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Partner Resources: Investment Process

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Investment Process

United Way is investing in powerful partnerships with organizations that can be a part of our work in Income, Education and Basic Needs and have the innovative strategies, demonstrated leadership, proven models and strong relationships to help us reach our 10-year goals.

Partners must have sound fiscal practices, demonstrate strong executive and volunteer leadership, and be able to deliver results. And partners must illustrate how they can advance a specific investment strategy as defined in the Investment Guidelines and Strategies for Education, Income and Basic Needs. Click here to access the full investment guidelines.

Focusing on three main areas

1. Education

Early Childhood — We’re ensuring 80% of children enter kindergarten ready to succeed.

High School Turnaround — We’re turning around high schools with graduation rates of 60% or less so they graduate at least 80% of their students.


2. Income

We’re helping 19,000 families become financially stable by providing pathways to jobs, financial coaching and access to benefits.


3. Basic Needs

We’re helping to increase the number of individuals and families that have moved along the continuum from crisis to self-sufficiency; and reduce hunger by 50% in our target communities by connecting our region’s organizations, individuals and families with the information and resources needed to increase access to quality nutritional food


2013-2018 Investment Process

We are moving toward a system where our goals and business unit strategies that drive those goals, inform who will be funded. As a result, United Way’s investment strategies will usually be an invitation only process by which invited organizations can make proposals for investment.

United Way will be constantly scanning the public, private and nonprofit sectors in the region for organizations that meet our investment criteria and could make great partners in our work. We will invite those organizations to submit a proposal for investment. Receiving an invitation does not guarantee funding, but rather, starts the investment application process.

To be included in the scan for potential partners, an organization can email to

Request to Partner

In order to ensure all qualified organizations have an opportunity to submit a request for invitation, the Request to Partner process will accept requests throughout the year.

Interested parties should carefully review criteria and consider how their strategy will advance the 10-year goals prior to contacting United Way SEM.

Archived Webinar: Instructions for Submitting a Request to Partner to the ODM

Note: United Way SEM staff will make a concerted effort to respond to all inquiries within 30 days. You will be notified via email about your request regardless of whether it is accepted for the next step or declined.