Frequently Asked Questions: Open Funding Process

The Open Funding Process allows nonprofits to apply for programs that fit their organization's mission and are most effective in meeting the changing needs of our community. With this model, nonprofits have more flexibility to adjust services as the needs of individuals and families change which will benefit of our entire community.

  • Dec. 11, 2023: Letter of Intent to apply for funding opens at 8 a.m.
  • Feb. 20, 2024: Letter of Intent to apply for funding due by noon
  • March 2024: Letters of Intent reviewed, agencies who advance to fill out application are notified
  • Early April 2024: Agencies who advanced from Letter of Intent are trained on filling out application; Application opens
  • June 2024: All applications for new funding model due
  • Fall 2024: Awards determined from applications
  • July 2025: New grants awards under new funding model begin

Entities who partner with United Way of Siouxland will be expected to measure how their work leads to one or more of the following goals (goals will be bold below) under the new process. Priority areas have also been identified as key measures in reaching the identified goals:

  1. Individuals access mental health and addiction resources. 

     - Improve access to affordable treatment and recovery resources through expanded hours and/or delivery methods, thereby increasing participation.
     - Increase access and participation in prevention programming.

  2. Adult learners become more employable and independent in their community.

     - Increase adult literacy instruction and participation.
     - Increase household income through career development opportunities and job training.

  3. Individuals engage in behaviors that improve their health or safety.

     - Promote healthy habits for adults and children to reduce obesity.
     - Increase access to violence and trauma treatment and support services. 

  4. Families access quality childcare and early learning opportunities.

     - Children are assessed ready for kindergarten.
     - Increase safe, affordable, quality childcare slots. (Priority given to infant care and extended hours)

  5. Youth demonstrate grade-appropriate school readiness academically, socially, and emotionally.

     - Help students maintain or improve grade-level reading and math skills.
     - Decrease barriers for children to participate in before and after school activities.
     - Increase school attendance rates.

Each program must address at least one of the five (5) goals. A program may address multiple goals. 

Nonprofit organizations, which primarily serve the Siouxland area, and have held a 501(c)(3) or 170(b)(1) status for a minimum of three (3) years may apply if they meet the eligibility criteria. 

  1. Non-profit organizations for which previous grant compliance issues have not been addressed.
  2. Applications requesting less than $10,000.
  3. Applications for programs requiring religious participation.
  4. Applications for endowment, debt reduction, and event sponsorships.
  5. Applications for funds to directly benefit a specific individual or family.
  6. Projects that were completed prior to the grant application.
  7. Private organizations whose sole purpose is to provide lobbying, environmental, religious, or fundraising activities.
  8. Organizations not supportive of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. 
  9. Non-profit organizations that do not comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations; meet applicable state and local standards for licensing and certification within its specific discipline.
  10. Non-profit organizations with programs or activities which are contrary to the goals, aspirations, and policies of United Way of Siouxland or which are incompatible with the mission of United Way of Siouxland, as determined by its Board of Directors.
  • Non-profit organizations must be located in and provide services to the residents of United Way of Siouxland service area, defined as a 40-mile radius around Sioux City, Iowa.
  • Organizations which primarily serve Plymouth County should apply for funding under the Le Mars United Way unless they have specific programming that serves Woodbury, Union or Dakota County and are not receiving Le Mars United Way support for these services. 
  • Non-profit organizations must be well-established non-profit organizations that have been declared tax exempt by the Internal Revenue Service and have a 501(c)(3) or 170(b)(1) status and had that status affirmed within the past two years.
  • Non-profit organizations must be in existence for at least three years. 
  • Must have identified outcomes and indicators to measure program success and be able to share the process used to collect information and monitor program impact that demonstrates dedication to continuous improvement.
  • Non-profit organizations must have a volunteer board of directors composed of at least five (5) people, must have established bylaws, meet at least quarterly, and maintain minutes of all board meetings.
  • Non-profit organizations must have an annual operating budget; demonstrate financial controls, including a financial control policy, and should be current on all IRS filings and payment of payroll taxes.
  • Organizations must have an annual audit conducted by an independent certified public accountant. For organizations with less than $500,000 in revenue, financial statements must be annually reviewed by an independent public accountant. 
  • Establish and maintain a counterterrorism policy. United Way of Siouxland and United Way Worldwide complies with the U.S. Patriot Act and all other counter terrorism laws. Affirmative action is taken to prevent technical, in-kind, or other resources from inadvertently being used for illegal acts and terrorist activities. 
  • Programs will self-select goal(s) they would like to address based on their ability to align with priorities outlined for each goal.
  • Programs should be based on data and serve our community through evidence based programming that has clearly defined sources and curriculums.  
  • Non-profit organizations must be able to ensure the fidelity of their program.

The funding cycle will last three (3) years. 

Agencies will receive monthly allocations, with payment deposited via ACH.

Yes. Donors will be able to designate to Community Impact goal areas and funded agency programs.   

A Letter of Intent (LOI) is a document stating an agency's intention of wanting to submit an application for funding to United Way of Siouxland. This will be the first step in the new Community Impact grant-making process. The Community Impact committee will review each LOI to determine eligibility. Agencies will outline their programming to demonstrate how funding from United Way of Siouxland specifically supports their ability to affect outcomes related to community goals. Programs that most closely align and meet all eligibility criteria invited to apply. 

Organizations should submit a LOI for their program that best fits within the United Way of Siouxland Goals & Priorities, and that funding for said program would have a major impact on the lives of Siouxlanders. A program may address multiple goals.

If a non-profit organization should choose to apply for an additional program(s), each program would require its own separate LOI. Each program must address at least one of the five (5) goals established by United Way of Siouxland.

Organizations who submit a LOI for their program will be expected to demonstrate how United Way funds would expand the program’s reach and impact beyond existing (non-United Way) support and be able to measure how their work leads to one or more of the United Way of Siouxland Goals. 

Agencies are not guaranteed funding if they advance past the LOI. Agencies will be required to submit a full grant application. Those applications will then be scored, with financial allocations determined by a group of volunteers. 

At the end of the funding cycle, which would be in three years. There is not an appeal process.

Yes. After the Letter of Intent (LOI) process has been completed, there will be a grant orientation training about the application process. 

Source for Siouxland, formerly Comprehensive Strategy, is a collaborative, strategic community planning initiative for Siouxland. United Way of Siouxland serves as the Fiscal Agent for Source For Siouxland.

The initiative has focused its efforts on community planning for positive youth development through data collection, data sharing, early literacy activities, and coordination with community partners to work toward the area's community vision. 

An expanded score was developed to include: five global data indicators, enhanced data analysis, measurement of progress over time, and establishment of an infrastructure to engage the community based on the findings and opportunities. 

Source For Siouxland collects data in five areas: Economic StabilityEducationHealthSafety, and Quality of Life.

Source for Siouxland partners with Growing Community Connections to see what can be done to address the issues in the community found from the indicators. 

Data collected from Source For Siouxland was used to determine areas of focus for United Way of Siouxland in the Open Funding Process.