Civic Engagement RFP

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Civic Engagement RFP

United Way of Olmsted County knows communities hold the solutions to the problems they face. As such, culturally specific organizations play a critical role in building power for their communities to participate in civic life.  These organizations are ideally situated to understand the cultural norms, beliefs, and traditions of the people they serve; effectively engage community members; interpret and remove barriers that impede access to services; and bridge norms between communities and institutions.  

United Way of Olmsted County’s Civic Engagement RFP is designed to build the capacity of Olmsted County’s cultural communities to advocate for self-determined solutions to the challenges they face by supporting civic engagement, providing education on roles and responsibilities of elected officials, and facilitating stronger connections between communities and local government.  

The proposal period is now closed, but you are invited to review our  Request for Proposals.


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Supporting Documents 

Proposal Questions

Evaluation Rubric

Sample Partner Agreement 


Funded partners

We invite you to learn about our partnering agencies.

Barbershop Social Services

  • Barbershop and Social Services is a unique on-stop non-profit that utilizes the existing infrastructure of the barbershop to provide historically vulnerable populations the resources to be successful, all under one roof. The mission of Barbershop and Social Services is to break the cycle of poverty by promoting economic independence to low-income men and their families via financial literacy training, career development tools, job readiness preparation, a network of support, and essential life-skills training.  

  • Civic engagement activities will be hosted via the popular Barbershop Talk Facebook Live series and focus on a number of topics. Local and statewide NAACP leaders, current Attorney General Keith Ellison, and other local Black leaders will discuss the state of the Black vote, how policies impact the Black community, how to vote with a criminal record, and other relevant topics. There will be resource sharing to help facilitate civic engagement for justice involved community members such as expungement processes and/or education on how to vote with a criminal record.   

Damascus Way Re-Entry

  • Damascus Way provides a structured program that helps men transition from the correctional system by addressing their needs for successful integration back into their community. The programs are critical for stabilizing returning citizens as they begin making adjustments in their life, seek employment, housing, resources, and rebuild relationships with support networks and family.  

  • Civic engagement activities will include hiring a previously incarcerated project coordinator to educate the men on policy, legislation, elected officials, influential people, and the best pathways to be successful when aiming to influence our legislative system locally and/or state-wide by an often marginalized lived experience.  

Ethiopian Community of Rochester MN

  • ECRM builds a strong community that provides social support to each other by volunteering, accessing resources, and sharing Ethiopian cultural values. They help to facilitate and organize our community to promote better civic engagement and to play a part in the larger Rochester community.  

  • Civic engagement activities will focus on connecting community members to current elected officials and ones running for office this fall. Transportation will be provided to ensure community members have access to events. Education sessions will be hosted by young adults to develop their leadership skills. 

Indian Cultural Association of Minnesota 

  • ICAM promotes the multicultural heritage of the Indian diaspora of Rochester, and its surrounding areas. The purpose is to connect, communicate, collaborate, and create a platform to serve and support the cultural and education needs of the Asian Indian community.  

  • Civic engagement activities will focus on US history, democracy, and the importance of civic engagement. Such information, including information regarding upcoming elections, will also be provided during important cultural events, via social media platforms, and through partner agencies.  

Pamoja Women

  • Pamoja Women’s mission is to empower and liberate East African women and girls through advocacy and amplification of their voices. Pamoja Women’s programming includes health education and physical fitness, youth sports, English classes, and food distribution.  

  • Civic engagement activities will include educational sessions on how to get involved civically, help women register to vote, provide adult mentors for youth joining their school government, and host a large community event to discuss the importance of exercising your voice and being represented in local leadership. A portion of this grant will support multiple women obtaining their interpreter’s certification to help facilitate this work.  

Somali American Social Service Association 

  • SASSA serves the underserved Somali immigrants of Olmsted County through education and advocacy for youth, women, and small business owners.  

  • Civic engagement activities will focus on educating community members on the basics of American democracy, community development, and change theory. This will be a multi-pronged strategy that is composed of seminars, TV broadcasting, social media, and print.