Community Grants


Capital Area United Way fights for the healtheducation and financial stability of every person in every community. Our focus is to create lasting improvements for households in Eaton, Clinton and Ingham counties. We bring together people and organizations to create innovative solutions to complex societal issues. And by raising dollars to invest in the resources that will tackle those issues, we impact more than 120,000 lives every year! 


What We Fund

CAUW invests in programs that demonstrate their ability to improve residents’ lives in one of three categories:


Our grant process is highly competitive and we receive more than 100 full grant proposals each year. Through an exhaustive grant deliberation process, volunteer grant panelists scrutinize each proposal, assess their merits and probabilities of success, and determine which programs will receive investment from United Way. Funded programs are required to report back to United Way every six months on their progress to ensure they are using donor dollars appropriately and are on target to meet their outcomes of helping residents. Unfortunately, many programs do not receive grant funding in a given year because the number of requests far exceeded the total funds available and not all proposals demonstrate merit. Remember also, during the annual fundraising campaign more than 1,000 nonprofits receive money directly from donors, so the number of organizations that receive money because of United Way’s fundraising efforts reaches into the thousands.

Agencies interested in how our grant process works should contact Robin Ross at for more information.

Since 2017, CAUW has been researching the community to determine the most pressing current issues of local residents. More than 200 local residents, community leaders and human service professionals were interviewed and surveyed. While health, education and financial stability remained the top needs in our community, CAUW heard from clients and providers as well as requests for greater and meaningful interagency collaborations among health and human service nonprofits in the tri-county area. We know that to solve resident's issues, not just provide a specific resource, the community must wrap around an individual or household and work on numerous issues at once. Our goal with the three priority areas is to increase and support interagency collaborative efforts in tackling individuals and household's multi and complex issues.

At the launch of our new collaborative funding model, six coalitions applied for funding! Four were determined by the volunteer panels to deserve investment due to their ability to demonstrate a plan for specific goals, outcomes and measurable impact. We invite you to read more about these collaboratives by clicking on the “Education” or “Financial Stability” buttons.

Dozens of volunteers participate in evaluating grant proposals annually and determine which programs offer the best opportunities to create success for local residents. If you are interested in participating in this grant funding process, please email Robin Ross at

To log-in for Volunteer Grant Reviewer, click HERE


To view the 2021 Access to Health Volunteer Reviewer ZOOM Training held on Wednesday, April 14, 2021, click HERE.