BETTENDORF, IOWA (January 21, 2021) United Way Quad Cities is accepting applications for its Strategic Impact Grants from non-profits, grassroots organizations, and others serving the residents in Scott and Rock Island counties.

Grants will be awarded to organizations working to improve education, income, and health outcomes in the Quad Cities.

“We know there is still uncertainty given the pandemic heading into this year, but the long-term future of our region is bright,” said Rene Gellerman, president and CEO of United Way Quad Cities. “For 50 years, our United Way has been proud to be the stewards of our community’s collective generosity and of our role in bringing organizations together to find common-ground approaches to take on big challenges.”

“These Strategic Impact Grants serve as catalysts for regional non-profit collaboration. Together, we can build the interventions that give people the opportunity for economic mobility, quality education, and health-care — regardless of race or ZIP code. We have every opportunity to make our region’s future even brighter.”

United Way will invest over $2 million in grants to selected recipients for a period of two years beginning July 2021. The application is available at and is due February 26.

About the Grants

Grants are available to eligible applicants that align with United Way’s three impact areas and at least one of the nine strategy priorities:

  • Education:
    • Strong Start:  Improve the achievement of key early childhood milestones and the development of young children so they are prepared for success in school and beyond, while promoting meaningful parent engagement opportunities.
    • Academic Success:  Provide in-school and out-of-school programming that bolsters school-day activities; helps keep kids on track or develops life skills in order to improve their academic success.
    • Success after High School:  Ensure students can access post-secondary options, graduate high school ready for college or the workforce, and persist to obtain a degree or credential that will put them on the path to success.
  • Income:
    • Career Pathways:  Connect people with the skills and support needed to get and keep good jobs, such as career development, job-training and supportive services, and adult literacy.
    • Financial CapabilityConnect people with safe and affordable financial products and services to establish savings and credit and to build wealth.
    • Stabilization Services: Stabilize people who are facing hunger, homelessness, or financial crisis.
  • Health:
    • Primary and Clinical Care: Prevent illness before it occurs and lessen the impact of chronic illness for individuals and communities. Treatment and screening of patients is provided in a clinical setting by a certified medical professional.
    • Behavioral & Mental Health:  Increase well-being by preventing or intervening in mental illness such as depression or anxiety, as well as substance-abuse, addiction, family violence, and trauma.
    • Health Promotion: Empower individuals and communities to increase control over and improve their health.

Eligible to apply are:

  • Non-profits: 501(c)(3) IRS status or 170(b)(1)(A) public institutions;
  • Grassroots Organizations: community-based organizations or organized groups of individuals who have identified a specific issue/problem and are working collectively toward a solution;
  • Social Entrepreneurs: Individuals, companies or aspiring nonprofits with a novel solution to a social problem.

Funding recommendations will be reviewed and ratified by approximately 100 trained, informed, and impartial volunteers from the Quad Cities area. United Way Quad Cities’ Board of Directors will approve final funding amounts in May 2021 with the first allocation distributed to selected partner agencies in July.

“As a longtime volunteer, advocate, and donor, I take pride in the investments I make with the United Way,” said Linda Bowers, United Way Board Chair. “My undesignated contributions go to the Strategic Impact Grant Fund and are used to tackle root causes of the issues facing our region, rather than symptoms.”

“Education, income, and health are interdependent and interconnected,” Bowers said. “United Way and these Grant Partners address them together. When children have good early health-care, they are more likely to be prepared for school. And kids who enter school ready to learn are more likely to be ‘reading to learn’ by third grade. Students who read proficiently are more likely to graduate from high school ready for college or career and self-sustaining wage jobs, when they can save for the future and cover the cost of health care — leading to success in school and life for their own children.”

Apply or learn more about application requirements at For more information, email Karrie Abbott at or call 563-344-0330.

About United Way of the Quad Cities

United Way is a community-based social change organization that puts opportunity in the hands of all Quad Citizens. Working with our determined partners, volunteers, advocates, and donors, we lead the charge to improve education, income, and health — the building-blocks of opportunity. The result is a mobilized community where every Quad Citizen is living their best-possible life.

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