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Strong Learners RFP - Applications Closed

Overview

Strong Learners is a high-impact solution taking a complete approach to making sure children learn to read by third grade, so they can then read to learn.

GOAL: Double the percentage of strong learners living in low Child Well-Being communities who are strong readers (20 to 40%) by 2027  

All Child Well-Being Mission Fund grants are organized into three major approaches: Direct Service, Systems Approach, and Capacity Building. For more information on the Fund and what type of work falls into each of these approaches, visit the Child Well-Being Mission Fund Overview Page.

Within the Strong Learners Portfolio, we have five pathways through which we seek to create change:

  1. Increase Access to Early Learning: Ensure more young children have quality learning experiences at home, at quality early childhood providers, and in the community.
  2. Build Reading Skills: Expand after school and summer enrichment programs while incorporating literacy-focused programs and engage community volunteers as tutors.
  3. Secure Housing & Basic Needs: Access to food, shelter, transportation and technology is fundamental for children, families and communities to achieve educational outcomes, lead healthy lives and reach economic stability.
  4. Increase Healthcare Navigation: Critical health conditions, behavioral and mental health challenges, and other family health issues are the most common causes for young children to miss school.
  5. Strengthen Family Engagement: Fostering the natural leadership that parents have as their children’s first teacher, brain builder, advocate and coach.

Read more about the Strong Learners Investment Priority area and the Child Well-Being Mission Fund.

Current Funding Opportunities

The Strong Learners Investment Priority area is requesting proposals from organizations providing services in the following two pathways. Applicants can apply to only one pathway.

Build Reading Skills: Direct Service Approach 
Engaging community volunteers as tutors and building collaborative opportunities with community groups to increase and expand literacy-focused resources at summer enrichment programs. We recognize that while many children and youth across Greater Atlanta are offered a variety of programming, there are persistent gaps in access to quality educational services, particularly in low-income communities.

Consideration given to organizations or groups providing subsidized quality learning activities that fill capacity gaps at summer programs, collaborative networks addressing language and literacy gaps through “study hubs,” and other innovative programs that align activities with school curricula, so students come back ready to learn.

Increase Healthcare Navigation: Direct Service Approach 
Support for families navigating untreated behavioral/mental health challenges and other family health issues that get in the way of school attendance. Consideration given to agencies providing early detection screenings and behavioral health services for children aged 0-8 and their families​.

Grant Time & Award Information

Process Timeline

The grant process has five phases that will extend from January – May 2022. More information will be provided in the Applicant Orientation.

Information
Session

January

Applicant Orientation Webinar

Application opens Jan. 12, 2022

Application
Submission

Application deadline: February 2, 2022

All applications submitted through FLUXX

No incomplete or late submissions accepted

Application
Review

Mid-February – Early April

Assessment of application

Follow up questions

Notification
 

Mid–Late April

United Way Leadership volunteers make grant decisions

All applicants notified

Contract
 

Late April – Mid May

Grantee Orientation

Development of measures

Finalize contract

Award Information

  • All applicants will be notified in late-April after United Way leadership volunteers complete their decision-making. 
  • The minimum grant award will be $25,000 for a one-year grant period; grant period for the Strong Learners funding opportunities may vary depending on strategy. 
  • We anticipate awarding 2-4 organizations with grant awards ranging $25,000 - $50,000 for the Building Reading Skills funding opportunity. 
  • We anticipate awarding 2-4 organizations with grant awards ranging $25,000 - $50,000 for the Increase Healthcare Navigation funding opportunity. 
  • First time Awardees will participate in the Grantee Orientation to gain more information about grant expectations. Please note: United Way of Greater Atlanta uses a Results Based Accountability measurement framework across our Child Well-Being Mission Fund investments. For organizations that are award recipients we will provide detailed training and United Way staff will work with your organization to develop a minimum of 1 Results Based Accountability metric that corresponds to your grant during the Contract Phase of the process. 

