How to apply for funding

We're uniting our community to empower people in need. 

At United Way, we do this through strategic partnerships, finding new solutions to old problems, mobilizing the best resources and inspiring individuals to join us in our effort to LIVE UNITED.  Here you'll find information about how you can be a part of making this positive change a reality in our community. 

Community Impact Investment Strategies

ALICE® is a project that focuses on community members who are Asset Limited, Income Constrained, and Employed. The United Way ALICE Project is the umbrella of work to both reveal and address the needs of this population. The project includes research, United Way ALICE Reports, the National ALICE Advisory Council, state-based Research Advisory Committees, the ALICE Learning Community, and local community impact work to address the needs of this population. United Way of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County along with local United Ways throughout Virginia have come together for the first time to produce the Virginia ALICE Report.  

In our community, a significant percentage of the population in Harrisonburg City and Rockingham County are living below the ALICE threshold. Through strategic partnerships, intentional dialogue and targeted grant funding, United Way seeks to positively impact those living below the ALICE threshold, empowering them to move from crisis to survival to sustainability.

In order to do this, United Way aims to provide direct, strategic support to organizations that serve clients living below the ALICE threshold. Tier 1 investments will focus on ALICE while Tier 2 investments will address other pressing needs in our community. The Tier 1 categories below are taken directly from the ALICE Report and have been identified as key areas of need to reach financial stability. Tiers are determined by the relative importance of the area versus the needed resources available.

Tier 1:  ALICE

  1.  Housing* - Adequate for the clients' needs, affordable and safe
  2.  Childcare* - Quality (as defined by Virginia Quality standards), accessible and affordable
  3.  Transportation* - Reliable and affordable
  4.  Education- Supplemental, quality learning opportunities for college and/or career readiness
  5.  Food- Healthy (meets daily nutritional requirements and standards), appealing (is culturally appropriate) and affordable
  6.  Healthcare - Accessible, affordable, preventative
  7.  Life Skills Development - Financial literacy and workforce development

*These areas will be given higher priority.

Tier 2:  Other Community Needs

 Applications for services that meet community needs but that are outside of the priority areas listed above will be considered for Tier 2 level funding. Tier 2 funding applications are shorter and will require fewer commitments from the funded partner.  

Collective Impact

Collective Impact is defined as the commitment of a group of important actors from different sectors to a common agenda to solve a specific social problem. Collective impact initiatives involve a centralized infrastructure, dedicated staff, and a structured process that leads to a common agenda, shared measurement, continuous communication, and mutually reinforcing activities among all participants (Collective Impact, Kania & Kramer 2011).

In the Spring semester of 2019, United Way partnered with a collaborative course at James Madison University through JMU X-Labs to seek creative, collaborative solutions to local human service issues. Faculty and students grappled with three issue areas: housing, childcare and JMU's effective engagement with the Harrisonburg/Rockingham community. These projects were informed by ALICE data, community conversations and focus groups as well as research compiled by the X-Labs students. United Way is continuing to work with partners such as JMU X-Labs to design creative solutions to deeply-rooted community issues.