Each year, United Way utilizes volunteers to play a crucial role in the grant process. Grant Readers review Community Impact Fund applications and make funding recommendations to the UWSLOC Board of Directors in order to carry out the spirit of United Way's mission and to ensure a fair and equitable means for distributing funds raised.
- Participate in the volunteer training/orientation meeting
- Become familiar with United Way grant policies and implement them through the decision-making process
- Review assigned grant applications
- Attend panel meetings (including site visits, if applicable)
- Maintain objectivity and confidentiality
- Make informed decisions using the criteria established by the Community Impact Committee
- Make funding recommendations to United Way’s Community Impact Committee
A panel member should have: an interest in health and human services; sound decision-making skills; adequate time to devote to scheduled meetings and responsibilities; and a willingness to fairly and objectively represent donors, consumers and the general community. To avoid a conflict of interest, a volunteer panel member must not have an affiliation with an agency applying for funds under the panel on which he/she participates. Affiliation with an agency includes:
- Volunteer, employee, consultant, or board member of applicant agency within the last three years
- Current or past relationship with the agency that would have the appearance of a vested interest in the agency’s funding by United Way
A familial relationship to anyone currently serving on the agency’s Board of Directors, or to anyone currently serving as a volunteer, consultant or employee of the agency
Volunteer panel members are asked to keep their deliberations confidential during and following the grant review process.
Volunteers are divided among five grant panels responsible for evaluating proposals from United Way’s impact areas:
- Education - Early Childhood Success and Opportunities for Youth
- Income - Improving Economic Mobility
- Health - Access to Health
- Community Strengthening - Improving Nonprofits Capacity to Serve
- Financial Review Panel (Volunteers assist in review of nonprofits financials)
Panel assignments are determined by each volunteer’s preference, number of applications in each impact area, and indication of conflict of interest with applicants in a particular category.