Frequently Asked Questions

Our Organization

The best way to get connected to locally available resources is to call our 211 Help Line. It's a "help" number like 911, but for access to health and human services. Calling 211 will get you a trained resource and referral specialist, who will know what services are available in our area. You can also go to and type in your ZIP code. 

United Way is not able to provide direct financial assistance to individuals - we award grants to dozens of local nonprofits that provide assistance. We encourage everyone in need to call 211 to get connected to one of our partners.

United Way aims to bring people and resources together to improve:

Early Grade Level Success

Child Well-Being

Community Essentials

Specific metrics for each Goal area can be found on the pages linked above.

We are grateful that you are considering supporting your community by giving to United Way. There are many ways you can give! 


Payable to United Way of Champaign County. Mail to 5 Dunlap Ct., Savoy, IL 61874

Credit or Debit Card

Give online today.

Payroll Deduction

Contact your workplace Human Resources or Payroll office for details.


Please call us at 217-352-5151 to learn more about the following gift options:

  • Bank Transfer (ACH)
  • Monthly or quarterly giving
  • Gifts from an IRA
  • Stocks or Investments
  • Bequests to the United Way endowment

The 2023 Annual Campaign dates are July 1, 2023 - June 30, 2024.

All gifts made in this time period will be credited to the 2023 Annual Campaign.

Your Community Impact donation stays in Champaign County and powers our Community Impact grants, plus managed programs like the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, Bottom Line Diaper Bank, and so much more. Your donation makes a difference in over 50,000 Champaign County residents' lives every year.

Our overhead rate, also known as core costs, was only 15.3% during FY22, which is significantly lower than the average for nonprofit organizations. Core costs encompass expenses such as staffing, office utilities, data security and technology, fundraising, and more. These expenses are essential and without them we would not be able to carry out our mission.


United Way of Champaign County is an independent local nonprofit organization. All decisions are made by our local, all-volunteer Board of Directors. All donations stay in our community.

We like to say that our superpower is that we're an independent organization that's also part of a broader movement. 

We are members in good standing of United Way Worldwide and United Way of Illinois. In return, our organization receives access to a wealth of fundraising, training, education, and advocacy materials and opportunities - as well as the right to use the United Way logo and other proprietary materials. The United Way network offers our team incredible ideas, best practices and collaborations that make a real difference in our work to improve our local community.

YES! United Way of Champaign County is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of our work. Please visit our United for Equity page for more details.

Please visit our Accountability page for financial information, additional reporting, and policies. We are pleased to share five years of financial information online.

Our Grants

United Way awards funds through our Community Impact Grants. Grant periods open throughout the year.

  1. Attend Information Session for Grant – You will learn the specific Goals and metrics that United Way is looking for in the application.
  2. Submit Application – The application needs to provide both narrative and data evidence of how the program will help achieve United Way’s community Goal(s). 
  3. Application Review – United Way volunteers will review and score each application. We utilize a panel of subject-matter experts and caring community members. The panel is looking for strong alignment with United Way’s goals. We also look for evidence-based approaches, strategic partnership, commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and demonstrated effectiveness.
  4. Community Impact Committee Recommendation –The committee reviews each application and the notes from the Review, and determines which programs are to be recommended for a Grant. Not all programs will be awarded a grant.
  5. Board of Directors Approval – The Community Impact Committee presents recommendations for grant awards to the Board of Directors for review and approval.

If selected, organizations are provided with a contract. Grants are typically for a one or two year term.

Please visit our Grants page to view a list of our current grant partnerships.

It’s possible the organization you’re looking for may have chosen not to apply for a United Way grant this year. Our grants are awarded in one or two-year cycles, and sometimes organizations choose not to apply. Perhaps they found different funding sources or are shifting their programs to different areas of impact that are not aligned with United Way’s goals. 

Decisions about which programs to award grants are never easy. Our Community Impact Committee carefully evaluates each application to determine if and how a particular program fits into our goals, what the long-term outcomes are, and what level, if any, of funding we can provide. Programs can only be effective if they have the resources to succeed, so we make sure our grants are of a dollar amount that will make a meaningful impact. 

Additionally, the amount of funds donated to United Way’s Community Impact Fund determines our ability to award grants. Our fundraising team works diligently to raise as much money as possible each year, while still keeping United Way's fundraising expenses low.

As a result of all these factors, the list of programs and agencies we fund will change from year to year. United Way is constantly striving to find, support, and invest in the best long-term solutions to our community’s toughest problems. We truly believe this benefits not only those we help but all of us as a community.

United Way of Champaign County's funding guidelines are specific. We do not provide funds to individuals, political institutions, school fundraisers, capital campaigns, capital items, endowments, marketing opportunities, event fundraisers, or sports events.

Eligibility Requirements: 

  • Must serve clients in Champaign County, Illinois.
  • Must have bylaws that state the purpose of the organization, make provisions for the size of the Board of Directors, and provide rules for selection, tenure, number of officers and committees, financial and legal procedures, conflicts of interests, and quorum requirements. A Board that is actively engaged in an advisory, governance, and/or fiscal capacity. 
  • Your organization has policies and procedures on non-discrimination in employment and provision of service.
  • Your organization has the mechanisms and capacity for regularly reporting measurable, qualitative, and quantitative outcomes.
  • Your organization is a human service agency OR tax-exempt under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue code OR has another tax-exempt organization act as a fiscal sponsor.
  • Your organization is able to provide United Way of Champaign County with a completed financial audit or letter of financial review and an IRS Form 990.
  • A funded agency with total revenue of $300,000 or greater will be required to have an audit performed by an independent audit firm.
    • An agency with total revenue of less than $300,000 will be required to have a financial review performed by an independent audit firm. Agencies with total revenue of less than $300,000 may also choose to provide an audit.
  • Your organization must be willing to support and cooperate with United Way of Champaign County in the areas of fundraising, planning, data collection, data reporting, training, and communication. 

* United Way actively practices nondiscrimination. (See our United for Equity statement here). Organizations that have a faith-based mission may receive a grant, as long as a person's lack of participation in the faith-based mission does not disqualify a person from being served. For example: a grant funded program providing meals cannot require a person to participate in a pre-meal prayer in order to receive food. United Way grants may not fund any religious activities.

United Way opens Requests for Proposals and Grant Opportunities throughout the year. If you would like to receive notice of these opportunities, please fill out the form below.

Please note, United Way of Champaign County grants are awarded to registered nonprofit organizations or organizations with a nonprofit fiscal agent. We do not award grants to individuals.

Our Community Impact Committee, which comprises dedicated community volunteers with diverse backgrounds and life experiences, reviews all grant applications. They are supplemented by multiple Community Solutions Teams, consisting of subject-matter experts who lend a practical lens to the process. The funding recommendations that are made are approved by United Way of Champaign County's all-volunteer local Board of Directors.

Our Community Impact volunteers invest a significant amount of time in making crucial decisions. Despite the generous contributions from our community, the needs of the community continue to be substantial. The most challenging aspect of their work is that the grant requests are often much higher than the funds raised by United Way, making grant decisions very difficult.