— 2022 investment reflects United Way’s continuing shift toward equity, neighborhood work
— Funding grows for United Neighborhoods and groups serving historically marginalized people
— More than half of agencies funded are led by people of color with budgets less than $500,000
United Way of Central Carolinas announced today the investment of $12.3 million in communities across the Charlotte region – awarding $10 million in grants to 140 nonprofit agencies that are building stronger neighborhoods, advancing racial equity and economic mobility, and providing a safety net for those who need it most. The remaining $2.3 million represents additional United Way community investments and donor-directed funding for nonprofits.
Thanks to thousands of corporate and individual donors, as well as public sector support, the $10 million in grants includes $9 million in operating support for agencies in 2022. And $1 million will go to assist smaller, grassroots nonprofits with capacity-building funds and back-office support for crucial functions such as human resources, IT and finance.
As part of United Way’s investment, two strategic initiatives launched by the organization in 2017 – United Neighborhoods and Unite Charlotte – are getting results and will be expanded in 2022.
“These investments demonstrate United Way’s commitment to focus our work on economic mobility and racial equity, in part by bringing new partners to the table and funding innovative solutions to long-standing challenges,” said United Way President and CEO Laura Yates Clark. “There is tremendous strength in grassroots and neighborhood-based organizations – they know their communities best, and they have the trust of their neighbors in need. We are proud to support their efforts, as we work together to create opportunity for all.”
United Neighborhoods will receive $1.3 million, up from $950,000 this year. The initiative empowers residents in historically challenged communities to identify their most significant needs and choose the nonprofit organizations they believe can best deliver neighborhood-focused services. In 2022, the Lakeview neighborhood will join two other United Neighborhoods pilot communities – Renaissance West and Grier Heights. Five additional neighborhoods will receive smaller grants designed to increase their capacity to assist their neighbors and develop neighborhood leaders.
Lakeview Neighborhood Alliance executive director Jamall Kinard says the northwest Charlotte community will invest the United Way support in solutions that strengthen children and families: “We are grateful to those who give back through United Way and for the organization’s belief in Lakeview. Investments like this will help the Charlotte community become a place where strong individuals and families are cultivated in every neighborhood and where unjust systems are reformed so we all share in the expansion of opportunities of this growing region.”
Unite Charlotte will receive $3 million in 2022, up from $1 million this year – thanks to increased funding by Mecklenburg County. This program provides grants and capacity-building support to grassroots organizations led by people of color. Unite Charlotte will fund 55 agencies in 2022.The funding will also go toward an innovative pilot program with Charlotte’s Children & Family Services Center, which will connect some of these grassroots agencies to valuable assistance in their human resources, IT and finance functions, allowing them to focus on program delivery.
Traditional United Way grants totaling more than $5.7 million to 69 nonprofits in five counties (Anson, Cabarrus, southern Iredell, Mecklenburg and Union) provide funding for agencies such as Care Ring, Cabarrus Victims Assistance Network, Veterans Bridge Home and the Community Shelter of Union County. Traditional grants have declined in recent years due to decreased community donations and as part of a strategic shift United Way announced in 2017 to concentrate its efforts on more focused programs that address economic mobility and racial equity. United Way’s 2022 funding awards reflect the final year for traditional grants, bringing to fruition the organization’s five-year transition to its neighborhood-focused strategy.
View the full list of funded partners.