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Community Investment Process

United Way of Greater Portland’s Community Investment Process

United Way of Greater Portland (UWGP) is one of 228 organizations that has embraced Thrive2027, our community’s 10-year effort to achieve measurable progress in the areas of education, financial stability, and health. In addition to serving as the backbone support, UWGP is playing its part in ensuring the success of Thrive2027 by utilizing strategies such as public policy, community engagement, and financial support, including investment toward direct services and other community initiatives.

The community investment process kicks off with an open request for proposals in January with a focus on community programs, initiatives, and collaborations that will have a measurable impact on the Thrive2027 Goals. The process is a competitive process in which nonprofits bring forward their best work connected to strategies and target populations that will have the greatest impact on the Thrive2027 goals.

Investment decisions are made based on the advice and direction of community members in the areas of education, financial stability, and health in Greater Portland. Corporate donors, community leaders, individuals from philanthropic and community organizations, and others carefully study each request for funding and support, and select the local programs that best align with Thrive2027’s strategies and have the highest performance outcomes to help us achieve our community’s goals.

In this competitive process, it is no small task to identify the combination of programs that will create the greatest movement toward achieving our community goals. More than 45 volunteers, with the support of our Community Impact Team, spend hundreds of hours determining which programs best align with our strategies to achieve Thrive2027 and will create the most lasting impact in our community. 

“After three years of careful planning and collaboration with our community partners, we’ve shifted to funding efforts that deliver on Thrive2027, our community’s goals,” said Liz Cotter Schlax, President & CEO, United Way of Greater Portland. “And this change, while transformational, rests on the foundation of a United Way that has always been willing to stretch and change toward the needs of the community.”

Today, United Way of Greater Portland is more deeply engaged with its community, is co-creating community-based change strategies with a wider diversity of people and organizations, and is bringing the community together around a common vision, a common agenda, and a common path forward.