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2019 Community Investments

In 2017, the United Way Board of Directors made a strategic decision to align our resources and engage our community around a single guiding focus: to ensure that children in Lane County can be successful in school and life. This decision was based on an extensive, yearlong effort to hear from stakeholders, residents and community leaders. Through surveys and listening sessions, we heard loud and clear that the community sees investing in children as the single greatest opportunity to “move the needle” on persistent social challenges. We are responding to this call by investing 100% of our Live United funds into programs and initiatives that benefit the long-term success of children and youth. 

Of course, ensuring children’s success also means paying attention to the conditions that surround them. We are committed to taking a holistic approach to improve the lives of children, reflected in our four Outcome Areas:

  1. Families are healthy and stable.
  2. Children enter kindergarten ready to learn.
  3. Students are successful in elementary school.
  4. Youth gain the knowledge, skills, and credentials to create a pathway to productivity.

We recognize that complex challenges cannot be resolved by a single organization or program. For that reason, we have begun to restructure United Way of Lane County’s work to reflect the concept of Collective Impact: collaborative, cross-cutting partnerships between organizations that adopt a common agenda, agree to measure their impact in a shared framework and ensure that their activities are mutually supportive and reinforcing. The Collective Impact model has achieved significant results both locally and nationally on major issues like grade-level reading campaigns, homelessness prevention initiatives, and public health campaigns.

Our 2019 Community Investment grant awards are built around three complementary goals: Transformation, Support, and Innovation.

Underpinning all of these awards is United Way’s commitment to advancing equity through all of our work. For United Way, working towards equity means eliminating the predictability of success and failure that correlates with any social or cultural factor. We believe that every child must have the unique and necessary resources they need to be successful in school and life.

We invite you to join us in our effort to build a stronger community for our children by sharing your proposals for a Community Investment award.


Click here to download the 2019 Investment Framework 

Eligibility & Definitions


Community Transformation Awards – Open Now

Letters of Inquiry accepted from July 16th – August 15th

Download Transformation Letter of Inquiry

Download Letter of Criteria


Community Support Awards – open September 3rd  

Letters of Inquiry accepted from September 3rd – October 1st


Community Innovation Awards – open January 1st 2019

Proposals accepted from January 1st-January 31st 2019


Frequently Asked Questions

How did United Way develop the new Community Investment framework?

The Community Investment framework represents the result of a yearlong deliberative process that involved listening sessions with agency partners, guidance from our volunteer Community Investment Steering Committee, conversations with other United Ways, and discussion by our Board of Directors.

Is United Way now only investing in programs that directly serve children?

United Way recognizes that fostering success for children and youth means working to improve the conditions that surround them, including parents, families, schools, homes, neighborhood, and systems of care. We are committed to taking a holistic approach to improving the lives of children.

Can United Way provide guidance on which award our organization should apply for?

United Way is offering numerous grant information sessions in summer 2018.

For more information about these sessions, contact

Who makes decisions about how funding is allocated?

Grant proposals are reviewed by volunteer community members who have the expertise or lived experience in the United Way’s Outcome Areas. Volunteer panels make recommendations to the Community Investment Steering Committee, and the board of directors makes final funding decisions based on available resources.

When is the application deadline, and when does funding begin?

Each award has its own deadline (see the 2019 Investment Framework below). Funding will begin on July 1st, 2019.


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