  
  • Do not micromanage; be careful of bringing outside information to the table

Financial Review Team

  • Accountants and others with comprehensive knowledge of financial statements of non-profit organizations.
  • May not review any organization with which they have a conflict of interest
  • Completes evaluation forms regarding the financial status of each applicant organization

Confidentiality/Conflicts of Interest

  • All information gathered from applicants is for use in the review process only.  A Confidentiality and Conflict of Interest statement will be signed by each participant. A breach of confidence could result in damage to the credibility of the agency and GGUW, as well as cause a break in positive relations.  

All discussions and comments should be objective and fair.  GGUW values community investment procedures which are fair, responsible, free of personal bias, and which reflect the stewardship role which donors have assigned the organization.