920.563.8880 unitedway@idcnet.com

Fort Atkinson, WI – March 13, 2017 – The United Way of Jefferson & North Walworth Counties is set to launch its fourth annual pillar grant funding opportunity.  The application cycle officially opens at 9am on Monday, March 20th and closes at 5pm on Friday, April 21st, with grant allocation decisions announced by Friday, May 19th.


“Our United Way is excited to not only continue our support for our pillar grant opportunity, but to have increased the funding available for pillar grants for the fourth year in a row.  Over the past three years, we have been able to allocate a total of $41,585 to 23 different community projects and programs through this funding opportunity, and we are eager to grow that throughout 2017,” states Megan Hartwick, United Way executive director.  “We continue to see excitement around the pillar grants, both in applications received and campaign donations designated to the support of them.  Another successful campaign year has allowed us to continue to expand this specific community support.”


Pillar grants are a unique opportunity that differentiates from the traditional agency grants United Way provides, in that applicants are not required to be nonprofit organizations to be eligible for funding, although nonprofits are still able and encouraged to apply.  The opportunity is open to any and all community members, organizations/groups, schools, etc. that may have a great community project idea or an existing program that they need additional funding for.  The main requirement is that the project must be aimed at improving the health, education and/or financial stability of the communities which United Way of Jefferson & North Walworth Counties supports.  Also, to ensure proper use of grant funds, pillar grant payments are made on a reimbursement basis after the receipt of paid invoices.


“The last three years of pillar grant funding has brought our United Way much needed increased visibility within our communities.  We’re often a very ‘behind-the-scenes’ organization, and many of our pillar grant supported projects and programs have brought us into the forefront,” Hartwick states.  “We’ve also seen some incredible partnerships develop through pillar grants with community groups and organizations that our United Way has not been involved with in the past.  This funding opportunity has allowed us to positively expand our impact on the health, education and financial stability of our communities.”


Some example of the past projects that have received funding are: mobile railyard equipment through Fort Healthcare; scholarships for local children to participate in the Working for Whitewater’s Wellness Fit Kid Shuffle; improvements/additions to school and community gardens; support for the Jefferson County Connections Youth Leadership Conference; Parents Cafes for Jefferson County Head Start; KIND News publication through the Humane Society of Jefferson County; a handicap accessible fishing pier at the Rivers Edge Nature Preserve, and many more.


“Each year, our board of directors is amazed by the exciting project and program proposals we receive for pillar grant consideration,” Hartwick adds.  “We encourage anyone looking for additional support with funding and community outreach to apply for 2017 funding.  We are looking so forward to continuing our support for our communities in new, innovative ways through increased pillar grant partnerships.”
All pillar grant applications must be completed online.  Log-in details can be obtained from the United Way office at 920.563.8880 or unitedway@idcnet.com.




The United Way of Jefferson and North Walworth Counties supports 32 local agencies that provide critical health and human services to those in need.  This network of helping services can be described as a “safety net” for those in our midst in need.  Whether it is transitional housing, literacy education, after-school programs and education, health and dental care, end of life care, mentoring programs, job training or disaster relief, the United Way identifies the greatest needs in our community and helps to fund agencies that can meet those needs.


For more information about our local United Way, you may visit the website at www.ourunitedway.com  or “like” the Facebook page at “United Way of Jefferson & North Walworth Counties.”  For details regarding the United Way’s online volunteer tool, please visit www.volunteermain.com.