Safety Net for Basic Needs –

Request for Proposals

In 2020, Metro United Way began a three-year transition to a new impact and investment model aimed at creating transformational change throughout the communities we serve because we recognized the urgent need to address persistent inequities that stifle sustainable progress communitywide. That same year, we launched an Impact and Innovation Fund which targeted innovative strategies aimed at closing the Education Gap and Wealth Gap that persist throughout our region. We recognize, however, that transformational change in these areas cannot occur if individuals’ and families’ basic needs are not met. This Request for Proposals seeks to create strategic partnerships to address the community’s more urgent needs around food, shelter, clothing, health and other necessities for daily living.

In this particular Request for Proposals, we seek to identify existing community programs and services run by non-profit partners – both with pre-existing relationships with MUW and without – proven to be effective at addressing basic needs. Leaning on continued data collection and insights from 211, United Community and other community data sources, we have learned that some of the greatest needs in Jefferson County currently are housing, utility assistance, food/meals, clothing/personal/household needs, healthcare, transportation, income support/assistance, legal and public safety services, and mental health/addiction services.

In this RFP, we identify basic needs as the following:

  • Food security
  • Emergency shelter and/or relief for individuals at risk of homelessness
  • Rent and utility assistance
  • Provision of clothing, personal care items, and other goods necessary for daily living
  • Direct financial assistance to meet basic needs
  • Physical and mental health & wellbeing
  • Transportation to meet basic needs
  • Case management, legal assistance, and interpretation services

Metro United Way seeks proposals that employ a high-impact/high-output approach to addressing the basic needs that are currently in the greatest demand. Programs and services should focus on helping Jefferson County residents in priority zip codes in west and south Louisville through the provision of goods or direct service delivery.

This application will be open Monday, March 21, 2022 through Friday, April 15, 2022. Available funding will be distributed to organizations whose work most closely aligns with the stated goals. This is a two-year general operating grant and applications should be for services to be performed August 2022 through July 2024. Organizations receiving grant funds must sign a grant agreement and agree to provide reporting to Metro United Way within 30 days of the end of the grant period.

A data-driven formula is being used to rank the proposals that most closely align with the stated goals. That data includes:

  • Existing program status
  • Number of clients served
  • Demographics of clients served
  • Zip codes served
  • Type of basic needs services provided

Eligibility Criteria

  • The Internal Revenue Service has ruled the applicant to be a federally recognized tax exempt, not-for-profit organization or the organization has an application in process and a fiduciary agent.
  • The applicant is seeking funds for programs, services, or strategies focused on meeting the immediate basic needs of individuals and families in Jefferson County, KY.
  • The applicant must be able to comply with MUW’s Grant Agreement (attached).
  • The applicant is requesting funds for existing programming proven to be effective at addressing basic needs.
  • Organizations may only submit one application per agency for this particular Metro United Way funding opportunity. Applicants may include a cumulative funding request for more than one basic needs program/service provided by their agency in their single application.


  • Request login credentials HERE first and then you will be able to proceed with the application. The RFP will close on Friday, April 15.
  • If your organization is selected to receive funding, your CEO/Executive Director will be notified.
  • Due to the volume of applications received, we regret that we do not have the ability to notify or share feedback with organizations that do not receive funding.
  • A list of grants awarded will be available on the Metro United Way website no later than June 30, 2022.
  • If you have additional questions, please email


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