United Way Quad Cities announces $2.9 million in grants to 54 local nonprofits

Friends and family celebrating

United Way Quad Cities announced today it has issued $2.9 million in grants to 54 local nonprofits, grassroots organizations and others serving the residents of Scott and Rock Island counties. The Strategic Impact Grants are being awarded to advance equity and improve education, income and health outcomes in the Quad Cities.

The $2.9 million in grants cover the first year of a two-year investment period beginning July 1, 2021.

“These investments will support not only basic needs, but also the building blocks of academic success, career preparation, and behavioral and mental health, so that more of our students graduate high school prepared for success in college or career, more families are financially stable and more Quad Citizens are living productive, healthy lives,” said United Way Quad Cities President and CEO Rene Gellerman. “Together, we are working toward a future in which all Quad Citizens, regardless of race or ZIP code, have the opportunity and access to achieve their full potential.”

United Way Quad Cities funding is awarded through an open and competitive grant process. Applications, which opened in January, were reviewed by over 100 community volunteers who worked to ensure that requests fit within Rise United, United Way’s 10-year blueprint and strategic framework to improve lives and community conditions. Their funding recommendations were approved by United Way Quad Cities’ Board of Directors in May. 

“The funds raised by United Way are invested in local programs and initiatives to address the very real challenges that people are facing right here in the Quad Cities,” said Chad Everitt, incoming United Way 2021 Community Campaign Tri-Chair and managing director of Deloitte, Davenport. “That’s why investment decisions are made based on the advice and direction of  local community volunteers. Union members, corporate donors, community leaders, individuals from philanthropic and other community organizations carefully study each request for funding and select the local programs that are best aligned with our strategies and have the highest performance outcomes to drive us to our Rise United goals.”
 
Grants were awarded to organizations aligned with one or more of United Way’s impact areas and strategy priorities:

  • EDUCATION: $1,178,959 | Early childhood development, academic success, success after high school.
  • INCOME: $884,219 | Stabilization services and basic needs, career pathways, financial capability.
  • HEALTH: $884,219 | Primary and clinical care, behavioral and mental health, health promotion.

Dr. LaDrina Wilson, incoming 2021 Community Campaign Tri-Chair and founder/CEO of Iman Consulting, noted that the grant process was open not only to nonprofits with 501(c)(3) IRS status and 170(b)(1)(A) public institutions, but also, to grassroots organizations and social entrepreneurs — a practice United Way Quad Cities introduced in 2020 to encourage creative problem solving and make its grant process more inclusive.

“I’m proud to support United Way’s efforts to address systemic challenges that keep people from living their best life,” Wilson said. “From improving childhood education and strengthening workforce development, to supporting community partnerships and fueling social innovation work, these grants are investments in a greater quality of life for all Quad Citizens.These implementing partners will work to tackle barriers to success for Quad Citizens at the root level.”

According to Caitlin Russell, incoming Community Campaign Tri-Chair and senior vice president, Russell, Davenport, more than 65 nonprofits applied for $5.87 million in funds during the most recent United Way strategic investment grant cycle, demonstrating more support is needed to fill the gaps in Quad Cities social sevices. 

“We’re chasing an ambitious goal to put opportunity in the hands of every Quad Citizen,” Gellerman said. “When we strengthen the building blocks of education, income and health, we spark opportunity. And with every initiative and implementing partner that we fund, we’re enabling economic growth, because more kids are succeeding in school and life, and more adults are gainfully employed, happy, healthy and reaching for their dreams.” 

Grant recipients include:

  • Alternatives 
  • Bethany for Children & Families
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mississippi Valley
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Valley
  • Center for Active Seniors, Inc.
  • Center for Youth and Family Solutions
  • Child Abuse Council
  • Christian Care
  • Community Action of Eastern Iowa
  • Community Health Care
  • Davenport Community School District
  • Dress for Success Quad Cities
  • Family Resources
  • Fresh Films
  • Friendly House
  • GiGi's Playhouse
  • Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa/Western Illinois
  • Hand in Hand
  • Handicapped Development Center
  • Heart of Hope Ministries
  • HELP Regional Office of Iowa Legal Aid 
  • Humility Homes & Services, Inc.
  • Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduates (iJAG), Inc.
  • Junior Achievement of the Heartland
  • Marriage & Family Counseling Service
  • Moline Public Schools Foundation
  • NAMI Greater Mississippi Valley
  • Narratives Quad Cities, Inc. NFP
  • One Eighty
  • Prairie State Legal Aid
  • Project NOW, Inc.
  • Project Renewal
  • Putnam Museum & Science Center
  • QC Haven of Hope
  • Quad City Symphony Orchestra
  • Safer Foundation
  • SAL Family & Community Services
  • Scott County Family YMCA
  • Scott County Housing Council
  • Spring Forward Learning
  • Steam on Wheels
  • The Arc of the Quad Cities Area
  • The Moline Foundation
  • The Salvation Army
  • Thomas Merton House
  • Three Daughters Strong Hearts
  • Transitions Mental Health Services
  • Twin Torch Foundation, Inc.
  • Two Rivers YMCA
  • United Township School District
  • WQPT
  • Youth Service Bureau of Rock Island County
  • YouthHope
  • YWCA of the Quad Cities