We're working to improve education outcomes, access to healthcare, and economic opportunities for all men, women, and children. We build capacity, facilitate partnerships, and invest back into the organizations that are working on the ground to address the Itasca area's most pressing needs to create a vibrant community for all.

Resource Library

United Way operates a lending library of tools and resources for area nonprofits and community organizations to use at no cost. Items available for checkout include games for events, market booth materials, and use of our conference room. View the resource list of available items and use the button below to borrow from the library.

Request

Itasca Area Community Response Fund

Funding Period: CLOSED

The mission of the Itasca Area Community Response Fund is to support nonprofit and other community organizations engaging in immediate basic needs relief, short-term response, and longer-term recovery during the COVID-19 health and economic crisis. Grants will be awarded to nonprofit organizations and community groups that provide direct assistance to individuals and families with financial need or demonstrable hardship resulting from the COVID-19 health and economic crisis.

Organizations interested in applying can submit an application online through the Community Foundation’s Grant Portal.  Applications for the fourth round of funding should be submitted by January 29th, 2021.

COVID-19 Response Information:  Overview  |  News Release  Grant Portal


Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program (EFSP)

Funding Period: Phase 38 (FY20) (CLOSED)
Deadline to apply is 4 p.m. Monday, December 14, 2020

Qualifying emergency food and shelter services run by local service agencies are urged to apply for a portion of $20,057 in federal funds that Itasca County has been awarded by the Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency (DHS/FEMA).

Funding is based upon 12-month (December 2018-November 2019) unemployment rates, the total number of unemployed, number of individuals below the poverty level, and the total population of Itasca County. Awards are appropriated annually to supplement and expand ongoing efforts to provide shelter, food, and supportive services for individuals and families who are experiencing hunger, homelessness, and an economic crisis.

A local board, facilitated by United Way of 1000 Lakes, with representatives from county government, The Salvation Army, and American Red Cross, as well as advocates for the homeless, faith-based organizations, and community partners govern how the funds will be distributed.

Under the terms of the grant from the national board, local agencies chosen to receive funds must:

• Be private, voluntary non-profits or units of government,
• Be eligible to receive Federal funds,
• Have an accounting system,
• Practice non-discrimination,
• Have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs,
• Have a voluntary board (if they are a private voluntary organization)

Applications can be submitted online and must be received by 4 p.m. on Monday, December 14th, 2020. United Way recommends that applicants attend the meeting of the Local Emergency Food and Shelter Board, which will take place over Zoom on Tuesday, December 15 at 1 p.m.


Funding Period: Phase 37 (FY19) & Phase CARES (FY20) (CLOSED)
Deadline to apply is 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Qualifying emergency food and shelter services run by local service agencies are urged to apply for a portion of $66,355 in federal funds that Itasca County has been awarded by the Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency (DHS/FEMA). $27,355 have been allocated to Phase 37, while $39,000 of supplemental funds came through due to the CARES Act.

Funding is based upon 12-month (December 2018-November 2019) unemployment rates, the total number of unemployed, number of individuals below the poverty level, and the total population of Itasca County. Awards are appropriated annually to supplement and expand ongoing efforts to provide shelter, food, and supportive services for individuals and families who are experiencing hunger, homelessness, and an economic crisis.

A local board, facilitated by United Way of 1000 Lakes, with representatives from county government, The Salvation Army, and American Red Cross, as well as advocates for the homeless, faith-based organizations, and community partners govern how the funds will be distributed.

Under the terms of the grant from the national board, local agencies chosen to receive funds must:

• Be private, voluntary non-profits or units of government,
• Be eligible to receive Federal funds,
• Have an accounting system,
• Practice non-discrimination,
• Have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs,
• Have a voluntary board (if they are a private voluntary organization)

Applications can be submitted online and must be received by 4 p.m. on Wednesday, May 20, 2020. United Way recommends that applicants attend the meeting of the Local Emergency Food and Shelter Board, which will take place over Zoom on Thursday, May 21 at 1 p.m.


Community Impact Grants

Funding Period: July 2019-June 2021 (CLOSED)

Interim Report (due June 9th, 2020): Agencies receiving funding through Community Impact Grants must complete an interim report before the second fiscal year. Learn more

Community Impact Funding is open to registered 501(c)(3) organizations that align with United Way’s mission, service area, and impact priorities.

