The following is a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) regarding UWRI’s 2016 grant cycle. We’ll add to this list as the non-profit community asks questions regarding the three funding categories: Piloting Promising Practices, Providing Operational Supports, and Scaling up for Success.
What is different in this UWRI funding cycle from the previous funding cycle?
There are a number of key differences between UWRI’s last grant cycle and the 2016 grant cycle. We listened to feedback that we received from previous grant cycles to craft these changes. The differences include:
Last grant cycle
2016 grant cycle
|No letter of intent process||Letter of intent process|
|RFPs based on issue areas||RFPs based on type of project (pilot, sustain, or scale)|
|UWRI staff recruited volunteer reviewers||Volunteer reviewers applied through an open application process|
|Specific funding amounts for each funding category||UWRI will fund the highest-rated proposals, regardless of category|
|No cap on amount an agency could request||There are caps on amounts that agencies can request|
|No indirect policy||12% indirect policy|
|No professional development for applicants||Grant writing, information sessions, and other professional development provided related to the RFP|
|Scoring guidelines not shared with applicants||Scoring guidelines are released with the RFPs|
|Feedback provided if requested||Feedback provided to applicants|
Is this RFP open to any non-profit organization?
UWRI welcomes applications from 501(c)(3) organizations. In particular, UWRI invites the Rhode Island nonprofit community to seek funding that aligns with our strategic plan. We strongly encourage organizations to review that plan, the RFPs, and the scoring guidelines to determine whether your organization’s work aligns with ours.
Are for-profit organizations eligible to apply for UWRI funding?
While for-profit organizations can be noted as partners in the application, UWRI will only fund non-profit organizations.
Can a nonprofit organization apply for more than one category of funding?
Organizations may apply to multiple funding categories; however, they can only apply for one funding category per program within the organization. For instance, if an organization runs an adult education program and a financial literacy program, it may submit one application for each program. However, it may not apply for a single program in two separate funding categories.
Is collaboration a requirement or a suggestion?
Collaboration will be a required outcome of the grant, one in which UWRI will help grantees develop strong partnerships through providing the funds, technical assistance, and other resources that will make collaboration successful. UWRI asks that organizations identify current and potential partners, in addition to noting why that partnership will help better serve the population they reach. These will be scored according to the scoring guidelines. UWRI will also offer professional development and capacity building opportunities to grantees and occasional workshops on collaboration to the nonprofit sector.
Will internal collaborations within large organizations count towards UWRI requirements?
Data and evaluation are a key focus of these grants. What will UWRI do to support evaluation efforts?
UWRI will provide professional development, technical assistance and information regarding the evaluation tools to successful applicants. UWRI also encourages grantees to consider their partners, the types of data they collect and how they measure impact with the goal of encouraging agencies with similar missions to share evaluation tools.
What is the Volunteer Grant Review Committee?
UWRI relies on the judgment of volunteer reviewers to submit program grant recommendations to its Board of Directors for funding decisions. In preparation for this grant cycle, UWRI conducted an open application process to identify volunteers from across the state who are committed to their communities and prepared to participate in an intensive volunteer training and review process.
How will UWRI strive toward equity of funding among organizations of varying sizes?
In order to ensure that reviewers are able to fairly evaluate proposals from organizations of all sizes and stages of program or project development, separate groups of volunteers will be assigned to read and assess proposals from large organizations (those with budgets greater than or equal to $1,000,000) and small organizations (those with budgets less than $1,000,000).
What is UWRI’s indirect rate policy?
Applicants may request that up to 12 percent of their grant be used to fund organizational capacity not directly related to the program or project proposed. This indirect support may be used for fundraising, finance and administration, human resources, information technology, costs associated with the organization’s location, or other functions necessary to the organization to execute the grant. United Way will not entertain proposals that request more than 12 percent of the grant for indirect support.
Will UWRI award grants for capital projects or expenses?
Where can I find the Letter of Intent Submission Guide?
The submission guide can be found in the Library section of the agency portal. Once logged in to the system, users will see Library on the left side of the page. In addition to the Submission Guide, this section includes RFPs, the LIVE UNITED 2020 plan, and scoring guidelines.
Do I have to apply for the full amount of funding in a given fund?
No. You can apply for up to the cap in that fund, but organizations should prepare budgets that reflect the needs of the program. While we have set caps, organizations do not need to apply for the full amount up to the cap.
Are tax-exempt public schools eligible to apply, or would they need to apply with a 501(c)(3) partner as the fiscal agent?
The preference is for the lead applying organization to be a nonprofit organization. However, in special cases, such as the district serving as a fiscal agent for a COZ or other program, a school district may apply.
If I missed the information sessions, where can I find the presentation?
UWRI has recorded an information session. Check it out.
Should applying agencies submit outcomes for the first year or over three years?
Agencies should submit outcomes for both year one and year three.
Should applying agencies submit a budget for the first year of the grant only?
Yes. UWRI expects budgets for year one only as the budgets of future grantees may change year to year and according to the progress of the project or program.