Civic Engagement & Advocacy Fund Application

Through the Civic Engagement and Advocacy Fund, United Way will invest in organizations committed to racial equity and deepening their involvement in civic engagement and advocacy. Examples of potential projects may include, but are not limited to:

  • Base Building and Leadership Development
  • Advocacy
  • Capacity Building

How to Apply

Organizations interested in applying for funds must complete the following application form online by Monday, July 1st at 5:00pm:

Apply Here

If you have any questions about this grant contact Laurin Bello at The application is a short form designed to provide United Way and the Review Committee with information about each organization’s leadership and goals, as well as details about what work your organization would like to advance with these funds. 

Review Process

A Review Committee of community members working in Clark, Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties will assist United Way staff in the grantmaking review and decision process. The Review Committee includes seven community leaders who will use a shared application scoring guide  to help determine how well applications are in alignment with the Civic Engagement & Advocacy Fund. Review Committee members are being compensated for their time.

Eligibility Criteria

Organizations interested in this grant opportunity must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Are duly registered nonprofits with a 501c3 tax status or fiscally sponsored.
  • Serve in any of the four counties where United Way of Columbia-Willamette operates including Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington in Oregon and Clark County in Washington.
  • Have an annual operating budget of under $2 million.

Additional Considerations

Applicants with some of the following characteristics will be more competitive in this process:

  • Programs that are similar to the program areas at United Way. These include Disaster Resilience, Early Learning, Housing Stability and Volunteerism/Community Service. For more detail on these four areas, please visit our website at
  • Culturally specific and culturally responsive organizations. Culturally responsive organizations typically refer to organizations that possess the knowledge and capacity to respond to the issues of diverse, multicultural communities at multiple intervention points. Culturally responsive organizations affirmatively adopt and integrate the cultural and social norms and practices of the communities they serve. These organizations seek to comprehensively address internal power and privilege dynamics throughout their service delivery, personnel practices and leadership structure.
  • Commitment to deepen work in civic engagement & advocacy.
  • Clear and specific strategies to reach, engage and support people of color.
  • Clear and realistic plans given capacity, time, and budget.


  1. How do I know if my program or project qualifies for this grant?  
    • The Civic Engagement & Advocacy Fund Overview and the Application Questions provide details on eligibility as well as review process.  Interested applicants should review all materials before applying.  Four main criteria will be used to determine which applicants are most competitive:
      • Alignment with Fund Purpose: Proposal meets the United Way Civic Engagement & Advocacy Fund purpose and 2024 focus
      • Project Clarity Feasibility: Proposed project has clear and realistic plans given the organization's capacity and available time, including project timeline, execution plan, etc.
      • Connection with United Way Current Areas of Focus: Organization or proposal is connected to United Way’s focus areas of Housing Stability, Early Learning Education, Disaster Resilience, Community Service.
      • Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Organization has strategies to serve Black, Indigenous and People of Color, has staff and board reflective of these communities and commitment to advance diversity, equity and inclusion).
  2. Can organizations with reach or presence outside of Southwest Washington & Oregon apply?
    • Funds must be utilized for programs, services or projects within the four United Way’s current geographic service areas: Clackamas, Multnomah & Washington counties in Oregon, as well as Clark County, Washington. Organizations with broad geographic reach can apply but the focus of the funded work must serve communities within the counties listed above.
  3. If awarded funds, how will United Way transfer funds to awardees?
    • In order for United Way to transfer funds electronically, awardees will be asked to submit a W9 form, complete a United Way Direct Deposit form and submit a voided check.
  4. When will funds be made available to awarded organizations? 
    • Each awardee will receive a United Way grant agreement that will need to be completed before United Way can make funds available in August 2024.
  5. Can funds be allocated outside of the grant period?
    • One year awards can be used between August 2024 and July 2025; and through July  2026 for two year awards. Organizations can request timeline extensions however all organizations must submit reporting and updates throughout the grant period.

Stay connected with us, sign up for our newsletter!