Grant Funding

United Way's 2024-25 Community Investment Fund Grant Application Process Is IN PROGRESS!

United Way invests in high-quality programs designed to improve the education, health, and financial stability of residents in Kankakee and Iroquois counties. 

Thousands of generous community members make annual gifts to United Way's Community Investment Fund. United Way of Kankakee and Iroquois Counties allocates these gifts via grants to local organizations working to create lasting, measurable change in the areas of education, health and financial stability.  

All community programs are invited to apply for a grant. The grant process is very competitive, and funding is determined by recommendations from community volunteers made to United Way's Board of Directors. 

Eligible Funding Requests

Nonprofit organizations interested in applying for funding must:

  • Operate and provide services in Kankakee and/or Iroquois Counties. 

  • Qualify as a human service organization or tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service code. 

  • Be able to provide UWKIC with a completed financial audit or letter of financial review. 

  • Be able to submit a Federal 990 and Illinois 990AG. 

  • Possess a letter of good standing from the Illinois Secretary of State. 

  • Have an active, local Board of Directors comprised of nonpaid volunteers who meet at least quarterly. 

  • Maintain an annual operating budget. 

Ineligible Funding Requests

Organizations that provide programs or services described below are ineligible for funding:

  • Are primarily political in nature. 

  • Provide programs or services limited solely to the members of a particular religious group. 

  • Programs run by an organization with a religious affiliation may be granted funds, but only if the grant allocation funds are clearly not used for religious activities. 

  • Exist solely as a forum for the presentation of cultural and/or artistic achievements. 

  • Provide only direct medical services such as hospitals, outpatient clinics, neighborhood health centers and other health delivery systems. This does not prohibit the funding of programs that provide supportive and ancillary health services for specific client populations. 

  • Provide primary services that are the mandated responsibility of a governmental organization that serves the entire population. 

Deadline For Letters of Intent: February 16th

We're sorry to have missed you! If you weren't able to apply this year, please keep us in mind next January. Our grants process always launches the second or third week of every year. Please email us at for more information.


Timeline of the Grants Process

  1. Letters of Intent | DUE February 16th
    Reviewed by Community Impact Committee to ensure they align with our funding priorities before being approved for submission of a full application.
  2. Full Grant Applications | DUE MARCH 29th
    Due by the end of March, the full grant application asks for background information and detail on each program's request for funding.
  3. Nonprofit Site Visits | 2nd Week of April
    Completed by a pairing of Community Impact Committee members and other local volunteers during the month of April. *NEW* Applications for $5,000 or less will NOT require a site visit.
  4. Financial Evaluations: United Way's Finance Committee volunteers complete a thorough review applicants’ financial statements.
  5. Application & Site Visit Evaluations: Site visit volunteers rank agency performance and list key observations from their site visit. They will consider...
    1. Does this align with United Way’s focus areas?
    2. Is this mission meaningful to our community?
    3. Does this agency demonstrate a collaborative spirit?
    4. Is this program making an effective impact?
    5. Have they exemplified being data-driven?
    6. Are they setting realistic goals?
  6. Community Impact Committee: Reviews evaluation data submitted by volunteers and makes funding recommendations during the month of May.​
  7. Finance Committee: Helps UW staff draft the next fiscal year’s budget during the month of May. ​Available funds are divided between recommended grant applications using index scores, as determined by site visit volunteers' evaluations.​

  8. United Way Board: Reviews and approves recommendations presented at UWKIC’s May board meeting.

  • Agencies are notified by June 1st 2024.
  • Grant funding is distributed in monthly disbursements from July 2024 to June 2025.
  • Quarterly updates due to UWKIC in October, January, April & June.