United Way of Larimer County Announces Equity & Excellence Cohort Program for Grassroots and Community-Led Organizations

United Way of Larimer County (UWLC) will select up to 10 local leaders from grassroots and community-led social impact organizations to participate in its first Equity & Excellence Cohort program from June to December 2022. This opportunity includes a variety of resources and support that will prepare participants for successful grant seeking and management, as well as general operating funds for their organizations.

The program was created in response to a critical opportunity that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic when partnerships between public, private, and nonprofit organizations enabled an effective, efficient response to community needs. The essential role of grassroots and community-led organizations (GCLOs) from historically marginalized communities was especially apparent as our community battled identity-based disparities in access to services and socioeconomic, education, and health outcomes.

However, as state and local agencies reviewed applications for pandemic-related funding support from Larimer County human services providers, it became clear that many grassroots and community-led organizations would benefit from in-depth support to develop the organizational infrastructure needed to successfully compete for and manage government funds.

The seven-month Equity & Excellence Cohort Program will provide group training and 1:1 technical assistance from an experienced consultant with expertise in securing and managing federal funds. Participants will meet with the consultant at the start of the program to determine the specific areas of focus to be included in the curriculum to ensure it meets their unique needs. United Way of Larimer County’s Nonprofit Excellence program staff will provide additional support and will work closely with United Way’s partners in state, county, and municipal governments and private grant-making organizations to ensure alignment with standards and requirements applicable to the participating organizations.

“This cohort is such an exciting opportunity – not only for our nonprofit sector but for our entire community,” said Morgan Vanek, Director of Nonprofit Excellence at United Way of Larimer County. “The benefits of investing in grassroots and community-led organizations are clear, and we are thrilled about the opportunity to leverage our funding through this innovative program and support these organizations on their path to positive, sustainable impact in Larimer County.”

There is no cost to participate in the cohort. Because many GCLOs are operated by unpaid volunteers or part-time staff, participants will be compensated to reduce any potential financial barriers to participation. United Way of Larimer County has also allocated $120,000 through its Equity & Excellence Fund to provide general operating grants for selected organizations.

United Way’s Equity Advisory Committee, comprised of community members with lived experience and professional expertise in advancing equity, will evaluate proposals and determine which applicants will be selected to participate in the cohort, and will determine the funding award amounts across the 10 selected organizations. The deadline to submit an application is April 15th at 11:59 pm. Applications may be submitted at: uwaylc.org/equity-excellence-cohort-program.

United Way of Larimer County (UWLC) is a one-stop resource for generosity in our community, ensuring that gifts of time, talent, and treasure address today’s greatest needs – and reduce tomorrow’s. Community needs change over time, which is why UWLC encourages nimble and innovative human services and a commitment to nonprofit excellence. United Way strives to strengthen our community by supporting youth & education, financial stability, community engagement, and nonprofit excellence in Larimer County. To learn more about United Way of Larimer County, and how you can get involved with your community, visit uwaylc.org.

To learn more about United Way of Larimer County’s grant funding process, visit uwaylc.org/Grant-Process.

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