United Way of Dane County Funding Opportunities 


United Way of Dane County 2025-2026 Impact Grants 

Application period: 4/1/24 – 5/17/24   

The application period for the Impact Grant is now closed. Please continue to check back on this page for additional funding opportunities.

Please email impact@uwdc.org with questions about this opportunity. 

United Way of Dane County is excited to announce the Request for Proposals for its next investment cycle. We are offering approximately $2-3 million to support Community Impact grants; funding is provided yearly contingent on the results of our Community Fundraising Campaign.   

We are looking to support organizations whose work aligns with United Way of Dane County’s Plan for Community Well-Being. We are looking to invest in organizations whose work and vision align to the goal to measurably increase individual and family well-being so that every person in Dane County leads a healthy, thriving and secure life that meets their own defined goals, and that is not impacted by experiences of systemic racism, discrimination and poverty. 

United Way of Dane County recognizes that working on our community’s biggest social problems requires longer term investments and therefore Impact Grants awarded through this process will be 2 year grant commitments, pending results of our Community Campaign each year, from January 1, 2025 – December 31, 2025, and January 1, 2026 through December 31, 2026.   

This Request for Proposals (RFP) encourages organizations doing outstanding work in Youth Opportunity, Financial Security and Healthy Communities to apply for funding aligning to our collective vision. We have an open, competitive application process that identifies which organizations will have the greatest impact in helping us reach our community goals.  



United Way of Dane County is pleased to announce the availability of $25,000 in grant funding through its 2024 Micro-Investment Grants Initiative.  

Through this initiative, one-time grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded to grassroots organizations: community groups, nonprofit agencies, faith-based organizations and others who propose projects to support the goals and strategies identified by residents of the Harmony Apartments in Madison, WI.  

The application for Micro-Investment funding has closed. Check back for more information on the next phase of funding, or email impact@uwdc.org.


FEMA Emergency Food and Shelter Program 

Approximately once a year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) allocates funds to local jurisdictions around the country to support its Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP). United Way of Dane County is a designated leader in convening a local board that makes funding decisions at the County level to eligible nonprofits that provide services to those in need of food, shelter, and/or rental assistance. The process requires interested nonprofits to complete a grant application; the local board reviews all applications and determines how to best allocate the current funding provided by FEMA. 

The application for FEMA EFSP Phase 41 funding has closed. Check back soon for more information on the next phase of funding, or email impact@uwdc.org


By Youth for Youth (BYFY) 

By Youth for Youth (BYFY) is a collaborative program with UW-Madison, United Way of Dane County, the City of Madison, and Dane County that has occurred annually since 1993. High school students from across Dane County work together to identify issues that affect youth, review and evaluate grant applications, and award funds to youth-designed or youth-serving projects in Dane County.  

If you are interested in participating on the youth team, applications open in September of each year. If you are interested in applying for funding, grant applications open in December of each year. Click here for more information. 


2024 Foundation-Loaned Executive Grants 

Nonprofit agencies, community organizations, and faith-based groups are encouraged to apply for up to $5,000 in funding from the United Way Foundation-Loaned Executive Grants program. This is an annual grant program made possible by United Way of Dane County Foundation’s interest earnings. Each year the program adopts a different focus, the 2024 program designed to combat family homelessness and housing insecurity, to help applying organizations more effectively fulfill their missions and create change in Dane County.  

2024 Foundation-Loaned Executive Grants RFP
2024 Foundation-Loaned Executive Grants Application

Proposals are due July 15, and will be recommended for investments by the 2024 United Way Loaned Executive class, which will go to the United Way Board of Directors for approval. 


State Employees Combined Campaign (SECC) & Other Combined Campaigns 

State Employees Combined Campaign (SECC) is the workplace giving campaign that includes all Wisconsin state employees, University of Wisconsin employees, and UW Hospital and Clinics employees. Individual non-profit organizations are not allowed to contact or solicit employees in these workplaces on their own. They can, however, be included in the State’s annual fundraising campaign if they are affiliated with an umbrella organization like United Way of Dane County. Umbrella organizations apply on behalf of their affiliates to be listed in the public sector campaign materials through a defined process that is run by state employees.  

Eligible 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations can affiliate with United Way of Dane County to join the SECC – Dane County campaign, also known as Partners in Giving, as well as the Dane County Employees, City of Madison Employees, Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD), and Madison College Combined Campaigns.  

Each nonprofit organization will be screened by United Way staff and the SECC Eligibility Committee to determine that it: 

  • is a charitable organization; 
  • is a member of an umbrella organization that participates in the state campaign; 
  • uses the funds contributed by state employees for the announced purposes; 
  • submits a copy of an IRS certificate showing that it is a tax-exempt, non-profit organization under Section 501 (c) (3); 
  • has registered with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions and filed annual reports; 
  • has a detailed annual budget prepared and approved at the beginning of each fiscal year by its board of directors; 
  • follows accepted fundraising practices; 
  • has a formal policy and procedure of non-discrimination; 
  • prepares an annual report that is available to the general public, includes a full description of its charities, identifies the types of solicitation it uses to obtain contributions, names its chief administrative personnel, and fully discloses the sources and uses of contributions. 
  • has furnished information with a certification by an independent certified public accountant showing that it follows standards of accounting and a financial system that is based on generally accepted accounting principles. 

Nonprofit organizations must also operate within and serve residents of Dane County in order to affiliate with United Way of Dane County. 

The process to submit materials to be included in the next calendar year’s campaigns begins each November. Contact impact@uwdc.org to learn more and to find out if your organization may be eligible to join.