Issue-Based Grant Information

United Way of Chatham County 2021 Issue-Based Grant

United Way offers first-ever Issue-Based Grant

Grant will fund housing/homelessness assistance and tutoring/summer slide prevention programs

Because the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and needs of the Chatham County community continue to rise, the United Way of Chatham County will provide additional funding opportunities to nonprofits that tackle housing/homelessness and education, in the form of its 2021 Issue-Based Grant.

The United Way will hand select Chatham County nonprofit programs that address utility assistance and housing and homelessness prevention, including domestic violence emergency housing needs. Nonprofits with programs that address summer slide prevention, tutoring and e-learning and/or internet accessibility for children will also be invited to apply for funding. Nonprofit agencies will be contacted by United Way at the end of March, and the funding application will open mid-April.

The 2021 Issue-Based Grant is something United Way staff has wanted to offer for some time. After reviewing the mid-year reports and COVID-19 challenges the United Way’s partner agencies submitted in January, reviewing 211 call data, and speaking with Chatham County community leaders, the United Way Board of Directors selected housing/homelessness and education as the two issues for this grant to address.

“Providing resources to local human service nonprofits to address Chatham’s most pressing needs is at the core of the United Way mission,” said Katie Childs, Executive Director of the United Way of Chatham County. “Ensuring that our community members have the necessities to thrive in Chatham County is a responsibility we don’t take lightly. As we begin to see the light at the end of this pandemic’s tunnel we realize that the damage of the last year is far-reaching and long-lasting. As a result, we are focusing a portion of our resources on the most critical needs to continue moving the needle for change in Chatham.”

The additional funding for the issue-based grant was created following a successful 2020 campaign, unexpected revenue, as well as reductions to the United Way budget. The United Way of Chatham County’s operating percentage is currently 11.28%, the lowest in its history of operation. United Way hopes to offer additional grant opportunities in the future if funding allows.

United Way will be contacting Chatham County businesses for matching donations to increase the amount of available funding for the issue-based grant. Please contact Shelley Smith, Outreach Coordinator, if you are interested in partnering with United Way on this funding opportunity – 919-542-1110 or shelley@unitedwayofchathamcounty.org.

Housing & Homelessness

In 2020 and currently through 2021 our agencies have been inundated with requests for assistance to help Chatham residents negatively impacted by COVID-19. In 2020 the Salvation Army saw a 65% increase in housing assistance needs (over 2019), and 211 calls for housing and utility assistance accounted for 42.7% of all calls to 211. Utility assistance calls increased 87.9% from 2019, and housing calls increased 52%.

The Issue-Based Grant Funding will:

  • Provide essential services to homeless residents.
  • Re-house homeless individuals and families.
  • Prevent families and individuals from becoming homeless. 


In 2020 nearly 22% of Chatham County Schools students received a grade of D or F in class during the first two grading periods of the fall semester, compared to 12.56% in 2019.

The Issue-Based Grant Funding will:

  • Provide essential services such as after-school tutoring, in-school tutoring, education services in math, science and language arts for children with a D or F. Includes books, computers, internet hotspots, computer programs or other needed supplies for children to achieve success. 
  • Provide Summer Slide prevention. Essential services must address the loss of academic gain from the previous school year, and should address reading, writing and mathematics. 

Agencies with programs that provide housing/homelessness assistance and tutoring/summer slide prevention will be contacted at the end of March and invited to apply for grant funding when the application opens mid-April. If you have any questions surrounding the 2021 Issue-Based Grant, please contact United Way of Chatham County at 919-542-1110. 

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