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Racial Equity Fund Applicant Information

United Way of Greater Portland (UWGP) has established a Racial Equity Fund with funding from lead founding partner, IDEXX, and other partners BerryDunn, Gorham Savings Bank, Hannaford, KeyBank, and WEX. This initiative will support the work of local nonprofits led by and serving people of color in our community, while advancing the work at the heart of the community-developed Thrive2027 initiative. Since 2016, UWGP has convened individuals and organizations around Thrive2027, three 10-year goals to improve education, financial stability, and health for every person in Greater Portland.

The Racial Equity Fund:

  • Supports and strengthens organizations led by and serving people of color, especially those led by Black/ African American leaders, while advancing the work of Thrive2027.
  • Works to address inequities related to the strong infrastructure, funding networks, data, and metrics more established organizations have.
  • In addition to programmatic support, provides supplemental funding for organizational capacity building and/or general operating costs to build sustainability for organizations.
  • Makes initial grants using funds raised by November 2, 2020.

Note: Use the “apply” link above only for the first time you open and begin your application, as each click will create a new application. For directions on how to return to your application and for additional essential information, please download the Applicant Workbook.


  • Interactive information session: Monday, September 21, 3-4:30 p.m., Zoom Meeting Link
  • Applications due: Monday, November 2, 5:00 p.m.


The Racial Equity Fund will:

  • support and strengthen organizations led by and serving people of color, all while advancing the work at the heart of the community-led, ten-year initiative called Thrive2027.
  • Prioritize organizations led by and serving people who are Black/African American
  • Define “led” as the CEO/ED being a person of color (or the board is comprised of a majority of people of color if there is no paid staff).
  • Require that of the population served, 50% or more of people served by both organization and the specific program would need to be Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).
  • Allow applicants to select any of the Thrive2027 strategies, not just those deemed “lead strategies” by the Thrive2027 Goal Cabinets.
  • Provide capacity building in the form of resources and technical assistance to help strengthen organizations, including supporting them to be more competitive for funding from other sources (details below).

Otherwise, UWGP’s regular investment criteria apply:

  • The program must serve people in UWGP’s service area (Cumberland County, minus Brunswick and Harpswell).
  • The lead organization must be a non-profit 501(c)(3), an Indian Tribal government, or can demonstrate a legal relationship with an established 501(c)(3) acting as your 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 UWGP’s counter-terrorism compliance agreement as outlined in the application.

Applicants will need to identify the specific action or effort they will undertake to advance Thrive2027. Specifically, applicants will need to be willing to work with UWGP on:

  • Developing data-driven program activities and evidence-based best practices or promising practices, that are based in research;
  • Articulating the way(s) in which collaboration with other organizations is included in program creation, implementation and/or evaluation; and
  • Developing how to demonstrate measurable impact on Thrive2027 Goals Framework Strategies as shown through Shared Performance Measures.


Overview of the Racial Equity Fund
Support and strengthen organizations, led by and serving, people of color.

Overview of the Thrive2027
Our community’s commitment to three, 10-year goals

Overview of Thrive2027, Goal 1
Early Learning – Give our kids a strong start.

Overview of the Thrive2027, Goal 2
Financial Stability – Empower our neighbors to thrive—not just survive

Overview of Thrive2027, Goal 3
Healthy Lives – Help us all live longer, better

Click here for a list of frequently asked questions on the Racial Equity Fund.