COURTESY OF ERIC FEJERAN
The United Way of Whitman County is now accepting grant applications from registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations until May 17.
Organizations have to provide services in three specific areas: health, education and financial stability to qualify, said Christine Oakley, United Way of Whitman County vice president.
The United Way fundraises money year-round to fund the grant, Oakley said. Money is then distributed among various partner agencies.
“By giving to the United Way, [donors] can make their gift have [a] greater impact,” she said.
There are a variety of corporate, individual sponsors and yearly givers. Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories is one of the largest partners, said Eric Fejeran, United Way of Whitman County executive director.
Last year, the United Way worked with 14 partner organizations like Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse, Families Together for People with Disabilities and Girl Scouts of Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho, Fejeran said.
The grant’s focus is on health, education and financial stability because it is proven those areas lead to a better quality of life, he said.
Oakley said the United Way gives grants based on the dollar amount the organization asks for and how much money is available from fundraising efforts.
“It’s really important that as Whitman County grows and our demographics changes, that we are able to meet the needs of our agencies as their service clientele changes as well,” she said.
There is no cap placed on organizations for the amount of money they can ask for, Fejeran said.
The United Way has an allocations committee that reviews all of the applications, he said. The committee is composed of United Way board members.
Fejeran said if an organization’s application is accepted, they will give a 10-minute presentation about how the organization impacts health, education and financial stability within the community. The last five minutes of the presentation include a question and answer session.
Presentations will be conducted the week of June 6, he said.
After presentations, the committee looks over the total amount of money the United Way has before deciding how much to allocate to each organization, Oakley said.
Similar to last year, the allocation process will be virtual because of COVID-19. Fejeran said organizations will be notified if they are receiving an award in July.
Oakley said half of the grant money will be given out in July and the other half will be given in January. The funds are good for one year, and organizations can reapply for the next grant cycle.
The best applications focus on data and storytelling, Fejeran said. A good application tells a story about how the organization impacts towns and the lives of everyday individuals.
Organizations applying are required to verify they are a 501(c)(3), something every nonprofit should have on file, he said.
Organizations have to sign an anti-terrorism agreement and whistleblower policy before applying, Fejeran said. Organizations also have to verify they went under a financial review.
If an organization did not undergo a financial review or audit, the application needs to explain the organization’s financial quality controls or protocols, he said.
Organizations can apply for the grant by mail or online, he said.