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Community Investment Process: Accountability of your Dollars

UWGP is one of hundreds of organizations that has embraced Thrive2027, our community’s 10-year effort to achieve measurable progress in the areas of education, financial stability, and health. 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 that help achieve Thrive2027 Goals.The community investment process kicks off with an open request for proposals in January. The process is competitive, in which nonprofits and collaboratives bring forward their best work connected to strategies that will have the greatest impact on the Thrive2027 Goals.
Investments to community partners are made based on expert advice and under the direction of local volunteers in the areas of education, financial stability, and health in Greater Portland. These volunteers include community leaders and representatives of key corporate partners.
More than 45 volunteers, with the support of UWGP staff, devote more than 600 collective hours determining which programs best support the strategies to achieve Thrive2027 Goals.

After three years of careful planning and collaboration with our community partners, UWGP shifted from funding programs based on their ability to deliver on the agency’s mission to funding programs based on their ability to deliver on Thrive2027, the community’s goals. 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, UWGP is more deeply engaged with our community, is co-creating community-based change strategies with a wider diversity of people and organizations, and is bringing our community together around a common vision, a common agenda, and a common path forward.


The Fiscal Year 2020 application’s deadline has passed.

As a United Way, we serve Greater Portland (Cumberland County minus Brunswick and Harpswell). Applicants must serve the community in these areas. Other eligibility criteria include:

  • The lead organization must be a non-profit 501(c)(3), a public school, a municipal entity, an Indian Tribal government or can demonstrate a legal relationship with an established 501(c)(3) acting as our fiscal agent.
  • The program must be doing work that demonstrates progress toward the Thrive2027 Goals.
  • All partners named in the application must operate consistent with applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and ordinances, and comply with the UWGP’s counter-terrorism compliance agreement as outlined in the application.

All UWGP community investment applicants are required to demonstrate a commitment to help impact the Thrive2027 Goals by identifying the specific contribution, effort, or action they will make, including:

  • Data-driven program activities and evidence-based best practices or promising practices, that are based in research; and
  • Measurable impact on Thrive2027 Goals Framework Strategies demonstrated through performance measures.

All UWGP community investment applicants are strongly encouraged to collaborate with various community partners, and:

  • Demonstrate a plan to collaborate with at least one community partner to share data around one or more shared or complementary performance measures; and/or
  • Articulate different approaches to working together to leverage and increase impact.

Please note that this is not a complete list of requirements. We will provide a complete list of requirements during the application period.