Request for Proposals

For 93 years, United Way of Rhode Island (UWRI) has connected Rhode Islanders with the resources they need to change their lives. We believe that Rhode Islanders want to help themselves and their families; by collaborating with partners and investing in proven programs, we provide them with the tools necessary to succeed.


UWRI is accepting applications for our Equity Opportunity Grants, which are supported through the Community Impact Fund. We award one-year grants, of up to $35,000, to agencies that promote equity by advancing financial stability opportunities for marginalized and vulnerable Rhode Islanders.

Funding Catagories

Program and project proposals made by Rhode Island-based nonprofit agencies, coalitions, and groups will be considered if they address at least one of the following areas for people in marginalized and vulnerable communities:

  1. Employment:
    • Equity seeks to ensure everyone has the opportunity to achieve optimal outcomes. However, some individuals face barriers to employment, which prevents their financial stability.
    • Proposals in this area must remove systemic barriers to employment through education, advocacy, and direct services.
  2. Evidence-based supports:
    • For disadvantaged and marginalized individuals and communities, promoting equity at times means providing more than routine direct services.
    • Proposals in this area must provide evidence-based wrap-around services that support financial stability through workforce development activities, or by increasing access to financial capital for hard-to-bank individuals.
  3. Housing:
    • High housing costs make it difficult for individuals with lower incomes to save money, purchase a home, or invest in education. In addition, housing instability and homelessness make it difficult to keep a job or attend school.
    • Proposals in this area must engage in systems-level work that addresses the intersection of housing, homelessness, and financial stability.

Core Outcomes Measured

Successful applicants must complete two reports on outcome areas relevant to the proposal during the one-year grant period, such as:

  • Financial Stability.
  • Employment Stability.
  • Housing Stability.

Proposals must include a description of the outputs and outcomes they plan to measure, appropriate targets for each, and their method of measurement.

Outputs: Measures services, products, or touch points resulting from grant-related activities.
Output examples:

  • The number of workshops conducted.
  • The number of people assisted.

Outcomes: Measures changes in knowledge, skills, attitudes, behaviors, or status.
Outcome Examples:

  • Change in the percentage of cost-burdened residents.
  • Change in the percent of residents facing barriers to work.


Rhode Island-based agencies are invited to apply if they:

  • Propose an initiative that is responsive to the focus of this funding opportunity.
  • Can demonstrate expertise in the proposed area of work.
  • Have a letter of determination of 501(c)[3] status from the IRS or have a fiscal agent with 501(c)[3] status.
  • Have a current IRS Form 990.
  • Submit their most recent audited financial statements if required by the state (i.e. annual expenditures over $500,000).

Please note: Agencies with annual expenditures of $500,000 or less may submit unaudited financial statements along with a letter from the board for directors (chair or treasurer) that outlines their financial management processes and acknowledging their fiduciary responsibility)

Proposal Limits
  • An agency can only submit one proposal for this funding opportunity.
  • The maximum request per proposal is $35,000.
  • Funding cannot be requested or used for capital projects.
  • Funding must be utilized between July 1st, 2019 and June 30th, 2020.
  • Preference will be given to projects that are ready for implementation and that address the needs of a marginalized or vulnerable population.

  • The deadline for submitting proposals is 5:00 pm on Tuesday, June 4, 2019.
  • Funding decisions will be announced by Wednesday, June 19, 2019.
  • Funded programs will begin receiving disbursements in July 2019.

Grantee Requirements

If funded, grantee agencies will be required to:

  • Acknowledge UWRI as a funding partner on all promotional materials related to the grant.
  • Complete at least one site visit with UWRI staff to report progress and share successes and challenges during the grant period.
  • Submit a mid-year and final report to UWRI summarizing activities and reporting relevant outcomes.

How to apply
  1. Request access to the application portal: Online Portal Access Request.
  2. Submit your proposal by 5:00 pm on Tuesday, June 4, 2019; late and incomplete proposals will not be considered for funding.
  3. Create or update your organization’s profile in the UWRI 2-1-1 Resource Directory. Profiles must be updated in order to be considered for funding.

For more information, please contact Larry Warner, Director of Grants and Strategic Initiatives.