Grant Guide

Grant Guides: Technical Assistance

What are Grant Guides?

Grant guides support eligible organizations that are seeking funding from United Way in the Request for Proposal (RFP) process. Depending on the RFP, UWOC contracts with a variety of talented grant writers to provide this service. They will offer suggestions to improve or strengthen grant proposals for those currently seeking funding from United Way.  


Grant Guides are not meant to take the place of United Way of Olmsted County staff in supporting agencies through the proposal and review process. Our team is happy to answer questions about our strategies, evaluation criteria, and proposal process.  

Why do we have them?

United Way of Olmsted County strives to make our proposal and review process accessible for organizations of all sizes. Small agencies may not have the ability to hire an experienced grant writer, and agencies without a preexisting relationship with United Way of Olmsted County are likely to be less familiar with our practices and expectations. Offering Grant Guides is one way we support these organizations in sharing their story effectively with our reviewers. 


We also know that agencies led by people of color, immigrants and refugees, people with disabilities, and other structurally marginalized communities are less likely to have large budgets or have established relationships with us. We mean to change that. Offering Grant Guides is one of our strategies for equity in grantmaking.  

Can I use a Grant Guide?

Your agency may request a Grant Guide if: 

  • You have annual revenues under $1 million AND 
  • You do not have a full-time grant writer on staff 

What can a Grant Guide help me with?

Grant Guides can: 

  • Answer questions for prospective partners about writing effective proposals. 
  • Offer suggestions to improve or strengthen the proposal. 
  • Follow up with prospective partners if there are further questions. 

Grant Guides cannot: 

  • Write proposals for grant seeking organizations. 
  • Offer more than 2 hours of assistance for a single program proposal. 

How do I access a Grant Guide?

Contact with the lead staff member for the RFP you are applying with. That team member will make the introduction between your agency and a grant guide. Should you have trouble connecting with our staff, please call our main line at 507-287-2000 and they can direct your call.