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Proposal Review


All completed applications will be assessed through a competitive review process. The review process will include a formal proposal review and a review of submitted reports in 2018 for currently funded partners. The process is as follows:

One: Proposal Review Committees
  • A committee of community volunteers, with subject-matter expertise in the impact area, reviews proposals and provides the first set of funding allocation recommendations.

  • The Proposal Review Committees first attend a 3-hour orientation to learn about the agencies summiting proposals, United Way goals and funding priorities, and the proposal scoring process.

  • The next step is the proposal review. The committees each spend several weeks reading and scoring proposals, during which time organizations may be asked to provide additional information per committee requests.

  • The final step is allocation recommendations. Committee members each submit proposal scores, remarks and individual funding recommendations. The committee then meets to determine a final set of recommendations, which is provided to the United Way Board of Directors.

Two: Community Impact Committee
  • After each Proposal Review Committee submits its funding recommendations, the proposals go to the Community Impact Committee for review.

  • The Community Impact Committee is a group comprised of Board Members and professionals working in health, education, housing, or poverty reduction, who meet regularly to identify evidence-based practices and programs that will achieve UWDGCO outcomes. The Committee provides strategic direction for community impact, and ensures that UWDGCO resource allocation, advocacy, and programmatic strategies are in alignment with organizational objectives.

  • The Community Impact Committee also establishes funding priorities, provides direction on the allocation of resource investments, and measures the results of our funded partner activities to best position the UWDGCO in meeting our community impact goals.

  • The Community Impact Committee annually reviews all partner organization funding proposals, and makes funding allocation recommendations for each goal area. The recommendations of the Community Impact Committee go to the full UWDGCO Board of Directors for final vote and approval.

Three: United Way Board of Directors
  • After all committees have offered funding recommendations, the Community Impact Director summarizes all proposals, committee feedback, proposal scores and recommendations in a presentation to the United Way Board of Directors.

  • The Board considers all sets of recommendations, and determines final allocations by vote.

  • All funding decisions made by the United Way Board of Directors are final. There is no appeal process.

An agency may be contacted if additional information or clarification is needed at any time throughout the review process.  Funding decisions will be communicated in mid-October, 2018.

Proposal Scoring

The accuracy and completeness of your organization’s proposal are critical to United Way volunteers’ ability to conduct a fair and thorough review. It is the goal of the Grant Review Committees to fund the strongest and best programs, identified through a competitive review process whereby applications are scored using a standardized rubric so that all applicants are evaluated on common criteria.

The following criteria is used to score proposals, with a maximum score of 100 points:

Proposed program narrative – 40 points total

  • Does the Case for Change clearly provide a clear articulation of the local community need, with local data and an evidence-base to support stated facts or assumptions, that meets a United Way community impact goal?
  • Does the Target Population focus on those most impacted or disproportionally affected, as demonstrated by evidence, and serve all people in Douglas County with inclusivity and without discrimination?
  • Does the Implementation Strategy include a clear description of program activities, utilizing evidence based practice intervention strategies, that will achieve the Collective Impact Goal?
  • Does the proposed program design include Collaboration, including meaningful participation by impacted communities and/or clients, to improve short and long-term outcomes?

Performance Measures – 30 points total

  • Does the Logic Model include clearly defined inputs, activities, outputs, short and long-term outcomes, and indicators in a way that is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and transformative for the community?
  • Do the Evaluation and Assessment strategies utilize validated tools, and include an ongoing and specific evaluation plan?

Budget – 15 points total

  • Does the Budget Form accurately reflect all revenue and expenses, with correct arithmetic for clients served and cost per service?
  • Are the funds requested a good Utilization of Community Funds that are in-line with fair market value, essential to service delivery, and a good use of funds to maximize community impact?

Good Stewardship of Community Funds – 15 points total

  • Does the proposed program offer Unique Services that meet a community need without duplication?
  • Does the organization have a positive history with Reporting and Accountability in providing funder reports with clear data to demonstrate program effectiveness?
  1. Have someone unaffiliated with your strategy read the proposal for clarity, spelling, grammar, and explanation of acronyms.
  2. Write for the reader unfamiliar with your strategy.
  3. Coordinate with all staff involved with writing the proposal for consistency (budget, narrative, etc.).
  4. Brevity and clarity are strongly encouraged.
  5. Cite all research articles and other sources of evidence.