Follow Chris Twitter Facebook
Email Chris Email
Mar 10, 2016

United Way Of The Cape Fear Area Begins Grant Process

Sponsored Content provided by Chris Nelson - President, United Way of the Cape Fear Area

As many of you know, United Way of the Cape Fear Area (UWCFA) adopted an “Impact Agenda” eight years ago. UWCFA volunteers establish outcome targets in one area of impact focus each year. Those impact areas are education, financial stability and health. Those targets are shared with nonprofit health and human service organizations throughout the Cape Fear area (New Hanover, Brunswick, Pender and Columbus counties) and subsequent request for proposals are available for nonprofits interested in applying for a UWCFA grant.
Proposals are reviewed and evaluated by a volunteer team that typically spends more than 300 hours over two and a half months in the spring to determine which programs should receive a UWCFA grant. Once those recommendations are approved by the UWCFA's volunteer board of directors, UWCFA uses the resources generated in its annual community campaign to invest in those programs for a three-year period. Quarterly reporting is provided to UWCFA to assure that each program that receives a UWCFA investment achieves an expected outcome.
This spring, UWCFA will be reviewing proposals addressing financial stability. The specific targets established for this investment cycle include: employability and jobs; transition to housing and housing stability; and basic needs. Based on letters of intent submitted by area nonprofits in December, UWCFA is expecting 30 proposals requesting in excess of $1.2 million. Our expectation is that virtually all of those proposals will be outstanding, hitting at least one of the established targets and providing exceptional outcomes that result in improving lives of citizens in our area. Based on where the UWCFA 2015 campaign is expected to finish in a few months, less than one-third of those programs will be granted an investment. This means that two-thirds of the programs that apply will be excluded – not because they don’t deserve funds, but because the money raised by the United Way community campaign is not enough to support them all.
Programs addressing financial stability issues in which UWCFA is currently making investments include:

  • employment training
  • homelessness intervention and transition to independence
  • food backpack programs for low-income children
  • entrepreneur training for young adults
  • emergency food, shelter and other assistance
The UWCFA investment process is unique. Local volunteers and experts determine the most critical needs in our community. Local nonprofit organizations present the best solutions to those needs, resulting in the most effective outcomes. Other local volunteers vet program proposals and use  thorough evaluation tools to select the best. Specific program outcomes are then identified and evaluated to ensure the best return for every donor’s contribution. Through this process, UWCFA can virtually double the impact of every dollar by helping create multiagency program collaboratives, matching local resources with other out-of-area resources, and providing thorough accountability.
While the system is in place to identify and address our community’s most critical needs, the funds simply aren’t. We wish we could help every program that applied. Unfortunately, we just don’t have enough donors and enough donations to do that.
There is still time to participate in the United Way community campaign. Give us a call. Host a campaign in your company. Donated as an individual or give a family gift to be dedicated to the Community Impact Fund. Be a part of impacting our local community in the Cape Fear Area. To learn more, visit or call (910) 798-3900.
Christopher L. Nelson is president of the United Way of the Cape Fear Area, a local nonprofit organization. Since 1941, the United Way of the Cape Fear Area has worked alongside local agencies in Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover and Pender counties to assist them in providing substantial and sustainable change within the Cape Fear area. To learn more about the United Way of the Cape Fear Region, go to or call (910) 798-3900.

Uw blk
Ico insights



Why Volunteer for a Nonprofit Board?

Yasmin Tomkinson - Cape Fear Literacy Council
Geofflosee300x300 10221511305

History in the Making

Geoffrey Losee - Rountree Losee LLP

Are You Lucky in Retaining IT Talent?

Marty Cayton - TeamLogic IT of Wilmington & Fayetteville

Trending News

Off The Beaten Path, These Cafes Are Worth Special Trips

Jessica Maurer - Mar 14, 2018

Developer Again Seeks Military Cutoff Rezoning With 'less-intensive' Plan For The Avenue

Cece Nunn - Mar 16, 2018

Steak N' Shake Still Aiming To Establish Wilmington Presence

Jessica Maurer - Mar 14, 2018

Marina Grill Opens Today At Port City Marina

Jessica Maurer - Mar 14, 2018

Toys R Us Demise Could Put Valuable Wilmington Property On Market

Cece Nunn - Mar 15, 2018

In The Current Issue

MADE Winners - Arts Category

Intracoastal Iron & Metalwork LLC, Second Set Designs LLC/Tachits and TAY HAM are the winners in the MADE Arts Category....

MADE Winners - Functional Product Category

Flow Sciences LLC, Maverick American Spearfishing and Surgilum made the list of MADE Winners in the Functional Product Category....

Info Junkie: David Reeser

Info Junkie David Reeser, CEO of IT Works, on his app and media picks....

Book On Business

The 2018 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!



WilmingtonBiz Expo - Keynote Lunch with John Gizdic, CEO, New Hanover Regional Medical Center
Wilmington's Most Intriguing People of 2017
2017 Health Care Heroes