United Way of Metro Chicago announces United Neighborhoods Equity Fund

Grant applications for $50k now open for small, Black and brown-led Chicago nonprofits
PRNewsFoto/United Way of Metro Chicago
PRNewsFoto/United Way of Metro Chicago

United Way of Metro Chicago announces United Neighborhoods Equity Fund
Grant applications for $50k now open for small, Black and
brown-led Chicago nonprofits


PRNewswire -- United Way of Metro Chicago today opened
applications for their new United Neighborhoods Equity Fund
(UNEF). UNEF aims to support small, Black and brown-led
nonprofits predominantly located on the city’s south and west
sides and south suburban region, and connect them to new investment opportunities. Each of the 10 grantees will be awarded
$50,000 of unrestricted funds over a two-year cycle to be used
according to the needs of each nonprofit.

Research by Echoing Green and The Bridgespan Group shows
that leaders of color face challenges connecting to funders, building
rapport, and securing and sustaining support for culturally relevant
strategies. This has led to significant disparities in investment. Blackled organizations dedicated to improving outcomes for Black men have revenue that is 45% lower than organizations with white leaders.

With UNEF, United Way will assist Black and brown-led organizations in building capacity at the grassroots level to accelerate neighborhood-driven outcomes and mentor them to plan for long-term success.

UNEF is made possible with the generous support of founding
sponsor Peoples Gas, which committed $1 million to the initiative, and corporate sponsors Nicor Gas and Target. DePaul University is providing professional leadership development and training to the grantees.

“Investing in community-based organizations and the leaders
who have the knowledge and expertise to maximize the potential
that exists in those communities is essential to the prosperity
not just of each neighborhood, but of the entire region,” said
Charles Matthews, president and CEO of Peoples Gas. “When
we learned about the opportunity to support the Equity Fund,
we immediately came on board because like United Way, we’re
committed to strengthening the neighborhoods where we work
and live on Chicago’s south and west sides.’”

Over the course of the two-year grant cycle, grantees will be
connected to corporate partners in the communities they serve,
receive a year of capacity building support from DePaul’s nonprofit
management program and have opportunities to network
with their cohort of other selected grantees.

“We’re fortunate to have exceptional corporate partners who
believe in our efforts to support and fund neighborhood-led coalitions that galvanize resources, ideas and energy so every
one of our neighborhoods and our region becomes stronger,”
said president and CEO of United Way Sean Garrett. Applications for UNEF close on Sunday, Aug. 15. Visit United Way of Metro Chicago’s website to learn more about eligibility requirements and how to apply.

United Way of Metro Chicago brings together businesses, government, nonprofits, and community leaders to deliver funding,
resources, and expertise to nonprofit organizations across greater
Chicago. We are working alongside our partners at the neighborhood level to tackle the systemic issues that have plagued our region, creating communities where children and families can
thrive. United, we’re building stronger neighborhoods for a stronger
Chicago region. To learn more, visit www.liveunitedchicago.org.

 Peoples Gas, a subsidiary of WEC Energy Group (NYSE: WEC),
is a regulated natural gas delivery company that serves more than
878,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in the city
of Chicago. You can find more information about natural gas safety,
energy efficiency and other energy-related topics at peoplesgasdelivery. com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook @peopl

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