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United Way hosts grant application workshop

Jan. 03, 2013 @ 11:01 PM

HUNTINGTON -- Representatives from about 30 agencies attended a grant application workshop at the United Way of the River Cities on Thursday to learn about how to apply for funding for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

Executive Director Laura Gilliam said the workshop introduces new organizations and agencies to the process, while providing updates to those who apply each year. The big change this year is the letter of intent and grant application processes will both be online.

Those who attended said the workshop was helpful. But some said being there in the room with so many people made them realize how competitive United Way's grant process is.

"When I pulled in and saw all the cars parked out front, I thought, 'Oh my goodness, the needs in this community are endless,'" said Yvonne Jones, the executive director for Ebenezer Medical Outreach. "United Way has a tremendous job determining which to fund."

United Way raises funds each year then distributes those funds to area agencies serving Cabell, Wayne, Mason and Lincoln counties in West Virginia and Lawrence County, Ohio, through one of five categories, including: learning and earning, health and wellness, family and children, basic needs and unforeseen hardships, and safety net services. The current fundraising campaign, which has a goal of $1.25 million, ends Jan. 31. As of Thursday, 63 percent had been raised, said Will Holland, director of resource development.

The letter of intent period starts Monday, Jan. 7, and ends at 5 p.m. Feb. 11. Within a month of the deadline, Gilliam said organizations will be notified as to their invitation to formally submit a grant application. Those are due by April 19. Notification of funding is typically sent out in May or early June, prior to the start of the fiscal year on July 1.

Gilliam said there are 15 to 20 other agencies not present Thursday from which she expects to receive letters of intent. Last year, there were 50 letters of intent, with just under 30 invited to apply for a grant. Twenty-two agencies were approved for funding for 24 programs.

For more information about the grant application process, contact Gilliam at 304-523-8929, Ext. 1, or laura.gilliam@unitedwayrivercities.org.

To give to United Way of the River Cities, visit www.giveunitedway.org or contact Holland at will.holland@unitedwayrivercities.org or 304-523-8929, Ext. 2.

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