Unite Charlotte provides funding and capacity-building programs to local grassroots organizations advancing racial equity and addressing economic mobility. Through this initiative, United Way of Central Carolinas supports dozens of organizations, the majority founded and led by people of color.
Unite Charlotte Beginnings
Unite Charlotte was founded in 2016 following civil unrest sparked by the killing of Keith Lamont Scott, an unarmed Black man, by Charlotte police. The initiative’s purpose is to address the structural racism that exists within the nonprofit sector and in the broader community.
Through Unite Charlotte, dozens of organizations working outside the spotlight to support and empower disinvested communities have received millions of dollars in grants ranging from $5,000 to $15,000, as well as thousands of hours of capacity-building training.
United Way funding, technical assistance and guidance help to stabilize and grow these nonprofits, preparing them to secure additional public and private funding. United Way also works to strengthen the leadership capabilities within Unite Charlotte organizations in order to build a more diverse and inclusive pipeline of leaders for Charlotte’s nonprofit sector.
Unite Charlotte Model
Organizations receiving Unite Charlotte funding focus on racial equity and economic mobility. As part of the application process, they identify needs within the community and outline their plans to meet those needs. United Way helps to ensure that newly formed nonprofits fill a meaningful gap in the continuum of services for the community.
Unite Charlotte organizations receive both operating funds and funding to participate in capacity-building training with United Way to earn a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University’s Center for Continuing Studies. The Duke University program offers a curriculum tailored to each new funding cohort’s needs to help them understand the business of nonprofit management.
Previously funded Unite Charlotte organizations can compete for second-phase funding as a Unite Charlotte II grant applicant. If approved, these organizations receive larger operating grants of up to $40,000, as well as funding to engage in an executive leadership development program.
Grantees are required to track quantitative and qualitative data to demonstrate the impact of their programs. United Way provides technical assistance to help grantees develop program evaluation plans, as needed. Funding leadership development is a critical component of the program model.
Unite Charlotte Progress
Secured a $25,000 matching grant from Belk Foundation to support professional development for African-American male teachers.
Engaged a grant writer whose work generated the funds needed to hire staff and offer extended service hours through the organization’s Help Center.
Hired additional staff and launched Stiletto Boss Headquarters, making the school-based leadership program available to the broader community.
Launched a community-led place making initiative to convene and educate people about gentrification and to discuss the community’s response.
Help us continue to invest in organizations committed to advancing racial equity and addressing economic mobility by giving to United Way.