United Way funded programs are chosen through a competitive application process. Approval is based on the merits of the program, community needs, and available funds. Funding is made possible by the financial contributions of hundreds of community investors through United Way’s annual campaign (September – March).

Community Investment applications are reviewed by an investment panel that consists of dedicated volunteers and members from United Way’s board of directors. Between the months of February and May, these community members attend a training; visit program sites and talk with agency staff, leadership, and program participants; review budgets and evaluate program impact, and bring funding recommendations to the United Way board of directors.

The grant allocations began in July 2019. Results for funded programs will be measured, tracked, and reported annually through June 2021.

Interested organizations must complete an electronic application. New programs seeking funding should schedule a pre-application session and send a letter of intent to United Way, indicating which focus area they are addressing, outlining the community program or service they hope to provide, and the funding amount they intend to request.

For information about United Way’s grant process or to schedule an in-person Grant Session with staff, contact (218) 999-7570 or email info@uwlakes.org.

We are currently not accepting applications for Community Investment Grants. However, interested organizations can look at past years’ application materials in order to get an idea of the application process and requirements:

Community Investment Grants: ApplicationApplication Guide Site Visit Guidelines

Resource Round-Up

Discussions with our partners, particularly our monthly roundtables, bring light to issues that are facing our region's nonprofit sector. Here, we've begun compiling training opportunities and other resources that our partners might find helpful.

As always, we value your input. If you have any questions or concerns about the information on this page or just want to give your feedback, please call us at 218-999-7570 or email kimberly@uwlakes.org.

Build Your Network

Executive Director Cohort: Join Propel Nonprofits‘ Itasca County Executive Director Cohort to build relationships and share ideas with your peers. The Cohort will meet every other month beginning in May. Directors interested in joining the cohort should express their interest by April 14th. Apply

Communications

Grammarly: Through the end of 2021, Grammarly, which provides tips and assistance as you write online, is providing its premium service free to nonprofits. A favorite of United Way of 1000 Lakes staff, the app allows users to save time and keep their communications clear and consistent. Apply

United Way Social Media: Is there something you’d like United Way to share on our social media pages? Let us know by filling out our Social Media Request Form. We’re always looking for more content and opportunities to spotlight our partners and the work they’re doing. Request

Mental Health Resources

Bounce Back Project: To help you be resilient and stay encouraged during this difficult time, the Bounce Back Project provides timely and useful “Stay at Home” resources for people of all ages and situations. They offer resources, gathered from reliable sources, categorized into four areas; For Kids, For Fun, Self-Care and More Info. You’ll find a variety of online activities, videos, projects, good reads, games, links to key COVID-19 websites, healthy and tasty ideas and much more! Learn more

MDH: The agency launched a new campaign this week call #StayConnectedMN. This is a four-week communications plan that aims to address mental health and well-being across Minnesota. There is a free toolkit (and pocket guide free to download as well) to help guide the work for those that participate. Learn more

WellnessMN: The Statewide Healthcare Coordination Center’s Behavioral Health Staff Wellness group is offering “Reaching for a Calm ‘21” Brown Bag series. Event registration, past presentation recordings, and other resources are available on the WellnessMN website.

Professional Development Opportunities

2021 Nonprofit Finance & Sustainability Conference: April 20th & 27th | 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. | $99 – $169
Join the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and Propel Nonprofits for a two-day virtual conference to learn how to proactively respond to the changes and trends impacting Minnesota’s nonprofit sector. You’ll have a chance to hone your skills around data security, accounting, business modeling, and fiscal leadership. Learn more

Bite-Sized Learning: 
Bite-Sized Learning is a free virtual learning series design by MCN’s Greater Minnesota team to keep us connected across the state. Each event will have a short presentation along with plenty of time for networking and discussion on the designated topic. Learn more

Small Family Foundations: April 8th | 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | $89 – $129
Access Philanthropy leads a workshop on how to build and utilize relationships with small family foundations – the largest and fastest-growing segment of institutional philanthropy in Minnesota. Learn more

