Applying for UWOC Grants

United Way of Olmsted County invests in programs that support the health, education, and financial well-being of every person in our community. We welcome proposals from organizations of all sizes serving Olmsted County’s diverse communities. Organizations serving and led by people of color, immigrants/refugees, people with disabilities, LGBTQ people, or other underrepresented communities are especially encouraged to apply. 


Before you begin an application, be sure to familiarize yourself with United Way and our grant application process. Most of our grants have a multi-stage application process with both written proposals and conversation with our team.

  • Read the Request for Proposals for the grant to determine if your program aligns well with the grant and meets eligibility requirements 

  • Attend an informational session to learn more about each grant or contact our Community Impact team to discuss your proposal  

  • Read through our FAQs about the granting process 

We would be happy to talk with you about your proposal ideas! Please contact our Community Impact team at or 507-287-2000. 

Unless otherwise indicated in the Request for Proposals, proposals are accepted only through United Way of Olmsted County’s online grants portal. The grants portal works best in Google Chrome. 

  • Create an account and start your application 

  • Let our Community Impact team know if you have any problems accessing or using the grants portal 

  • You will receive an automatic notification that your application was submitted successfully.

Proposals will be evaluated by a team of community volunteers, in coordination with United Way of Olmsted County staff. While each grant process is different, proposals for our Building Blocks grants are evaluated on the following criteria: 

  • Eligibility: Proposal meets all eligibility requirements and includes all required information 

  • Impact: Proposed program demonstrates strong impact or potential for impact, as demonstrated through program outcomes, continuous improvement, and effective collaboration 

  • Equity: Proposed program effectively serves residents who disproportionately experience barriers to health, education, or financial stability and works to remove barriers through culturally appropriate program design  

  • Budget: Budget is complete and appropriate for program plans.  

United Way grants are available for the following types of organizations and programs: 

  • Agencies designated as a 501c3 

  • Government agencies/units 

  • 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

  • Community organizations without 501c3 status, provided they can document their relationship with a proper fiscal sponsor

For technical support with the proposal process, you may contact Zeni Aly, Community Impact Administrative Assistant, at 507-287-7877 or

United Way of Olmsted County strives to cultivate relationships with community partners that are grounded in trust, open communication, and reciprocity. Most of our grants offer multi-year funding for all aspects of program operations, including direct costs related to program activities, program evaluation, and support, as well as staff and operations support at the program level.