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United Way of Rhode Island Releases Request for Proposals for Three Funds

PROVIDENCE, RI – United Way of Rhode Island (UWRI) today announced the release of three Requests for Proposals (RFPs) as part of the launch of its 2016-2019 grant cycle. The competitive grant process will award funds for Piloting Promising Practices, Providing Operational Supports, and Scaling Up for Success. The total amount available to be awarded through each fund is $4 million per year. Rhode Island-based nonprofit organizations and consortiums are invited to apply.

The release of UWRI’s RFPs comes on the heels of the organization’s new strategic plan, LIVE UNITED 2020, which has set the goal of changing 250,000 lives by 2020. As part of this comprehensive strategy to provide stability and security to Rhode Islanders and their families, UWRI offers grants to organizations that deliver basic supports and lifelong learning opportunities.

To accomplish the goals of LIVE UNITED 2020, UWRI will fund promising ideas or programs designed to improve the lives of Rhode Islanders, and collaborations of organizations that are advancing cross-sector work. The grant cycle for the RFPs is July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2019. Grant awards will be made on an annual basis, renewable for years two and three, dependent on fund availability and grantee performance. Grant recipients must demonstrate successful achievement of performance indicators and be in sound fiscal standing to be eligible for grant renewals.

Proposals must respond to the goals and desired results outlined in LIVE UNITED 2020, reflecting a results-driven, collaborative approach to serving Rhode Island communities, and that delineate a clear vision for how applying organizations will provide Rhode Islanders with effective, critical services and supports. More specifically, UWRI is focused on achieving the following seven results:

Lifelong Learning

  • Children are prepared for success in school;
  • Young adults are prepared for college and careers; and
  • Adults are prepared for careers.

Supports to Learn and Earn

  • Adults are employed and earning family-sustaining wages;
  • Rhode Islanders are in stable, safe and affordable housing;
  • Rhode Islanders are financially secure; and
  • Rhode Islanders are healthy.

Funding descriptions for each RFP are as follows:

  • Piloting Promising Practices: Funding is available to organizations that are working to contribute to one or more of the seven results identified above by piloting new ideas or collaborations. Consideration will be given to innovative program ideas that have yet to be tested locally, allow agencies to test logistics, demonstrate program value, and identify areas for continued improvement.
  • Scaling Up for Success: The purpose of the Scaling Up for Success fund is to expand the reach of successful program interventions to new or larger populations. UWRI defines “scaling up” as replicating a successful program or project at new geographic locations, or expanding the capacity of existing sits to serve a larger number of participants. Successful applicants are expected to develop plans to sustain the expansion or replication by diversifying funding or identifying new long-term funding sources or models.
  • Providing Operational Supports: UWRI will award funds to sustain operations directly attributable to critical, evidence-based programs or projects. Supported programs will integrate quality improvement efforts, collaboration, and service coordination to increase efficiency and reach. Proposals must demonstrate that the program or project has yielded positive results in the community, and are critical to the success of Rhode Island families.

Those interested in applying for funds must submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) by October 8, 2015, and may do so through UWRI’s online Agency Portal. A username and password are needed to access the portal. Agencies without a username and password may request them here. Current program grantees can access the portal using their existing username and password. Those with questions may contact Jennifer Chapman at

Each LOI will be reviewed by UWRI staff to determine eligibility to submit full proposals. Applicants will be notified of LOI review decisions in early November, and selected applicants will be invited to submit full proposals due December 15, 2015.

Proposals will be reviewed by more than 100 volunteers who will deliver funding recommendations to UWRI’s Board of Directors for approval. Applicants will be notified of funding decisions in March 2016, with awards to successful applicants distributed in July 2016.

UWRI will hold information sessions for the nonprofit community at its office at 50 Valley Street in Providence. It is recommended that each applying organization or consortium send one or more staff members to one of the following RFP information sessions. Registration is accepted online.

  • Monday, September 14, 2015 at 9:00 a.m.
  • Friday, September 18, 2015 at 1:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, September 24, 2015 at 9:00 a.m.
  • Thursday, October 1, 2015 at 4:00 p.m.

For more information or questions, please contact Diana Perdomo, Director of Grants and Strategic Initiatives, at

About United Way of Rhode Island

United Way of Rhode Island (UWRI) has been working to improve the quality of life in Rhode Island for more than 80 years. Together with its partners, UWRI is changing lives and strengthening our communities by investing in proven programs that work over the short-term, and are scalable over the long-term. For more information, visit

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