Safety Net Innovation – Request for Proposals

As Metro United Way heads into its final year of a three-year transition plan toward a new impact and investment model, we will be launching a new investment strategy in 2022 aimed at creating a health and safety net for individuals and families in Jefferson County who are experiencing hardships that inhibit their ability to have their basic needs met. At MUW, we are committed to closing the Education and Wealth Gaps that persist across the communities we serve. However, we also recognize that an important step to being able to do that requires a commitment to ensuring our community’s most vulnerable citizens have access to food, shelter, healthcare, child care, and other basic necessities for daily living and working.

In this particular Request for Proposals, we seek to identify new or innovative programs and ideas that will address the basic needs of individuals and families in Jefferson County. Applications may be submitted by individual non-profit partners – both with pre-existing relationships with MUW and without – and/or as part of a multi-partner collaborative proposal. Unlike MUW’s other current open funding opportunity focused on basic needs, this RFP is focused on innovation, as defined by new programs or ideas, significant changes that will improve an existing program, or capacity building intended to improve service delivery. Recent analysis of data collected from 211, United Community and other community data sources indicate that gaps likely exist in areas such as housing, rent and utility payment, and food insecurity, where the level of need in the community is not being adequately met by the community’s existing safety net of available resources.

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

  • Housing insecurity, including rent and utility assistance
  • Food insecurity
  • Emergency shelter and/or relief for those at risk of homelessness
  • Income insecurity and limited assets
  • Safety 
  • Physical and mental health and wellbeing
  • Transportation to meet basic needs
  • Child care
  • Access to computers and high speed internet
  • Other basic needs individuals require to live to their greatest potential

Metro United Way seeks proposals that will employ an innovative approach to addressing the basic needs that are in highest demand and likely going unmet in our community. Programs and services should be focused on helping Jefferson County residents in priority zip codes in west and south Louisville through the provision of goods or direct service delivery. Organizations that prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion in organizational policies, practices and service delivery will be prioritized.

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 at the mid-point of the funding period, as well as within 30 days of the end of the grant period.

You can view the scoring rubric HERE. We encourage all applicants to carefully review this rubric as you develop your RFP responses. Note that RFP reviewers will be using this rubric to score all applications.

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 provides program(s) and services focused on meeting the 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 seeks to provide innovative programming to address basic needs, as defined by changes to improve existing programming, new programs or ideas, or capacity investments that will improve service delivery.
  • Applicants may be single organizations, collaboratives, or partnerships.  Organizations may submit one application as an individual applicant, and one additional application on behalf of a collaborative.


  • 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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