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 70 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. 

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.

If you are interested in participating for the 2021-2022 distribution, please contact UWNEMN at

2022 Fund Distribution Timeline:

October 15, 2021 - Letters of Intent due. UWNEMN Board of Directors are in the process of alerting agencies if they are moving on in the application process.

November 1, 2021 - Application opens to those who move forward.

January 13, 2022 - Applications due.

March 10, 2022 - UWNEMN interviews agencies. 

If you have questions about this process, please contact

Be aware:

UWNEMN has been made aware of instances of fraud in Pennsylvania and Alabama in which scammers have stolen citizens' information pretending to be from the United Way. No one from United Way will ever contact you, unsolicited, with a grant offer. UWNEMN will never request personal information like passwords or bank accounts for fund distribution.