Minimum Requirements

  • Applicants must be a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit or working with a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit as their fiscal sponsor
  • Applicants cannot have an active grant from United Way of Greater of Atlanta, excluding any active grant awards issued from the following grant programs: Emergency Housing Assistance Program, Building Opportunities in Out-of-School Time (BOOST) grant, School-Age Help and Relief Effort (SHARE) grant, Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP), and United for Racial Equity and Healing Fund (UfREHF)
  • Applicants must be a Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC)-led organization or project must be led by people living closest to issue or directly impacted. United Way of Greater Atlanta considers BIPOC-led organizations to meet 3 of 4 criteria: (1) Executive Director is BIPOC, (2) The majority of the organization’s Board of Directors are BIPOC, (3) The majority of the organization’s executive staff (C-Suite or equivalent level) are BIPOC, (4) the majority of people served are BIPOC.
  • Applicants must have an annual organizational budget under $1,000,000. Special consideration will be given to organizations with annual organizational budgets under than $500,000.
    Applicants must demonstrate how they center racial equity as a part of their design model
  • Organizations/Groups must be serving in communities of low and very low Child Well-Being. Special consideration will be given to those serving at least 50% or more in the following priority zip codes: Clayton (30236, 30274, 30264, 30296, 30297), South DeKalb (30032); South Fulton (30291, 30311, 30315, 30331, 30336, 30337, 30344, 30354). Please review the Child Well-Being Map.
  • Maintain a current registration with the Georgia Secretary of State office.
  • Have an independent governing body consisting of at least nine voting members who are resident volunteers, that has the authority to decide policy and strategic direction with respect to the agency's programs, administration and finances, in accordance with the organization's By-Laws, and who shall meet at least four times per year.  Paid staff must not be a voting member of the Board.
  • Maintain a non-discrimination policy or plan that does not discriminate on the basis of race, cultural heritage, religion, gender, national origin, age, marital status, sexual orientation, veteran status or status as a qualified disabled or handicapped individual.
  • Demonstrate financial management - All financial statements must show evidence of accounting principles in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Procedures (GAAP) and include full disclosures and appropriate notes for such things as leases, loans, investments and affiliated party transactions.

Priority Considerations

Racial Equity: Applicants should speak to their ability to center the voice of their constituents and how they will utilize this funding to institute equitable practices in their service delivery model.

Funding Pathways: Priority consideration will be given to organizations or groups that demonstrate the following:

  • Build Reading Skills (Direct Service): organizations or groups focused on summer learning. Summer learning programs should demonstrate strategies that maintain and advance students’ academic and social growth and keep children safe and healthy during the summer (grades K-3). Preferred applicants will target students who are disproportionally served and acknowledge or support literacy gaps of parents/caregivers.
  • Increase Healthcare Navigation (Direct Service): organizations that focus on behavioral/mental health for young children (0-8). Organizations should offer a continuum of services to children and families through health promotion and outreach, prevention and intervention programs, treatment of social-emotional issues; and wraparound support services that address basic needs (food, housing, technology, etc.).

Additionally, consideration will be given to organizations or groups working with families and children to build relationships while services are provided at home or at a center. Grants will prioritize programs/projects addressing social and emotional learning, as well as behavioral/mental health interventions, either as a part of programming or through a partner.

Priority consideration will also be given to applicants who can demonstrate strong relationships and trust within their communities.

Priority consideration will be given to organizations that serve communities where English is not the primary language (immigrant/refugee populations)

Geographies Served: Grants should be geographically focused on communities of low or very low child well-being. We have a particular interest in funding programs in the communities surrounding Clayton, Dekalb, and S. Fulton counties.

Collaborative Opportunities: We believe success requires the unique contributions of the entire community, including individuals, families, schools, nonprofits, the faith-based community, funders, governments, and the private sector. Priority consideration will be given to thoughtful projects and programs undertaken by collaborative partnerships. We define collaborative partnerships as:

  • Jointly developed and agreed upon a set of common goals and direction.
  • Shared risks and responsibility for obtaining those goals.
  • Working together to achieve those goals, using the expertise and resources of each collaborator.
  • Jointly developed structure.

How to Apply

United Way of Greater Atlanta will be accepting applications from January 12, 2022 – February 2, 2022 through our grants portal FLUXX. The link will to the application will go live on January 12, 2022.

View Applicant Orientation Webinar