1889 Foundation works with the United Way of the Laurel Highlands (UWLH) by providing a challenge grant that provides up to $500,000 in 1889 Foundation funds to increase the reach and impact of the United Way’s Community Impact grants.
Community Impact grants are distributed annually to high-performing non-profit organizations in Cambria and Somerset Counties, and are awarded by a volunteer-driven committee and review panels. The application process requires recipients to explain programs, methods, desired outcomes, and how results will be measured. Site visits are a requirement as well. Currently, 30 programs delivered by 25 partner agencies are supported through United Way.
Historically, large grants of $50,000-$200,000 have been given to organizations providing evidence-based programming that addresses social change initiatives in three main areas: preparing all children socially, emotionally, and academically for kindergarten; increasing parental knowledge of child development and care; and preventing youth drug and alcohol use. Smaller grants of $5,000-$50,000 have supported additional programming in health and human services. The 1889 Foundation matching gift of $500,000 significantly increases the impact and the reach of all of these programs.
In 2016, 1889 Foundation made a three-year commitment to provide this challenge grant through the UWLH, and the exact amount will be determined each year.