Relevant Reading

The Best (Free) Tech for Nonprofits: From security to self-care, Flipcause recaps a 30-minutes session from the 2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference on the best free tech tools for nonprofits. Read more

Beyond Digital After COVID-19: Self-Assessment Questions – The NonProfit Times: Michael Silberman, executive director of the Mobilisation Lab, and Hanna Thomas Uose, a principal consultant at Align, serve up questions for leaders and managers to help come out of the Covid-19 crisis even stronger than before. Read more

Creating Affordable Housing Opportunities Means Talking Equity: To attain affordable housing for all, we must build public support by shifting narratives away from consumer choice and personal responsibility. Read more

The Ford Foundation’s Cybersecurity Assessment Tool (CAT) is designed to measure the maturity, resiliency, and strength of an organization’s cybersecurity efforts. We have created this questionnaire with busy nontechnical grant makers, grantee partners, civil society organizations, and nonprofits in mind, and we hope it helps shine some light on a recommended path forward for any organization undertaking a cybersecurity journey. Read more

Quarterly Update

Deadline: 5:00 p.m. on April 2nd, 2021

The impact of the health and economic crisis made it necessary for us to implement a new funding framework, wherein grant allocations will be decided quarterly, based on operating capacity, demand for services, and the essential nature of a given program. Going forward, we will ask our partner agencies to complete a brief report sharing changes and updates to program goals and delivery, which will help the Community Impact Committee continue making informed decisions in this ever-changing landscape.

This year’s reporting has been moved online, which will enable results to be aggregated together. Agencies should fill out the Quarterly Report form once for each United Way-funded program. Note that once an agency representative has started the survey, they will not be able to save it and finish it later; the report must be completed in one session. Below, we’ve made available outlines of the report in PDF and Word Document form so that agencies can prepare in advance. If this request presents added stress to your organization, please call 218-259-9535 or email kimberly@uwlakes.org.

Outlines: Note that this document is not meant to be filled out and submitted, only to help you to prepare for the report in advance if you wish to do so: Report Outline (PDF) | Report Outline (Word)

For more assistance, read our list of tips and FAQs.

Submit Report

United Way Volunteer Recognition Program

Nomination Period: January 15th, 2021 – March 1st, 2021

Each year, United Way recognizes outstanding community members who dedicate their personal time to improving the community in which they live. Agencies are invited to nominate an outstanding volunteer to be considered for the Outstanding Volunteer Awards, presented in March. Winners will be recognized at the United Way Campaign Celebration and Best of Awards.

Agency representatives nominating volunteers should submit the online nomination form using the button below. An outline of the nomination form is available for download, as once beginning the nomination form, it cannot be saved and returned to.

Download outline: Word | PDF

NOMINATE

2019 Award Winners

ElderCircle ─ Sherry Burcar-Flint
Grace House – Nancy Baker
Project Care – Dr. Phillip Imholte, MD
Project Care – Karen Karls


2018 Award Winners

KOOTASCA Community Action – Dee Bretti
Project Care – Suzanne Koprowski


2017 Award Winners

ElderCircle – Anne Anderson
Grace House – Kay Klingman
Habitat for Humanity – Jerry Tinquist
KOOTASCA Crisis Nursery – Vicki Andrews


2016 Award Winners

Bridges Kinship Mentoring – Bigfork Lunch Buddies (Al Gustaveson, Connie Remmers, Krini Alampi, LeeAnn Baker, Mary Ann Starnes, Sandy Lyytinen, and Sue Williams)
ElderCircle – Roberta Truempler
Grace House – Gary Heinzer
Minnesota Youth Council, Greenway High School – Baylie Norris & Hannah Erickson
Support Within Reach – Evelyn Fielding


2015 Award Winners

Advocates for Family Peace – Kole Kalisch, Sam LaDoux and Trent Klatt
Bridges Kinship Mentoring – Grace Derfler
ElderCircle – Gary Wildgrube
Grace House – Carol Kenshcaft
Itasca Youth for Christ – Dan Fiala

COVID-19 Information and Resources

United Way is actively engaged in conversations across our region to learn how we can be best support COVID-19 efforts and serve the ever-changing needs of our community.

Learn More