United Way of Rhode Island is accepting applications for the Rhode Island Recovers Opportunity Grants. United Way has committed $600,000 to provide operational support for local nonprofits helping their communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants, of up to $25,000 for six months of support, will be awarded to nonprofits working on issues such as workforce development, expanded learning, financial stability, and housing. 

This request for proposals (RFP) will prioritize: 

  • Efforts that are led by or benefit communities of color or other vulnerable populations. 
  • Nonprofits with limited access to philanthropic support. 
  • Communities most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Grant Period 

This grant cycle is July 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020. 

Anticipated Grant Amounts

$5,000 – $25,000


Applicants must provide the following documentation: 

  • An IRS issued letter of determination of 501(c)[3] status or have a fiscal agent with 501(c)[3] status. 
  • A current IRS Form 990. 
  • A copy of their most recent audit/review and management letter. o An agency with an annual expenditure of over $500,000 must have an audit prepared by an independent certified public accountant. 
  • An agency with an annual expenditure under $500,000 may submit unaudited financial statements, along with a letter from their board of directors (chair or treasurer) outlining their financial management processes and acknowledging their fiduciary responsibility. 
  • The most recent audit/review must have been completed nine months after the end of the applicant’s fiscal year. 
  • In a calendar year, the most recent audit/review should be for the year ending December 31, 2019. In a fiscal year ending June 30, 2020, the most recent audit/review should be for the year ending June 30, 2019. 
Process and Timeline 

Proposals will be reviewed by a committee comprised of United Way staff and volunteer members of the Community Investment Committee. Using a scoring rubric, the review committee will evaluate proposals and submit their recommendations to the Community Investment staff.

United Way may reach out to hold follow-up phone calls with applicants, if necessary. Please be sure to include up-to-date contact information in the grant application. Applicants will be notified of funding decisions on June 30, and grant awards will begin in July.

Proposal Submissions 

Begin the application process: 

  • Visit our website to access the online portal. Access requests will be accepted until 5 p.m on Tuesday, June 16, 2020.
  • Submit your proposal by 1 p.m. on Wednesday, June 17, 2020.

Interested in applying but need more information?

If you would like to meet with the Community Investment team to discuss the application process, please email with your availability and a team member will schedule a time.

Timeline (all dates 2020)
June 2 Rhode Island Recovers RFP opened to the public. 
June 5 – 8 Rhode Island Recovers virtual information sessions.
June 17 Proposal submission deadline. 
June 18 – 29 Follow-up phone calls (if needed).
June 30 Applicants notified of decisions and contracts signed.
July – December Grant period.
January 31 Grant reports due.

Thank you for partnering with United Way of Rhode Island to help strengthen our communities. For more information, please contact Larry Warner.