Our Grants

Accessibility Options

We find solutions to our community's most urgent problems.

Through our Community Impact Grants, local nonprofit organizations can partner with United Way to reach our goals.

Community Impact Grants are awarded as part of a competitive application or Request for Proposals process. A comprehensive review is conducted by volunteers, Community Solutions Teams, staff, and the Board of Directors. As part of the grant award, each program agrees to work collaboratively to achieve a specific Community Change goal.

Programs selected for a grant award have showcased that their work aligns with one of United Way's Community Change goal, utilize evidence-based models, measure their results with data, and are willing to collaborate with other programs in the Goal area. This is how United Way ensures our grants are achieving results and making progress towards our goals.

Funds for the grants come from donations to United Way's Community Impact Fund. Each year, thousands of community members choose to give to this Fund in order to be part of the solution to our community's biggest problems. Thank you!

Grant Partnerships

Learn more about this area of our work.

211 - Get Connected, Get Help

The most comprehensive source of information about local resources and services. Real people answer the phone and connect callers to expert, caring help 24/7/365. Also offered via text.

A program of PATH Crisis


Assistance with Identification and Documents

A core group of volunteers assist guests in funding and acquiring birth certificates, state identification cards, and bus passes; provide assistance in completing Link card applications; help guests access appropriate social service agencies; offer emergency assistance; and provide homeless certifications.

A program of Daily Bread Soup Kitchen


Bridge to Subsidized Housing Utility Assistance Program

The Bridge to Subsidized Housing Utility Assistance Program will provide utility assistance to households approved for subsidized housing and connection to services that will support continued household stability. 

A program of Champaign County Regional Planning Commission


Champaign County Home Delivered Meals

Eases the impact of malnutrition and food insecurity among the aged population and provides a more stable nutritional foundation for the health and independence of clients, with a special focus on serving rural areas.

A program of PeaceMeal


Champaign County Food Fund

A reserve of local dollars that can be used to place nutritious emergency food into the hands of people in need. Through the Champaign County Food Fund, participating member agencies receive a discount toward shared maintenance fees or the purchase price of product ordered from the Foodbank. 

A program of Eastern Illinois Foodbank


Community Living

Provides residential supports to individuals with developmental disabilities who would otherwise be unable to maintain their independence in the community. 

A program of Developmental Services Center


Emergency Shelter for Families

Provides homeless families with children a short-term private space to be sheltered together as an intact family. 

A program of Champaign County Regional Planning Commission



Provides Champaign County seniors age 60 or older with non-medical, in-home assistance with activities of daily living.

A program of Family Service of Champaign County


Legal Help for Champaign County Homeowners

Free legal assistance to low-income homeowners living in Champaign County who are at risk of losing their homes.

A program of Land of Lincoln Legal Aid


Legal Help for Champaign County Public Benefits

Free legal assistance to low-income and vulnerable individuals in Champaign County who are seeking benefits or who have lost or are at risk of losing their benefits. 

A program of Land of Lincoln Legal Aid


Meals on Wheels

Home-delivered hot noon meals and optional cold supper bags. The hot noon meal provides at least 1/3 of the nutritional needs of older adults & can accommodate dietary needs such as low sodium, low cholesterol or diabetic diets. Primarily serves Champaign and Urbana.

A program of Family Service of Champaign County


Medical Care for Low-Income Adults

Promise Healthcare provides primary medical care to low-income adults regardless of their ability to pay and welcomes new patients daily.

A program of Promise Healthcare


Medical Care for Low Income Children

Promise Healthcare provides medical care for low-income children at Frances Nelson, the Urbana School Health Center and the Community Resource Center.

A program of Promise Healthcare


The Resource Connection

Connects residents of northern Champaign County with basic needs services and with other social, physical, and mental health services provided by CU-based agencies/programs. 

A program of Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County


Senior Counseling & Advocacy

Provide information and referral services to the community as well as one-on-one assistance in the homes of Champaign County residents age 60 and older, helping them access benefits and services as well as providing supportive counseling.

A program of Family Service of Champaign County


Senior Transportation

Rides for Champaign County seniors who, for reasons of health or safety, can no longer drive and/or may not be able to use public transportation due to physical or mental limitations or lack of access to it. Clients can receive one round-trip ride per week to attend medical or business appointments, go grocery shopping or participate in life-enriching activities. 

A program of Family Service of Champaign County


SmileHealthy Dental Center

Full time dental clinic co-located at Frances Nelson that provides high-quality dental care to all patients regardless of their ability to pay.

A program of Promise Healthcare


Support for Immigrant Families

Provides immigrant clients with access to public benefits resources, including assistance with applications, counseling, and case management. 

A program of The Refugee Center


Tax+ Options Counseling

CRIS utilizes evidence-based, person-centered, "Options Counseling" in the process of social service case management for individuals experiencing financial distress including assistance with tax returns. 

A program of CRIS Healthy Aging

Learn more about this area of our work.

Academic Support Program

Structured and consistent one-to-one and small group learning activities to help youth overcome the various obstacles they may be facing in the classroom, especially in reading and math.

