Since 2005, United Way of Rhode Island (UWRI) has been a proud partner in the statewide Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Campaign. UWRI’s funding for VITA sites is typically provided as part of a comprehensive strategy to meet the immediate needs of Rhode Islanders. United Way invests in a continuum of services designed to create income stability for individuals and families, including a focus on financial stability, affordable housing, and health.
This RFP is for a one-year UWRI Opportunity Grant. We are seeking VITA site proposals in order to expand our VITA efforts throughout the state of Rhode Island. This grant is specifically for agencies interested in starting and maintaining a VITA site for one income tax season commencing in January 2018. Current individual UWRI VITA site grantees are not eligible to apply. Coalitions may apply on behalf of proposed new Coalition member sites.
The VITA program provides low- and middle-income individuals and families with free tax preparation services. During the 2016 tax year:
- Over 13,000 tax returns were filed through the VITA program
- Over $23,000,000 was refunded to RI VITA clients including $7.4 million in Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC)
- Participants saved over $4 million in tax preparation fees
The total amount to be awarded for VITA program sites is $20,000 for one year. Funding will begin in October of 2017 and will be offered for one tax season. Grants will not be renewable, however, based on successful site performance and United Way fund availability; it will be possible to apply for funding again for the 2018 tax season. The VITA site-funding year will be for up to eight months (October–May).
For more information on eligibility, program requirements, and the timeline view the 2017 Request for Proposals for VITA.
How to Apply
Applications for United Way funding are requested through the online agency portal. All agencies interested in applying must request access, and all applicants will be expected to complete the online application questionnaire. All VITA application materials must be submitted through the online application system by the close of business on Tuesday, September 5, 2017.