Fund Distribution Process

The Fund Distribution Process determines the distribution of United Way funds to area nonprofit organizations. This annual review happens each spring after area nonprofits submit funding applications, asking for support in the areas of Helping Children Succeed, Empowering Healthy Lives and Stabilizing Families and Individuals. In short, this rigorous process means that United Way is serious about how it invests one of its key resources: your dollars.

How it works:

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, nurturing our children and youth, enhancing the lives of people with disabilities, or promoting health, wellness and healing.  Our goal is to determine their impact on the community, what needs they see, who they serve, how they spend the money.


Every January, local non-profit agencies submit their applications to United Way to request funding for their programs. The application includes everything from detailed budgets, to how many clients they serve, to assessments of the program's impact in our community, to details about their projections for the year ahead.


Each year approximately 70 United Way volunteers will break into teams that will undergo training, then review the applications, conduct on-site visits, interview the non-profit agencies as a group, and finally, debate the best distribution of United Way funds. These volunteers will then make a recommendation to the United Way Board of Directors on how United Way funds should be distributed in the following year.  If you are interested in being a part of this vital process, please contact us at

2019 Iron Range partner agencies

2019 Koochiching County partner agencies

What it means:

When United Way kicks off its annual campaign each fall, we can communicate to you exactly which programs will receive United Way funding and why it's so important that programs like these are available in our communities.  Our campaign goal is to raise funds to meet the needs of our partner programs, as well as to support our own initiatives.


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. These reviews have often planted the seeds for new United Way programs.  As the community's needs become apparent, we are able to generate awareness and convene stakeholders and resources to address the issues.