2020 Community Investment and Karnett Trust Grant Applications

Open: January 21, 2020
Deadline: February 20, 2020 at 5 p.m.

Our 2020 Community Investment and Karnett Trust grant awards offer funding for nonprofit programs whose work closely aligns with UWM’s 2025 goals and those of the Karnett Trust. Programs selected for investment will receive funding from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2022. Awards will be announced in June.

In an effort to make a positive impact addressing poverty in our community, UWM’s 2025 goals are focused in the areas of basic needs, education and financial stability. Nonprofit metro organizations that have been in operation for more than three years are eligible to apply for grants that advance these goals by aligning to strategies outlined in the Request for Proposals.

Nonprofit programs that provide care, education or training to children and youth up to age 24 with intellectual disabilities and their families or caregivers are eligible to apply for Karnett Trust grant funding.

Our team is particularly interested in funding programs that enhance efficiencies, collaborate with other organizations, measure success, utilize prevention strategy, apply an integrated approach and remove barriers to service access.

A diverse group of community volunteers will review funding proposals and make investment recommendations. The review process ensures accountability to those who make contributions to UWM.

We will be hosting informational sessions on the application process. Informational sessions are scheduled on the below dates. Due to space limitations, RSVPs are required.

Karnett Trust January 29, 2020 1:30pm. – 3:00pm. (UWM)
Education: January 30, 2020 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (CEC)
Financial Stability: January 30, 2020 1:30 p.m. – 3:00p.m.(CEC)
Basic Needs: January 31, 2020 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. (CEC)

Contact Gabriela Martinez, Manager of Community Investments with questions, to apply and to RSVP to an informational session. You can reach her at or 402-522-7957.
Who Decides Where Donor Dollars Go?

Over 50,000 generous community donors entrust United Way of the Midlands to invest funds donated to the Community Care Fund in health and human service programs across the community. These dollars help nonprofit organizations provide services to those who are most vulnerable. In 2016, $11.1 million was invested in 127 programs throughout the community that aim to reduce poverty – carefully-vetted local services that support our neighbors’ vital basic needs, and increase their success in the classroom and the workforce.

Funds raised through the Community Fund are distributed by the Community Investment Review Teams (CIRT). CIRTs are made up of volunteers who:

  • Think strategically about issues and problem-solve
  • Are content experts in health and human services
  • Are interested in data and the support of data-based decision making
  • Have a desire to learn more about the issues and greatest needs facing our community
  • Are invested in UWM’s guiding principles of transparency, accountability, partnership and engagement

Volunteers review the applications from programs requesting funding, attend program presentations and come together to make a funding recommendation to the Community Impact Cabinet.

Finally, the United Way of the Midlands Board of Directors must approve the funding recommendations. It’s a thorough process that includes a lot of community input.

How is the Decision Made?

Here’s something that may come as a surprise: United Way doesn’t fund agencies, we fund programs. That “we” includes thousands of individual donors and volunteers, hundreds of companies, labor unions and other organizations who give to the Community Care Fund.

It involves a comprehensive examination of existing programs and possible new ones. Here are some of the things the Community Investment Review Team volunteers consider with each program:

  • Does the program serve individuals or families with limited or no access to food, housing, safety or health because of unmet needs or crisis situations, or those with barriers to academic success, employability or self-sufficiency?
  • Areas of Emphasis:
    • Enhance efficiencies in service delivery
    • Demonstrate effective collaborations with other organizations
    • Demonstrate measurable impact
    • Incorporate effective prevention strategies
    • Remove barriers to service access
    • Address the integration across UWM priority areas (Food, Safety, Housing, Health, Classroom Ready, Workforce Ready)
  • The fiscal health and stewardship of the organizations applying for funding
  • Delivery of services and program design via a Work Plan

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United Way of the Midlands   |   2201 Farnam Street   |   Omaha, NE 68102   |   402-342-8232

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