Fund Distribution Process


United Way of Northeastern Minnesota is serious about how we invest one of our key resources: your dollars.

UWNEMN's Investment Plan outlines the community issues that UWNEMN is addressing through the work of our funded agency parterns and our own initiatives. Through our annual campaign, we raise funds that are united from across our region to make an impact in these areas.

The fund distribution review process goes beyond a review of numbers, results and data; it provides an avenue for change, where resounding messages of gaps and needs in the community can be heard. This process has often planted the seeds for new UWNEMN programs.  As the community's needs become apparent, we are able to generate awareness and convene stakeholders and resources to address the issues.

The concept is simple: take the people who are doing the work day after day, and let them tell their story. These people represent the nonprofit agencies that work hard every day in our community, from providing basic needs and emergency services, supporting individuals and families, educating our children and youth, or promoting health, wellness and safety.  Our goal is to determine their impact on the community, what needs they see, who they serve, and how they spend the money we provide.

Agencies seeking funding submit applications each spring. After the applications are received, they are carefully evaluated by panels of UWNEMN volunteers. Each year, approximately 75 UWNEMN volunteers undergo training, review the applications, interview the non-profit agencies, and finally, debate the best distribution of UWNEMN funds. These volunteers will then make a recommendation to the UWNEMN Board of Directors on how UWNEMN funds should be distributed. 


1) Must be a 501(c)3 nonprofit, project with an established 501(c) serving as fiscal agent, or government organization whose program(s) align with UWNEMN priority funding areas: Empowering Healthy Lives, Helping Children Succeed, and Stabilizing Families and Individuals.
2) Must serve people in UWNEMN's service area
3) Organization or program must address a targeted issue in UWNEMN's investment plan
4) Must submit an application in its entirety, with all required documents, by January 16, 2024.

UWNEMN is always in need of volunteers willing to participate in the fund distribution process to interview local agencies and help our Board of Directors decide how best to allocate funds to them.

As a volunteer in this process, you will have a chance to follow your donation and see firsthand how it is distributed, making decisions as to which agencies/programs receive funding and how much. 

It is a powerful, eye-opening experience. Participants get to see what our organization is all about, learn about the needs in their communities, and see their contributions in action.

Each March volunteers are able to participate in this process. The next Fund Distribution date is scheduled for March 5, 2024.

2024 Fund Distribution Timeline:

Below is the time frame of upcoming action items. 

November 10, 2023 - Applications open to all nonprofits in UWNEMN's service area addressing a targeted issue in UWNEMN's investment plan. 2024 AGENCY APPLICATION

January 16, 2024 - Applications due. Applications submitted after 11:59 p.m. January 16, 2024, will not be accepted.

March 5, 2024 - UWNEMN interviews agencies & makes funding determinations. 

April 15, 2024 - First quarterly distribution of funding.

If you have questions about this process or are a new applicant and want to see if you program/agency is a good fit for UWNEMN funding, please contact