United Way of Larimer County (UWLC) thoughtfully, and with a data-driven approach, grants local nonprofits funding for a variety of programs.
From 2014 through 2020, UWLC distributed grant funding through a Collective Impact approach with the intent of aligning activities among multiple organizations to meet community level goals. A cohort of approximately 35 agencies received grants to fund a specific program for consecutive years. This resulted in shared applications, collaborative processes, as well as shared outcomes. The Collective Impact grants expired in late 2020. Working with Colorado State University, UWLC is evaluating the process and outcomes during the first half of 2021 and will share results with the community this summer.
At the beginning of 2020, the UWLC Board of Directors identified six funding priorities to address the Larimer County’s greatest needs. The 2021 Larimer United grants support these priorities:
- Early Childcare and Education
- Literacy Support
- High School Completion
- Financial Stability
- Food Stability
Nearly 40 agencies applied for funding for these priority areas in the fall of 2020 with nearly a million dollars in total requests. After a careful review and prioritization process by the Community Impact Committee, consisting of 12 community volunteers, 24 agencies were ultimately awarded a total of $450,000 in grant funding based on available dollars budgeted for this round of applications. Agencies will meet by topic and funding priority, along with additional community partners who serve similar populations, quarterly to share outcomes, service gaps, opportunities to partner, and more.
Early Childcare & Education
Education is the best way to ensure a strong economy and a vibrant community. The following agencies were awarded a total of $150,000 to work together to prepare children for Kindergarten, offer childcare scholarships to families who meet criteria, and provide enriching out of school care to students, which greatly increases school-aged success:
- Teaching Tree
- Thompson Valley Preschool
- EVICS – Estes Valley Investment in Childhood Success
- The Family Center/La Familia
- Respite Care
- Boys and Girls Club of Larimer County
Literacy intervention catches learning delays early on in childhood development, and applies research-based solutions, such as tutoring, to students in pre-school and Kindergarten. In 2021, the Children’s Speech and Learning Center received $13,500 to provide literacy support.
In addition to Community Impact grant funding for literacy support, UWLC provides funding to the Colorado Reading Corps with Colorado Youth for Change. With an annual grant of $125,000, UWLC supports approximately 15 literacy tutors in the Thompson and Estes Park School Districts.
High School Graduation
When young adults complete high school successfully, their post-high school options increase, including higher earning potential, higher education opportunities, and more. According to GradNation.org, students who complete high school successfully display resiliency, producing influential character-building traits like persistence, self-awareness, and optimism for young adults.
With $58,050 in grant funding, the following agencies help students complete high school successfully through researched-based strategies, mentoring, academic enrichment and tutoring programs:
- The Matthews House
- CSU’s Campus Connections Program
- Partners Mentoring Youth
Through UWLC, local residents can better navigate challenging times and increase their families’ financial stability. Awarded $58,050 cumulatively, the following four agencies support families with debt reduction, increased tax refunds, financial planning and management, and case management for career advancement:
- VITA Loveland
- The Matthews House
- Project Self-Sufficiency
Housing & Homelessness
According to the Colorado Health Institute, stable housing is associated with better health. However the rising costs of housing in Larimer County, coupled with the impacts of COVID-19, can affect a person’s ability to afford other necessities such as food and medical care.
Housing is an essential need and supported through $95,700 in grant funding to the following five agencies supporting eviction prevention, case management, and more:
- Homeward Alliance
- The Murphy Center
- Family Housing Network
- Catholic Charities, Larimer County
- Neighbor to Neighbor
At a systems level, United Way of Larimer County provides leadership addressing housing and homelessness in our community as a member of the Governing Board for the Northern Colorado Continuum of Care, committed to making homelessness rare, short-lived, and non-reoccurring.
Many Coloradans struggle to afford food, with one in 10 Coloradoans (9.6%) experiencing food insecurity. Not having enough money for daily food results in the difficult decision of what to pay for – food, housing, medicine, etc.
Three agencies received a total of $66,000 to support the distribution of food to families in need, including fresh food and home delivery:
- House of Neighborly Service
- Volunteers of America – Colorado Branch
- Food Bank for Larimer County