The United Way, a nonprofit organization with chapters in the United States and across the world, promotes education, income stability and healthy lives for the common good. It functions as an umbrella organization for hundreds of smaller community-based United Way centers. One way local United Way chapters help their communities is by offering grant funding to deserving organizations.

Step 1.

Develop an idea for a program or service that will provide for the common good in health, education, or income stability. A longstanding organization with a successful record and reputation will be able to create a more compelling argument for funding.

Step 2.

Compose a written grant proposal that focuses on the project to be funded, the need for the service that will be provided, and the long-term strategy for achieving specific goals. The United Way is more likely to approve a highly detailed plan.

Step 3.

Contact the local United Way office to learn about procedures for submitting grant proposals and when applications are accepted. United Way chapters are located in many cities and regions, and each chapter serves its own geographic area. The chapter closest to the area to be served under the grant funding will be the most familiar with the needs of the community. In addition, it is a good idea to ask the United Way representatives what they want to see in an application.

Step 4.

Refine the grant proposal after receiving input from your local United Way and submit the application. Many organizations seek funding from the United Way each year, and the organization usually cannot fund them all. If the proposal is rejected, revise it and resubmit it the next year.


Hire an experienced grant writer. Most experienced grant writers can point to a history of successful grant applications.


Gather as much information on the local United Way's specific objectives and particular area of focus in the community and tailor the application to address how these objectives will be supported by the funding.

Things You Will Need
  • Written grant proposal

  • Contact information for local United Way office