PROVIDENCE – United Way of Rhode Island is seeking applicants for funding for its Merger and Shared Services Fund.
UWRI has released a request for proposals for funding, committing $135,000 to help nonprofit organizations share administrative and fundraising functions. The deadline to submit an application for funding is 4 p.m. on April 3.
Since 2008, UWRI has awarded nearly $1 million in grants for a wide-range of collaborations and projects through the fund. Money has been used to consolidate fundraising functions, provide help with consulting fees and outplacement services, and support the integration of technology.
“It’s no secret that Rhode Island’s nonprofit community is working hard to provide more services with fewer resources—a challenge made more difficult by the level of need in our communities,” said Anthony Maione, president and CEO of United Way of Rhode Island. “Though there’s more work to be done, we’re proud of the successes this fund has made possible to help nonprofits join forces and streamline their services, which in turn, strengthens their capabilities to help more people.”
The merger of the International Institute of Rhode Island and Dorcas Place Adult and Family Learning Center is one such success, Maione said. In 2013, the two organizations became Dorcas International Institute, thanks in part to a $25,000 Merger and Shared Services Fund grant.
The organizations separately had focused on meeting the needs of immigrants and refugees, and helping low-income adults become self-sufficient through literacy and employment opportunities. Through the merger, they have enhanced services to better address workforce challenges in the state, said Kathleen Cloutier, executive director of Dorcas International Institute.
The Merger and Shared Services Fund is open to applicants from two or more human services organizations with non-profit status in Rhode Island who are planning to consolidate administrative functions and/or to enter into a merger, shared services agreement or collaboration.
Applications must include a detailed description of how partner organizations will collaborate, an itemization of action steps with a timetable, projected three-year outcomes, and a detailed budget. Special consideration is given to organizations whose missions align with UWRI’s focus areas of education, income, housing, and safety net. Grants will be announced by May 31.