2023-2024 Request for Proposals for Education – Illinois

United Way of Northwest Illinois (UWNI) announces availability of funding for the one-year period of July 2023- June 2024.

Donor Name: United Way of Northwest Illinois

State: Illinois

County: Carroll County (IL), Jo Daviess County (IL) and Stephenson County (IL)

Type of Grant: Grant

Deadline: 02/28/2023

Grant Duration: 1 year


Purpose of Funding

UWNI’s focus areas are rooted in an extensive review of the academic literature around the issues of early childhood development, school readiness, and early grade reading. A number of national initiatives, those of United Way Worldwide (UWW) and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, have focused on 3rd grade reading skills as a critical intervention point in school success. The literature is clear: failure to read at grade level by the end of 3rd grade is directly linked to long-term academics challenges, non-adaptive behaviors, and failure to complete high school. Simply stated, until 3rd grade children are learning to read; after 3rd grade they are reading to learn. Without solid reading skills children will struggle in all of their academic efforts.

High Quality Early Learning Programs: Research shows that qualified and appropriately compensated personnel, small group sizes and high adult-child ratios, language-rich environments, developmentally appropriate “curricula”, safe physical settings, and warm and responsive adult-child interactions all lead to improved child outcomes. These improved outcomes benefit our communities as a whole as education is a cornerstone for success in school, work and life. The benefits received from investing in early childhood education extend far beyond the benefit to the child and impact our whole community: high school graduates have higher earning potential, contribute more to their local economies, are more engaged in their communities, and are more likely to raise kids who also graduate on time. This is why United Way of Northwest Illinois is committed to funding partners work collectively towards data driven solutions in this area.

Focus Areas

  • Every child has access to a high quality early learning environment
    • This target area is intended to identify high-quality early learning programs that prepare all young children for success in school.
  • All families are stable and maintain nurturing home environments
    • We know that family stability is the foundation for all academic success. Within this target area, applicants must demonstrate the ability to increase family self-sufficiency; the ability of the parents to access resources and services in the community; and the ability to build parental leadership skills that translate into improved relationships between the child’s school and the parent.
  • All children have access to literacy based programs that have been proven to increase reading skills, which are important to their success in school and work.
    • It is critical to help young children be ready for school by working with them to develop early literacy and learning skills. Because strong reading skills form the basis for learning in all subjects, it is important to ensure all children have access to books and that parents/caregivers understand the importance of reading to their child from birth.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Be located in and primarily serving residents of Carroll, Jo Daviess, and Stephenson Counties
  • Be a not-for-profit organization (a 501c3 designation is NOT required)
  • Be incorporated or chartered under appropriate local, state or federal statutes;
  • Abide by federal and state laws regarding non-discrimination and anti-terrorism;
  • Have an active, locally based, volunteer board of directors that meet regularly;
  • Makes policy decisions and holds election of officers;
  • Have an administrative structure with defined lines of responsibility, a mission statement and bylaws;
  • Be financially stable, perform a regular budgeting process and be able to submit IRS Form 990 and all written communications from auditor including Management Letter comments and reports on internal control deficiencies (or Review level financials statements if the Organization is not audited by an independent auditor);
  • Have current license, certification and permits if applicable;
  • Be able to demonstrate effectiveness of its programs/services or activities through measurable outcomes as defined in this RFP.

For more information, visit UWNI.