United Way Quad Cities announced today it has issued $2.9 million in grants to 51 local implementing partners who are nonprofits, grassroots and community organizations serving the residents of Scott and Rock Island counties

The Strategic Impact Grants continue United Way’s mission of advancing equity and improving education, income and health outcomes in the QC, according to a Monday United Way release.

The $2.9 million in grants were distributed on July 1 and represent the second year of a two-year investment period.

Rene Gellerman is president/CEO of United Way of the Quad Cities Area.

“We are laser focused on building a community where everyone has the opportunity and access to thrive. We do that by focusing on education, economic mobility and health,” said Rene Gellerman, president/CEO of United Way Quad Cities. “Since the (coronavirus) pandemic began, low-income adults, families and children have had to manage more demands and stress than ever before, and our community organizations have answered the call to support those in crisis.”

“These grants will support food, housing, education, workforce development, health care and more to struggling Quad Citizens.”

United Way QC funding is awarded through an open and competitive grant process. Applications for the two-year funding cycle were submitted in January 2021. Grantees were screened by over 100 community volunteers to ensure alignment to United Way’s Rise United 2030 priorities, for their effectiveness at serving low-income residents, to analyze their outcomes and financial data, and if warranted, conducted interviews and reference checks, all to ensure sound investments.

The first year funding recommendations were approved by United Way Quad Cities’ Board of Directors in May 2021 and the second year in May 2022.

“We find, fund and partner with the most effective education, income and health programs and organizations in the Quad Cities,” Gellerman said. “We have a volunteer-led Impact Investment Council who monitors the progress of the grants quarterly.

“When they see programs work, we want to try to help find ways to bring their successes to scale,” she said. “When we see them stumble, we want to identify the problem and help correct it. Our goal is to maximize impact, much like a financial manager selects investments to maximize profit.”

The grants were awarded to organizations aligned with one or more of United Way’s impact areas and strategy priorities:

  • EDUCATION: $1,165,999 | 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.

The new grants went to agencies ranging from Alternatives and Bethany for Children & Families to YouthHope and YWCA of the Quad Cities. For more information, visit United Way’s website.