2021 Respond & Recover Focused Investments

Quote by Claire Reid

"Now is the time to make bold changes with the potential to drive transformational outcomes." - Claire Reid

United Way of the Greater Capital Region (UWGCR) is committed to continuous learning about how best to support our communities, as a convenor, as a funder and as a collaborator. We are centering equity throughout our organization and are committed to co-creating a culture of continued excellence and social innovation in the Capital Region. The first step in this strategic redesign process is our 2021 Respond & Recover Focused Investments, designed to provide direct support for non-profit organizations and aimed to enhance community well-being at a generational scale. 

It is impossible for us to move forward without acknowledging the shortcomings of our processes historically and recognizing our need for improvement. Recognizing this does not amount to much without an earnest effort to implement changes and a commitment to continuously evaluate and improve our processes and outcomes. The numbers reported below indicate improvement, but not a destination in our efforts to be more representative of the communities we aim to serve.  

This year we aligned our investment priorities with goals to eliminate disparities in health, education and financial security. A streamlined application process and broad outreach enabled a record number of first-time applications from organizations across the region. These efforts also led to a record number of applications from Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC)-led organizations and women-led organizations, as well organizations ranging from partners in early-stage development to more established, longstanding partners of United Way of the Greater Capital Region. Our grant review committee was comprised of a diversity of community leaders with thematic and lived expertise and a demonstrated commitment to advancing community wellbeing.  

In this year’s applications for the Focused Investment grants we saw:  

  • a fourfold increase in the number of applications from BIPOC led organizations as compared with our previous funding cycle (from 5% to 20%);  

  • 54% of applications came from organizations with operating budgets less than $1M. Research indicates that smaller organizations also tend to be led by women, BIPOC and those with lived experience of the challenges targeted;  

  • 65% of applications were from women-led organizations;  

  • 43% of applications were from organizations that had not previously applied for funding from UWGCR.   

Claire ReidClick here to view the full list of 2021 Respond & Recover Focused Investment recipients and learn more about the critical programs and services they are providing in the Capital Region. 

Thank you for your continued support. We look forward to updating you as we continue to adjust the way we fund and partner with equity and social innovation as a top priority.  


Chief Impact Officer