2024-2026 Grant Funding Opportunities


Through the movement of United Ways across the country towards a business model of making lasting change in communities, our organization continues to focus on improving conditions on a broader scale. We continue to fund local programs and also seek to improve pressing community issues. We are working towards systemic change through our investment in local programs.

Recent community assessment results, along with additional research, data and input from the community, identify systemic poverty as a root cause of most of our community’s ongoing critical issues. In response to these findings, Cedar Valley United Way has begun to move towards a main focus on poverty, its causes, the things that sustain it, and the resulting actions of the people who live with it.

We also recognize through this gathering of data, that strong collaboration among human service agencies is a necessity in order to maximize community resources and impact. Most of our problems are interconnected and therefore must be solved holistically. We must accept that poverty is a local issue and thus work as a community to understand the issues that create it and learn how to break the cycle.

Our evolving investment model includes three investment categories in which organizations can apply. These include our Strategic Investments in the target areas of education, income, and health, Emergency and Basic Needs Investments, and Social Innovation Investments. More information on each can be found at the links below.

All program applications must be submitted using e-CImpact no later than 4:00 pm on February 16, 2024. The full funding process timeline is located below.    


For Strategic Investments and Emergency and Basic Needs Investments

FEBRUARY 16, 2024  /  4:00 PM

Application process closes. All applications and required materials must be submitted online by 4:00 PM.

MARCH - MAY, 2024

Community Impact Teams (CITs) review funding requests.

MAY 16, 2024

CITs make recommendations to Cedar Valley United Way's Board of Directors.

MAY 22 - 24. 2024

Award notifications and funding agreements sent to agencies.

JULY 1, 2024

Funding begins for FY2024 programming.

JANUARY 2025  /  JULY 2025

Six-month performance reports are due.


Annual updates and renewal requests for continuation of funding into 2nd year of cycle are due.


Application process opens. Access to the new applications in e-CImpact, our application management system, will open on December 13. Agencies must submit all application materials online. For currently funded partners, you may access the application from your home page in e-CImpact on this date.


Application process review and informational session for applicants. This will be an in-person meeting. Maximum of two representatives per applicant agency. RSVP required to Nilvia. December 13th, 15th and 19th sessions will cover the same material, so it is not necessary to attend all three. Sessions will be held in the Philanthropy Room on the 3rd floor of the US Bank Building at 425 Cedar Street, Waterloo, IA 50701.

Our investment model maintains that our current Strategic Investments target our focus areas of education, health and financial stability. Priority is given to programs that strongly align with Cedar Valley United Way's strategies in these target areas, and programs that can show strong, measurable outcomes and impact. Strategic investments are intended for programs that have proven results in the community.

We further recognize that, while the community works to address the root causes of poverty, there are individuals and families in the Cedar Valley who need our support right now. An Emergency and Basic Needs funding category is available for programs that focus on these emergency and short-term outputs rather than outcomes, to provide services that assist those that have experienced a temporary setback or who face emergency situations. 

Cedar Valley United Way also accommodates for a special allocation of funds reserved for breaking the cycle of systemic poverty through innovative research and community action through our Social Innovation Investments (previously referred to as Community Assessment Response and/or Research and Development Investments). We recognize that to break the cycle, we must also support new and innovative collaborative ventures. There is no deadline for Social Innovation Investment proposals, which may be submitted and reviewed according to the timeline and eligibility requirements here.


To determine which investment category is most appropriate for your program, please review the detailed information and eligibility requirements at the link for each category above. The following guidelines regarding the services being provided may also be helpful:

  • Is the program established and effective, and is there an evaluation tool in place to measure client *outcomes that align with CVUW strategies in education, income and health?
          If yes, the Strategic Investment category is most appropriate, dependent on whether the additional eligibility      requirements listed are also met
  • Is the program a new venture or idea for learning, with the intent to impact the root causes of poverty in the Cedar Valley?
          If yes, the Social Innovation category is most appropriate, dependent on whether the additional eligibility requirements listed are also met
  • Is the program established and effective in assisting low-income individuals to overcome immediate basic needs and/or short term crisis situations, and is there an evaluation tool in place to measure **outputs?
          If yes, the Emergency and Basic Needs category is most appropriate, dependent on whether the additional eligibility requirements listed are also met.

For further guidance on determining the appropriate investment category, or for any further questions, please contact Nilvia Reyes Rodriguez at nilviarr@cvuw.org or (319) 235-6211 ext. 18.

**Outputs are defined as the product of the program, the direct numerical results of the program activities (i.e. number of clients who receive a service, number of meals served, etc.). Outputs are evidence of service delivery.
            Outputs are “What we do”

*Outcomes are defined as the direct, intended, beneficial effects on the target population. Must involve a measurable change in behavior, attitude, condition, knowledge and/or status.
            Outcomes are “What difference is there because of what we do”


Current funded partners, download a copy of Cedar Valley United Way's logo to use in your materials. If you need the file in a different format, please contact Samantha Meier.