If I have a contact at United Way of the Columbia-Willamette can I submit a request directly to that staff member?

No, please submit your request through our online submission form only. Find the link here.


Can I submit additional materials with my request?

No, please only answer the application questions provided.


How many projects may I submit requests for?

Only one submission per organization per project will be reviewed during the fiscal year (July 1-June 31). If you have more than one project you wish to submit for please only submit the one you feel is the best aligned with this fund.

What are the review cycles? 

Application Opens August 26th
Application Closes September 30th
Internal Review October
Awards Distributed November
Final Reporting June 30th


What is the grant period? 

Catalyst Grants are 8 month grants. Award decisions will be made in November 2019 and grant contacts will be December 1, 2019 through June 20th, 2020.

Once I have submitted, how long will it take for my request to be reviewed?

Internal review of requests will take place the month after the submission period has ended with awards disbursed the month following review. If your request was no successful, you may not apply again until the next fiscal year. See table above for details. 


Can I apply multiple times for the same project in consecutive years?

Once a project has been awarded funding, you cannot apply for catalyst funds again for that same project. The same organization can apply consecutive years for different projects, or if the project was not funded, you can apply again in consecutive or subsequent years.


How do we define an improvement to a system or in network capacity?

Awards will be made for projects/efforts which seek to positively impact their community by advancing racial equity through at least one of the following:

  • Supporting individual and/or systemic advocacy
  • Improving networks’/systems’ effectiveness in supporting communities
  • Supporting opportunities for knowledge building


Do you provide feedback for denied proposals?

We do our best to provide feedback on proposals when requested. However, due to the streamlined process for catalyst review the ability to provide specific feedback is often limited.


My project took longer than expected or is ongoing. Can I re-apply for additional funding?

No, once a project has been awarded Catalyst funding it is no longer eligible to apply for funds in the future. The Catalyst Fund is designed to be one time investments to initiate or strengthen a project or program.

In rare cases, we might invite proposals for projects that are ongoing or need additional support to apply for additional investment through a separate process. These Continued Support Funds are by invitation only and are determined based on their strategic alignment with United Ways agenda to break the cycle of childhood poverty in our region.


Are there some examples of previous Catalyst Fund projects/efforts?

Yes, you can find examples of previous and/or currently funded projects here: https://www.unitedway-pdx.org/catalyst-fund