1 survey respondents
Location: 333 S Wabash Ave 30th Floor, Chicago, 60604 IL
Types of Grants Awarded:
For Fiscal Year
Change in Assets FY :
Amount of Grants to Minnesota Nonprofits:
Reviewer 6303 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2020
UWMC frequently shifts their funding priorities with little or no warning to grantees. One semi-consistent feature has been their reliance on the lead organizaitons of localized neighborhood networks. Plan on getting connected and aligning your application to the priorties determined by the neighborhood network that operates in your region.
Inadvertently exerts negative influence in the field, Bureaucratic
Applied and not funded
Funded for lesser amount
This funder requires long, onerous applications from potential grantees with very little lead time. Application elements do not remain consistent from year to year, so be prepared to find out new elements required for your grant application that need to be done within two weeks. Generally speaking, foundation staff members are not very responsive to grantee feedback and difficult to access.
The United Way of Metro Chicago has experienced multiple changes in leadership over the past few years. Every time new leadership comes in, the new leader rolls out a new initiative with new funding priorities and new scoring rubrics, with very little transparency in the process. Additionally, UWMC relies heavily on neighborhood networks, which are loose groups of place-based, interconnected agencies who seem to independently determine the priorities of their areas. This means that while the overall application for all funding rounds is the same, applications can be rejected or have their scores lowered because they don't have the same goals or functions as other organizations in their region.
Trust grantees, and get back to your roots: historically, the United Way has excelled at providing basic, unrestricted support to "boring" human service programs that are not always enticing to other funds. As you have moved away from this model and required more and more involved applications for funding, smaller nonprofits providing critical community services have suffered. Focus less on rolling out new initiatives and more on trusting grantees to do the work in their communities.
The United Way as a whole is an outdated model of fundraising where they essentially serve as a middleman for corporations' charitable giving efforts. While they haven't said as much, it seems they are losing revenue sources at a fairly rapid rate. Additionally, much of their revenue seems to support their bloated bureacracy instead of their grantees.
The United Way of Metro Chicago casts a wide net and is a presence in almost all communities in the area.