A white frosted cake with blue roses and blue writing that says Changing Lives, Right Here. Your United Way.

Apply For a Grant

Special Notice: Response to COVID-19

Rice County United Way is offering flexibility on its March 16 grant proposal deadline as organizations divert their resources to determine what the COVID-19 outbreak means for their operations and to take appropriate action.

If your organization hopes to submit a proposal but needs more time, please email Penny Hillemann at and let her know your situation. 

Our 2020 grant season is now open. Proposals will accepted until Monday, March 16. Please read all of the following information carefully before you begin. Instructions on how to apply and links to the proposal materials are provided at the bottom of this page.

If you have any questions, please contact Penny Hillemann at or (507) 664-3510.

Our Objectives

Rice County Area United Way seeks to improve quality of life in the communities we serve through effective programs in:

  • Education
  • Health
  • Financial Stability (including Basic Needs)

Learn more about our mission and our currently funded programs.

Key Dates at a Glance: 2020

  • February 1 - Grant application materials go online
  • March 16 - Applications are due (but see special COVID-19 notice at the top of this page)
  • Late April or first week of May - Grant allocation panels meet (applicants attend one panel)
  • Mid to late May - Notice of grant decision
  • July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021 - Grant period

Organizations and Grants We Consider

Tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations or governmental units performing service in the areas of health, human services, or education will be considered for grants. Grants may be given to support an organization's operations and/or active programs providing direct services to those in need during the fiscal year (July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021) within our service areas and ZIP codes:

  • Dennison, 55018
  • Dundas, 55019
  • Faribault, 55021
  • Kilkenny, 56052
  • Lonsdale, 55046
  • Montgomery, 56069
  • Morristown, 55052
  • Nerstrand, 55053
  • Northfield, 55057
  • Warsaw, 55087
  • Webster, 55088

Applicants should address a demonstrated need, explain how the organization or program helps solve the need and how it measures results, and quantify the organization’s success. Rice County Area United Way will consider quantifiable outcomes, not simply activities, when reviewing applications.

We give priority consideration to programs that serve the greatest need and help the greatest number of community members in our areas of focus. We look for applicants to demonstrate how their programs serve those in need and solve problems in our community.

Organizations that have not received funding from the United Way in the past are welcome to apply. Past United Way grants are no guarantee of future funding.

We Will Not Consider Grants For:

  • Capital projects
  • Endowments
  • Organizations that espouse political or religious advocacy as part of their services
  • Organizations that engage in significant fundraising activity during one month of the annual United Way Campaign (Oct. 1-31). Certain exceptions may apply.

Diversity Policy

Rice County Area United Way requires an official, board-approved diversity policy from organizations with each grant application. Applications without a diversity policy will not be considered.

Allocation Panels

We ask each applicant to be available for questions from our allocation panels. Please be sure someone at a top level can meet for 15 to 20 minutes to present your proposal in late April or the first week of May. Final dates will be posted as they are available. We will schedule the panels by early April so you can plan ahead.

Partner Agreement

We view this relationship as a partnership and look forward to working with you. Please review our partner agreement before applying to ensure you can comply with the terms. Do not submit it as part of your grant application. If you are awarded a grant we will send you a customized version of the agreement, which you will be required to sign to accept your grant.

Application Forms

Please note that there are several sections of the grant application. Please download the following forms:

You are also required to attach certain supporting materials noted in the application. An application checklist is included in the Grant Proposal form.

Submitting Your Application

 Applications are due Monday, March 16, 2020 (but see special COVID-19 notice at the top of this page). We require two versions of your application:

1. One hard copy, which must be postmarked or hand delivered by March 16. The requested photos do not need to be included with your hard copy.

By mail: 

Mail your grant application by March 16 to:

Rice County Area United Way
P.O. Box 56
Northfield, MN 55057

Hand delivery:

Alternatively, the hard copy may be hand delivered to the Rice County Area United Way office at 1651 Jefferson Parkway, Suite HS-122, Northfield, no later than 4:00 p.m. on March 16. Please call ahead (507-664-3510) to ensure that someone will be available to accept your application packet.

2. One electronic copy, which must be uploaded by 11:59 p.m. Monday, March 16. Please request your upload link no later than Thursday, March 12, by emailing Please do not wait until the last minute.


Thank you.