A new Nonprofit Catalyst Fund is expected to help the United Way of Greater Kansas City invest in advancing small nonprofit organizations that serve Black, Latino, and other people of color in the community, said Essence Yancey.
“We believe that small, nonprofit organizations within communities of color play a key role in addressing a range of economic, human service and educational challenges, but frequently face barriers in obtaining necessary tools to advance their work, including access to financial resources essential to be successful,” said Yancey, community impact director with United Way of Greater Kansas City.
The $2 million fund — supported with funding from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation — is expected to launch in March with grants provided over the next three years. Grant amounts range from $5,000 to $50,000, depending on organizational size, operating budgets and specific needs outlined in grant proposals.
Editor’s note: The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a financial supporter of Startland News.
Eligible organizations are 501(c)(3) public charities supporting education, human services, entrepreneurship, workforce skill building, economic mobility and community development. The intended beneficiaries of this fund are smaller nonprofit organizations that primarily serve communities of color or are led by Black, Latino or other people of color.
Click here to learn more about the Nonprofit Catalyst Fund or to apply.
Organizations will be able to use Nonprofit Catalyst Fund grants to cover staffing expenses, consultant contracts, professional services, small capital expenditures, and general operating expenses aligned with the capacity-building goals of the funding proposal.
“At United Way, we are excited to learn about the meaningful work of the organizations who are the focus of the Nonprofit Catalyst Fund, and to facilitate investments in that work,” said Yancey.
Nonprofit organizations — particularly smaller organizations with strong ties to the communities they serve — are significant contributors to an equitable and inclusive economic development system, said officials from the Kauffman Foundation, not only as employers and community conveners, but also in the delivery of critical programs and services that promote inclusive prosperity.
“For several years, the Kauffman Foundation grant investments have been increasingly focused on efforts with system-level influence and impact at a regional scale to help all people succeed,” said Kristin Smithson, senior program officer with the Kauffman Foundation. “Yet within large-scale and long-term change, we also recognize the vital role that leaders and organizations closest to the community play every day. We’re excited to be working with the United Way of Greater Kansas City to increase the access to funding for organizations to ensure our entire community can thrive.”
United Way is planning regular informational sessions (virtual and in-person) for prospective grantee organizations. The next session is scheduled for 10 a.m. March 3. Sign-up in advance by emailing Essence Yancey.