Small Grants

United Way of Southwest Minnesota (UWSWMN) unites people and resources to improve lives and strengthen communities. As part of our grant funding portfolio, UWSWMN sets aside funding for use during each fiscal year (July 1-June 30) to provide small grants to eligible nonprofit organizations in our service area. The intent of the Small Grants Program is to provide support for community projects, programs or initiatives in need of a small, one-time grant that aligns with UWSWMN Priorities.

Small Grants are an outreach of the Community Impact funding process awarded through UWSWMN. The available amount of dollars available through Small Grants changes each year. This year (2018-19), $37,525 is available. One-time grants, up to $5,000 will be awarded to organizations aligned with UWSWMN’s priority areas. Deadlines are August 31st and January 31st at 5PM. Late or incomplete submissions will not be accepted. 

UWSWMN Small Grants can be used for projects such as: program work including planning, training and/or development; organizational capacity building including strategic planning, governance and other types of organizational planning and/or development activities; community and/or human service work that includes volunteer participation or emerging or unmet needs; and/or to support innovative solutions to local issues.

GRANT WORKSHOPS ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED for those interested in applying for a Small Grant.  The workshop will review the application requirements and process, etc.  Workshop(s) will be held at the United Way of Southwest Minnesota office located at 800 E Main Street, Marshall, MN.  If you plan to attend, please call (507-929-2273) or email ( our office so we know how many people to plan for. Workshops were offer in November and January.  No additional workshops are planned before the January 31, 2019 deadline.

Small Grant applications will be reviewed by a team of trained, local volunteers who will make recommendations regarding funding to the UWSWMN Board of Directors.  Funding recommendations should go to the board at their February 25, 2019 board meeting.  Notification of grant funding should go out within that week.


As indicated above, programs/organizations applying for a Small Grant must meet specific guidelines, eligibility requirements, operating guidelines, etc. in order to be considered for funding.  It is strongly recommended that anyone considering applying for a Small Grant review the following information in detail prior to starting their grant application to ensure that they qualify and meet all requirements.

1.  SMALL GRANT GUIDELINES.  This includes:  statement of purpose; allowable uses of funding; funding guidelines; eligibility requirements; and operating guidelines.
2.  SERVICE AREA.  Funds awarded by UWSWMN can only be used to fund programs that serve individuals living in our service area.
3.  COMMUNITY IMPACT PRIORITIES.  Funds awarded by UWSWMN can only be used to fund programs that fit within at least one of the UWSWMN Community Impact Priority areas.
4.  SCORING MATRIX.  A panel of volunteers will review each submitted application that meets all guidelines and will score it based on the areas noted in this matrix.
5.  SAMPLE PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT.  Any program that is awarded funding will be required to sign this agreement and adhere to its contents.   Note: The details of this agreement are subject to change. 

After reviewing each of these items, if you would like to apply for a Small Grant, click here to be directed to the UWSWMN grant portal.