HOW WE DECIDE
Community Investment Review Team
As part of every investment cycle, United Way of the Midlands (UWM) accepts applications from hundreds of agencies across the metro requesting grants from our Community Care Fund (CCF). Plus, in this current two-year investment cycle, UWM is also reviewing applications and administering American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding through a partnership with the City of Omaha.
And the task of helping to determine which agency programs receive a grant is the responsibility of the Community Investment Review Team (CIRT).
CIRT is made up of nearly 135 volunteers from the community who generously donate their time, talents and expertise to help UWM determine which programs applying for funds will actually receive a grant. These individuals, who are subject matter experts in a variety of areas and active community members, bring their critical thinking to the process and help UWM make the best investment decisions.
Once all of the applications are received by UWM, they are classified into one of three primary categories, which are then broken down into 16 different categories. Then CIRT volunteers are assigned to smaller teams that evaluate every application based on a number of specific criteria, including (but not limited to) the program’s ability to:
- Demonstrate measurable impact
- Drive efficiencies in service delivery
- Establish collaborations with other organizations
- Promote equity, diversity and inclusion
- Showcase their fiscal health and stewardship
This helps ensure all funds are awarded to programs making the most significant impact in the community, while also addressing the highest needs areas. Recently, there’s been a surge in demand for services from nonprofit organizations – and UWM funding provides critical support to meet this expanding need.
“We have an obligation to be excellent for our donors and our community, and this process is foundational to our purpose,” said Lauren Kimball, Senior Director of Community Impact and Analytics. “It illustrates our due diligence and commitment to making the best decisions possible as we work collectively to address needs in the metro area.”