United Way announces Equity Innovation Fund

Dec. 22, 2021 (Racine, WI) — United Way of Racine County is pleased to announce that its new Equity Innovation Fund will officially open for applications starting January 2022. Any organization interested in applying for funding is invited to attend a virtual information session about the fund at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022.

The Equity Innovation Fund supports projects, programs and solutions that use innovative strategies to reduce disparities, improve outcomes and empower members of historically marginalized populations. The fund was made possible thanks to the generosity of novelist and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott.

Fund eligibility is open to a variety of entities within the community. Along with 501(C)(3) organizations and 170 organizations, such as nonprofits and churches, United Way also invites grassroot organizations and social entrepreneurs and innovators with a novel solution to a specific social issue to apply. According to President and CEO of United Way of Racine County Ali Haigh, the broad eligibility of this fund will allow for impactful, community-driven innovation.

“It only made sense to open eligibility for an equity-related fund to those who’s voices may not always be heard,” Haigh said. “We are looking forward to seeing all submissions and playing a role in creating impactful and equitable change in our community.”

Once the fund opens in January 2022, proposals will be reviewed and approved quarterly, with the first application deadline taking place on March 31, 2022. Funding requests must be between $5,000 and $75,000. United Way anticipates most awards will be $50,000 or below. Applications must clearly define the population served, the disparities addressed, what makes the project or program innovative and the impact to be created through the grant. Projects or programs must address one or more of the following priority areas: early childhood and kindergarten readiness, K-12 academic and/or social emotional success, individual independence and individual and/or family stability. Applicants must serve Racine County residents, be able to provide detailed, board-approved budgets and financial reports upon request and be able to prove they have been legally incorporated for at least six months. All prospective applicants are required to meet with United Way staff in order to access the grant application.

To learn more about the Equity Innovation Fund, register for the Jan. 13 information session and apply for funding, visit: UnitedWayRacine.org/EIF.