Community Investment Fund

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Community Investment Fund - Supporting local programs and building partnerships

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

Awarding grants via the Community Investment Fund, to help fund partner programs is just one strategy GGUW uses to tackle priority community issues surrounding Basic Needs, Child and Youth Success, Senior Stability and Mental Health & Well-Being.  Through our annual fundraising campaign, donations from generous individuals, employees through payroll deduction, businesses, foundations, and more are invested into local programs.  We are proud to partner with these local organizations to address community challenges and deliver vital programs focusing on health, education and financial stability/income throughout Gallatin, Madison, Meagher and Park Counties. These organizations and programs are central to Greater Gallatin United Way working for community change and improving lives.  We support nonprofits’ work with resources including advocacy, volunteers, best practices, board training, and where strategies align, funding.  Greater Gallatin United Way has invested over $14 Million into this region of Montana.

Funding decisions are made in conjunction with the organizations own program strengthening, capacity building, public policy, collaborative efforts 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 our community conditions.

GGUW Board of Directors actively reviews areas of focus toward which the organization will direct funds raised in our 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, GGUW's strategic plan 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 the first week of February.  It is community-driven and volunteer-based with a focus on improving lives.  The process is open, competitive, accountable, straightforward, and user-friendly.  

Community Investment Grant Application Eligibility

Grant cycle begins in February each year.

  • 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.

Organization(s)/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

GGUW identified the following 4 Community Impact Areas as priority needs for Gallatin, Madison, Meagher and Park Counties that can be addressed through community partnerships. 

At risk community members have:

  • food security;
  • affordable housing;
  • access to affordable quality child care; and
  • access to community resources.
  • Normalization and understanding of behavioral/mental health as a component of whole-person health.
  • People have learned to recognize signs and symptoms of mental health and illness.
  • People know how to get help and are willing to reach out.
  • Mental healthcare is readily available.
  • People contribute to others’ well-being.  

Children enter school ready to succeed, thrive in elementary school, are preapred for middle school and high school, and graduate on time.  All children:

  • are ready for kindergarten;
  • are reading at or above grade level by the end of third grade
  • have access to affordable quality early learning environments that nurture growth among all the early childhood domains, 0-5 years; and,
  • have access to affordable safe nururing place during out-of-school time, 5+ years.
  • Our community respects seniors's abilities to make life-changing decisions for themselves.
  • Seniors feel independent in their lives.
  • Seniors are valued as active community members.
  • Seniors are comfortable that their physical and mental well-being needs are being addressed.
  • Seniors receive necessary care, particularly those unable to live financial independent lives. 

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 Schedule

  • Grant Application Opens – February 1, 2019
  • Volunteer Recruitment Opens -  TBD
  • Grant Applicant Information Meeting – TBD
  • Grant Application Closes - End of February each year
  • Volunteer Traing - TBD
  • Grant Applicant Presentations - TBD
  • Fund Distribution - Begins July 1, 20XX (Payment schedule provided with Award Letter and SOA)

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.