Response Fund Grants


CLICK HERE FOR THE APPLICATION FORM - The next grant deadline is pending.  Please contact our office at to express interest in receiving this information once it is determined.


United Way of Southwest Minnesota has established a COVID-19 Response Fund to provide immediate funding for nonprofit organizations that have experienced increased demand for services, operational distress, and/or increased costs to continue current services as a result of COVID-19. The UWSWMN COVID-19 Response Fund provides flexible resources to health and human service organizations across the UWSWMN service area. The goal of the fund is to provide essential aid and critically needed safety net services to those most impacted by the pandemic.


Programs requesting funding must be run by a health and human services organization that:

  • Operates as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.
  • Serves people living within the UWSWMN service area as defined on our website.
  • Operates under written Articles of Incorporation and By-laws or other written documents or statutes that define the applicant’s purposes, membership, management and operation.
  • Operates on a non-discriminatory basis in employment, recruitment of volunteers and delivery of services.
  • Certifies that all UWSWMN granted funds will be used in compliance with all applicable anti-terrorist financing and asset control laws, statutes and executive orders.


Funding priority will be given to organizations providing COVID-19 related needs as follows:

  • Food distribution, including food support for seniors and those with disabilities (i.e. meal or grocery delivery)
  • Emergency housing and shelter support
  • Services that provide a safe environment for those experiencing domestic violence and/or are not safe in their current living situation
  • Mental health services, especially suicide support, awareness and prevention efforts

Requests based on increased demand for services and/or modifications needed to continue providing services will also be prioritized.

Amount of grant:

A maximum of $2,500 can be requested, with UWSWMN reserving the option to award a lesser amount, based on demonstrated need and available resources. Due to limited resources and high demand for support during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are recommending one application per agency. However, additional requests from agencies will be reviewed on a case by case basis depending on the availability of resources and urgency of need.

Time Frame:

Agencies may request program funding at any time.  The next grant deadline is pending.  Please contact our office at to express interest in receiving this information once it is determined.

Additional applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rotating basis, as long as funding is available. Requests will be reviewed in the order received. Agencies will be notified as soon as the UWSWMN board has approved panel recommendations.

Application format:

Grant applications are available via email by sending your request to  Completed applications can be mailed to the same email and must include all requested documentation.  If awarded the grant, a final report will be required, which will include providing outcomes achieved and demographics of those served with grant funding.

Review criteria:

All requests will be reviewed by a panel of UWSWMN staff and community volunteers with extensive grant review experience. Reviewers will evaluate requests based on the following:

  • How well the request matches the purpose of the grant program
  • The degree to which no other resources are immediately available
  • How significant the impact on clients and the community will be if funding is not secured
  • The amount of the request in relationship to the available dollars at the time of the request

Use of funds: Awarded funds should support direct program expenditures if at all possible and should be used within 30-45 days of receipt.

Special Note: Current community partners are welcome to apply.  

For additional information, questions or a grant application, please contact:  Sarah Kicmal,