United Way is building out a dynamic line of support that is nimble and responsive to immediate and emerging community needs. One of these lines of support is our Strategic Partnerships.

To support cross-cutting initiatives in the community, including collective impact efforts and community collaborations aligned with United Way of Greater Rochester's Impact Areas: Health, Education and Economic Mobility. 


United Way’s Strategic Partnerships will help our region to work together on complex social issues that cannot be solved by one sector or organization alone.


We consider collective impact to be a unique, community-driven initiative designed to address complex social issues across sectors and organizations. A common agenda, shared measurement, mutually reinforcing activities, continuous communication and a strong backbone team are essential elements for collective impact to be successful. These grant opportunities will support collaborative community partners that embrace equity as a priority, and agree to design and implement strategies that build a culture and foster relationships of trust and respect. Strategic partnership grants are short-term, innovative investments that financially support a defined collective impact initiative, averaging $25,000 annually. Past examples include:

  • Connected Communities: using the Purpose Built Community model of holistic revitalization, the EMMA and Beechwood neighborhoods engaged its residents, service providers, and community partners to revitalize and break the cycle of poverty.
  • ROC the Future: a collaborative community-wide initiative that promotes the alignment and focus of community resources to improve the academic achievement of children in the City of Rochester.
  • Monroe County Aging Alliance: established a formalized structure to obtain AARP AgeFriendly Community designation for Rochester and Monroe County and ensure that Monroe County becomes more “Livable”, regardless of an individual’s age or abilities.
  • Rochester Monroe County Anti-Poverty Initiative (RMAPI): a community-informed strategy developed to coordinate and align resources, policies and practices in an effort to reduce poverty in the Rochester and Monroe County region.

Funding requests for Strategic Partnership Grants are accepted on a rolling basis and should be made by the designated lead organization through direct inquiry, after which an invitation to submit a proposal for consideration may be extended. All proposals will be submitted through an online application process. Each application will be reviewed for completeness, risks, benefits, success metrics and long-term impact. Approved applicants must agree and adhere to any and all grant terms, metrics of success, monitoring and reporting requirements.
Below are key requirements for Strategic Grant applications.

Partner Roles and Responsibilities
Describe each partner organization and their role in the initiative. Provide a point of contact name, title, organization, postal address, phone and email for each organization and indicate which organization will be the lead organization for the initiative.

Vision, Goal and Objectives
Describe the problem, circumstance, and/or situation that will be addressed through the initiative, including:
  • What is the shared vision and goal?
  • For what purpose have these organizations agreed to work collectively and in collaboration together?
Include any pre-activities that occurred and the level of commitment and collaboration from each organization.

Activities, Milestones and Timeline
Please identify the proposed major activities, the milestones to be achieved, the expected date for completion and any dependencies or circumstances that are time sensitive.

Governance and Decision-Making
Please briefly describe the backbone support structure and the process that will be used to govern and manage this initiative. How will decisions be made, communicated and executed?

Barriers and Risks
Are there any potential or current barriers that will prohibit, curtail or delay this initiative or its implementation? Are there any pitfalls or risks associated with this initiative or its collaborating partnerships?

Measures of Progress and Success
Please describe how progress will be tracked and success measured, including:
  • What impact/change can be expected in the short, near and long-term?
  • How will impact/change be sustained and measured over time within the community?
  • Are there any opportunities for cross-sector learning that will be shared, informally or formally?
Communications and Community Engagement
How will those most impacted by this initiative as well as other community members be engaged in this initiative, involved in the process and kept informed of its progress?

Budget and Costs
What is the total estimated budget for this initiative? Describe each budget line item, amount and frequency (one-time cost, monthly expense, annual salary). Please indicate which budget line item(s) are associated with this funding request?

In addition to the Strategic Partnership grant request, have other funders been approached for support? Have any other funding commitments been secured? If so, please indicate the source and amount for pending and secured commitments.

Additional Information (Requested upon Approval)
Formal grant agreement and plan that reflects the collective impact scope and definition, the strategic partnership, measures of progress and success, milestones, timeline and budget may be requested.
Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. 

Contact Jennifer Cathy, Chief Impact Officer at or (585) 242-6561.