Civic Engagement RFP

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.  

We are issuing this Request for Proposals to establish partnerships and offer financial support for civic engagement activities. We will prioritize proposals from agencies serving and led by Black, Indigenous, people of color, and immigrant/refugee communities. Proposals from other communities disproportionately impacted by barriers to civic engagement are also eligible to apply. 

The proposal period begins immediately and you are invited to review the Request for Proposals and consider applying. 

Eligibility

To be considered for a Civic Engagement grant, agencies must meet the following criteria:   

  • Serve primarily low-income residents of Olmsted County  

  • Be a culturally specific organization that serves and is led by people from communities disproportionately impacted by barriers to civic engagement (We will prioritize proposals from agencies serving and led by Black, Indigenous, people of color, and immigrant/refugee communities. Proposals from other communities disproportionately impacted by barriers to civic engagement are also eligible to apply.)  Further explanation below.

  • Be an eligible nonprofit agency 

Eligible nonprofit agencies include:  

  • Agencies designated as a 501(c)3  

  • Faith-based organizations, provided they can demonstrate that there will be no explicitly faith-related content included in their programming and that there are no discriminatory restrictions on service recipients  

  • Unincorporated community groups, provided they can document their relationship with a proper fiscal sponsor.  

For the purposes of this proposal, we are defining CSOs as non-profit or community-based organizations that serve and are led by people from communities disproportionately impacted by barriers to civic engagement. This includes, but is not limited to, organizations serving and led by Black people, Indigenous people, people of color, and/or immigrants and refugees. To be considered a CSO eligible for a Civic Engagement grant, organizations must meet all three of the following criteria: 

  • At least 50% of people served by your agency activities are from a single group listed above or another population group disproportionately impacted by barriers to civic engagement 

  • Programming generally provided, as well as civic engagement programming, is explicitly and intentionally designed to serve that community 

  • Organizational leadership, including but not limited to the Executive Director, reflects the community served 

We welcome questions and open dialogue with potential partners. If you’d like to discuss your proposal or are wondering if this grant opportunity is a good fit for your agency, please contact Grace Pesch at gracep@uwolmsted.org or 507-287-1533. 

Timeline

Applicants can submit proposals through our online grants portal or If you feel more comfortable sharing your answers via a phone conversation, please sign up for a time here. 

Proposals are due by 11:59 PM on May 16th, 2022. Our awards will be announced no later than May 23rd, with funds being distributed no later than June 30th. 

Supporting Documents 

Proposal Questions

Evaluation Rubric

Sample Partner Agreement