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Agency Grants

Franklin-Southampton Area United Way Agency Grant Guidelines

The Franklin-Southampton Area United Way will find, fund and partner with the most effective local programs that aim to create true opportunities and achieve measurable outcomes and tangible results in the areas of education, health, financial stability, and basic needs.

The Franklin-Southampton Area United way will consider grant requests designated for a specific project or program that serves the City of Franklin and/or Southampton County. Projects and programs may be existing or new but must track results and provide numbers of people impacted or served and be able to recap direct services provided.

I. Eligibility

Applicants must meet the following criteria to be considered for funding:

  1. Be a private non-profit organization holding a 501(c)3 tax-exemption or a faith-based organization that holds a separate 501 (c)3 and offers programs or services to the general public that do not restrict access based on religious affiliation or require participation in religious activities.
  2. Be registered with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to engage in fundraising in the Commonwealth of Virginia or have been granted an exemption by that Department.
  3. Been in existence for at least 36 months.
  4. Serve the communities of Southampton County and the City of Franklin.
  5. Provide programs that align with our priority funding areas.
  6. Offer services in a manner that complies with all federal and state laws and regulations concerning discrimination and operate by policy and practice without discrimination based on age, race, religion, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, economic status, disability, cultural heritage, or national origin, subject to appropriate limitations based on the organization's designated scope of services.
  7. Overhead costs should not exceed 25% of revenue.
  8. Be prepared to demonstrate and communicate measurable, evidence-based outcomes.

II. Restrictions

The Franklin-Southampton Area United Way will not consider applications from:

  1. Advocacy and lobbying organizations
  2. Arts or cultural organizations
  3. Educational institutions including public or private schools, colleges, and universities.
  4. Government (except by explicit invitation)

United Way will not consider proposals for the following types of expenses:

  1. Capital expenses
  2. Endowments
  3. General undesignated funds
  4. Events or sponsorships

III. Alignment with Priority Funding Areas

All projects for which grant funding is requested should align with one of the following priority funding areas:

1. Investing in Education (Education)

  • School Readiness
  • Early Grade Reading Proficiency
  • Middle Grade Success
  • High School Graduation
  • Post-Secondary Success
  • Adult Continued Education

2. Building Healthier Communities (Health)

  • Increasing access to quality and affordable health care to include physical health, dental care, mental health, prescriptions, and wellness.
  • Promoting nutrition and physical fitness.
  • Creating healthy environments.
  • Addressing substance abuse crisis in the community.

3. Promoting Financial Stability and Independence (Income/Financial Stability)

  • Creating families that are self-sufficient and move from financial instability to stability.
  • Providing low or no-income individuals with the skills necessary to secure and retain self and or/or family-sustaining employment.
  • Giving vulnerable seniors access to services that improve their quality of life to maintain independence.
  • Providing training for youth and adults about budgeting, savings, and managing finances.
  • Providing affordable housing and/or rent and mortgage assistance programs.

4. Supporting Our Most Vulnerable Neighbors (Basic Needs)

  • Helping people in crisis meet their basic needs and become self-sufficient.
  • Assisting individuals and families with basic needs to include food, clothing, shelter, utility services, and rent or mortgage assistance.
  • Preventing and responding to domestic violence.
  • Disaster relief programs.

IV. Application Process

  1. The annual grant application period will open in January and close during the first week of March.
  2. Current grant recipients will automatically receive a grant application packet via email in January.
  3. New agencies that meet the required criteria may contact the United Way at to request an application.
  4. Grant applications and required documents will be submitted electronically to the Executive Director by the deadline stated in the application.
  5. Grant applications must be submitted for a specific program or project that serves the communities of Southampton County and the City of Franklin. Requests cannot be made for general funding.
  6. Maximum grant request is $15,000.

V. Required Documents

A completed application packet includes the following:

  1. Completed application.
  2. Most recent financial audit. If you do not have a formal audit please ask another non-profit’s treasurer (church, UW agency, etc.) to review and confirm that income and expense statements look reasonable and accurate, to the best of their ability.  Obtain a statement to that effect from reviewer and include in a review packet.
  3. Most recent 990 or IRS document, or proof of exemption.
  4. IRS documentation/designation letter of 501(c)(3) status – if not previously provided to us.
  5. Most recent Certificate for Solicitation letter from VA Dept. of Agriculture & Consumer Services or your exemption letter. This is not a tax-exempt letter, but permission to solicit in Virginia. For more information, visit All applicants must provide a letter showing approval or exemption.
  6. Copy of your organization’s policy prohibiting discrimination by race, color, sex, age, and religion in programs, staffing and volunteer areas.
  7. Signed Statement of Understanding
  8. Signed Counterterrorism Compliance Document

VI. Review Process

The Citizens Review Committee (CRC) receives and reviews all grant applications using the following process:

  1. Members of the Citizens Review Committee receive copies of all applications and will review each of them in advance of committee meetings. Any questions regarding applications or required documents are forwarded to the Executive Director.
  2. The Citizens Review Committee will meet to review all applications and resolve any questions.
  3. Agencies are scheduled to appear before the Citizens Review Committee to highlight the program they are requesting money for and to answer any questions. Agencies appear on a rotating schedule determined by the committee.
  4. After the review process, the Citizens Review Committee makes grant recommendations to present to the Board of Directors for approval.
  5. The United Way Board of Directors has final approval of grants during the May meeting each year.

VII. Award

  1. Agencies are notified of grant awards by the end of June.
  2. Grant awards will be for a one-year period: July 1 – June 30.
  3. Payments to agencies will be made quarterly in July, October, January, and April. 
  4. Grants are subject to the availability of funds based on the success of the previous year’s United Way campaign.

VIII. Reporting and Other Requirements

If funded, applicant agencies must

1. Adhere to specific reporting requirements to include a summary of outcomes achieved, number of individuals served, and number and type of services provided. The following reports will be due:

     Mid-Year Report due January 31 for grant period of July 1 – December 31

     Year-End Report due July 31 for grant period July 1 – June 30

2. Be well-managed and exhibit operational and financial strength and sustainability. United Way may suspend or discontinue grants when organizations are deemed to be in financial distress or lack sustainability. United Way may also suspend or discontinue grants when organizations are out of compliance with the funding agreement.

3. Funded organizations must agree to report any change that limits the agency’s ability to effectively deliver the program for which it receives United Way funding. Changes may include but are not limited to changes in organizational leadership, large funding reductions, cash flow issues, deficits, and legal issues.

4. Changes in use of funding for purposes other than awarded must be approved by the Franklin-Southampton Area United Way. Requests may be made in writing or by contacting the Executive Director. Funds that are not used for the designated purpose or approved for an alternate use must be returned to the Franklin-Southampton Area United Way.

5. Agree to promote its partnership and funding relationship with the Franklin-Southampton Area United Way and include the logo, signage, and recognition wherever feasible and in all materials related specifically to this grant.

IX. Exceptions

  1. The Franklin-Southampton Area United Way Board of Directors may make exceptions to any of the approved agency grant guidelines with a majority vote.