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United Way of Greater Portland supports the work of Thrive2027 with our Community Investments. Applicants must be doing work that supports achieving the Thrive2027 Goals. For more information on Thrive2027 visit www.thrive2027.org.

The Fiscal Year 2020 application’s deadline has passed.


Important Information regarding Fiscal Year 2020 funding:

Applicants who have not been historically funded partners of United Way of Greater Portland may apply for funding for work tied to a select group of Thrive2027 strategies.

Additionally, United Way of Greater Portland seeks applications that address the following strategies and target populations due to specific interests of its funders.

Goal 1

Strategy 1.1: Provide expanded access to high quality, nutritious food in neighborhoods, early care and education settings.

  • Programs serving elementary schools

Strategy 1.10: Expand opportunities beyond school settings for children to have access to books and tools that support enjoyment of reading.

  • Programs serving elementary school students

Strategy 1.15: Provide children with supports to develop language, math and reading skills

  • Programs in Portland serving children who reside in East Bayside (Census Tract 5)
  • Programs serving elementary schools

Goal 2

Strategy 2.1: Support targeted expanded learning opportunities for students.

  • Programs serving Westbrook

Strategy 2.13: Ensure individuals and families have the supports needed to access and remain in the workforce, including childcare and transportation.

Note: Because these designations include funders with multiple goals, therefore there may not be programs funded in every strategy and target population listed.


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.

For NEW applicants:

New applicants are invited to apply under select strategies only. These strategies were identified by the Thrive2027 Goal Cabinets with an intent to guide targeted work that they believe is fundamental to amplify results in these areas. We are building a full portfolio of investments that we believe will help us reach the Thrive2027 goals. New applicants are required to select and report on one shared performance measure (see Performance Measures section).

For organizations who received funds during FY18 and earlier:

We will review applications from every program funded in FY18 and prior that chooses to apply. This set of historically-funded partners have funding amounts that follow the program. If this applies to you, your funding with this application is protected up to 50% of what you were granted from FY19 funds, unless there is a significant program flaw or financial concern. This is the last year this will be a category. You may choose to apply with the same program or with a program that you think is better positioned to make an impact on the Thrive2027 goals. You do not have to pick the same strategies as last year.

Newly funded programs during FY19

There is no guarantee or special restriction for applicants who were newly funded in FY19. You do not have to choose the same strategies as last year, however, if you were newly funded in FY19 it was because the Investment Committee saw your work as well aligned to make a difference on Thrive2027 outcomes using the identified strategy.


The review of applications for 2020 funding will consider:

  1. Specific impact on Thrive2027 goals
    1. Alignment with identified Thrive2027 strategies
      1. Proposed activities that support the success of the chosen strategy
      2. Target population that will result in impact on the identified goal
    2. Tracking and evaluation of program implementation
      1. Ability to measure and report impact of programs as How Much, How Well and Difference Made
    3. Solid management and fiscal soundness
      1. An organizational and program budget that allow for full implementation of the proposed work
      2. Sustainability of the organization or collaboration and the proposed program, including the role of UWGP funding in sustainability

Performance Measures

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.

Applicants will be able to apply under a specific goal, or use strategies across goals. We will limit applicants to three total strategies, and for each of the three strategies chosen, applicants will be asked to choose (1-2) How Much, (1-2) How Well, and (1-2) Difference Made measures to report on. For some strategies, applicants must choose one shared Difference Made measure (see Shared Performance Measures, below).

The application will provide an opportunity for programs to share how the work advances the strategies and goals beyond the performance measures they are submitting. There is a portion of the application that will ask you to describe the mission of your agency, the targets of the program and how that program explicitly can advance the Thrive2027 goals. This strategy limit is intended to focus efforts and reporting; it is not meant to limit what you can convey to the reviewers about the impact of your program.

Shared Performance Measures

For FY20, a selection of strategies have required shared performance measures, intended to build a shared set of data about how the strategies are successful in moving the community toward the goals. These shared Difference Made measures will result in a better understanding of how our collective work is impacting the community. There will be an opportunity to sign up for consultation with UWGP staff around this subject.

Collective Impact

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.

Returning applicants have the option to apply using the following backbone strategy:

  • Provide backbone support to a Collaboration that has a common agenda, shared measurement, and mutually reinforcing activities. For more information, see our Backbone Strategy document

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