A program of Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club


Community Study Center

Youth will receive year-round one-on-one homework and tutorial sessions in reading and math, along with small group grade-level assistance that will support their classroom academics. Also includes an 8-week summer program.

A program of Urbana Neighborhood Connections Center



Afterschool program for Rantoul students providing intentional and purposeful individualized instruction to make up for unfinished learning due to COVID, with focus on discovering the world and STEAM-based projects.

A program of Rantoul City Schools


Family Development

Supports and services to families of young children, birth to age five, who are experiencing or are at-risk for delays in development, or have identified special needs.

A program of Developmental Services Center


Healthy Beginnings

Long-term nurse home visiting service, providing home visits to low-income, expectant mothers and their families.

A program of Carle Health


Intensive Literacy Homework Assistance Program

Improves literacy and academic achievement for elementary students with academic and/or social/emotional challenges, primarily from Urbana Schools. Incudes direct instruction for students in literacy and math from licensed instructors.

A program of Urbana Neighborhood Connections Center



Grassroots community initiative utilizing a curriculum developed by Unit 4 specialists, using volunteers to work one-on-one with students to improve the reading and math scores of Kindergarteners.

A program of Champaign County Chamber of Commerce


Kindergarten Success Program

Provides Jumpstart Camp and Family Camp in summer months for students in Champaign and Rantoul preparing to enter kindergarten, as well as their families.

A program of DREAAM


Paving Pathways to Bright Futures

Provides developmental learning activities and ASQ/ASQ-SE screenings for children 0-6.

A program of Crisis Nursery



Provides developmental materials, home visitors, and supports for children and their families beginning at birth and all along the way until a child is ready to enter Kindergarten.

A program of CU Early and Champaign County Head Start


Summer Learning Support Program

Structured high-yield learning opportunities to prevent summer learning loss for youth grades K-3.

A program of Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club


Well Kids

Afterschool and summer learning program for youth, committed to increasing successful outcomes for Black families and dismantling racial disparities, helping enhance the academic growth, social-emotional needs, and mental wellness of People of Color living in the Urbana-Champaign community

A program of The Well Experience

Learn more about this area of our work.

Certified Nursing Assistant

Provides accelerated coursework to the attainment of a Certified Nursing Assistant certificate. This program provides direct access to competitive, stable, full-time employment and has a 98-99% pass rate. We primarily serve low-income students who cannot afford to attend the CNA program offered at Parkland. The accelerated structure is particularly important for students who are trying to balance current employment and/or parenting responsibilities.

A program of Urbana Adult Education

Homeownership Support Program

Housing is the biggest determinant of wealth accumulation. At present, Black households hold 1/8th of the wealth of white households, and the gap is growing. Only 7% of black households in the county own their own home while making up 15% of the population. White households make up 62% of the population but hold 75% of the mortgages. Our program is designed to break down those barriers to homeownership, including helping homeowners move through the red tape and rejections at banks - 30% rejection rate for black households in Champaign County - to help them reach their dream (the American dream) of owning a home.

A program of Habitat for Humanity

Operation Hope

Operation Hope serves as a critical positive link between students and their families and the school district and larger community that helps break down barriers between the students’ present reality and a more promising future. Operation Hope helps create a number of firsts, most notable of which are some students who are the first generation to graduate from High School, are the first generation to attend college or pursue a post-secondary career with intention.

A program of Champaign Unit 4 Schools

Project Empower

Project Empower provides trauma-informed financial management resources and education. For women and children recovering from domestic violence, Project Empower helps to break down financial barriers and live healthier, more stable lives.

A program of Courage Connection

Strengthening Community Connections for Rural LGBTQ People

The goal of our program is to strengthen connections with communities in neighboring counties to enable LGBTQ residents to participate in Uniting Pride programs. This may be the first opportunity for LGBTQ youth and adults to be involved in programs and create relationships with other LGBTQ people who affirm their identities and are invested in their thriving as LGBTQ people. Community connectedness for LGBTQ people reduces negative mental health outcomes and enhances individual wellbeing.

A program of Uniting Pride of Champaign County

WIN Recovery

Provides a quality, proven approach that will lower incarceration and prevent recidivism among women served. Our program is designed to stop the trauma-to-prison pipeline by addressing and interrupting the source of trauma that leads to continuous cycles of incarceration. WIN Recovery connects women and LGBTQ2 clients with wraparound support services that are flexible enough to meet each person’s unique needs, including legal help, mental health treatment, parenting and life skills instruction, substance misuse treatment, employment assistance, and everything in between.

A program of WIN Recovery

Learn more about this area of our work.

Grants will be announced on December 3, 2021.

Learn more about this area of our work.

Grants will be announced on January 14, 2022.

Frequently Asked Questions

  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.

United Way grants support the best approaches and strategies to achieve the goal and solve our community's toughest problems.

Our review panel is looking for strong alignment with United Way’s goals. We also look for evidence-based approaches, strategic partnerships, commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, program sustainability, and effectiveness.

United Way's current Community Impact Goals are.

Early Grade Level Success

Child Well-Being

United for Equity

Victory over Violence

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

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.

Future Grant Information

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.