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Berkshire United Way Request for Proposal Funding

Our Request for Proposal process is currently closed.

Berkshire United Way Business Model

Berkshire United Way’s (BUW's) mission is to improve the quality of life in Berkshire County by mobilizing resources to address community priorities and create sustainable change.   

The community aspiration, Making Berkshire County a community of hope and opportunity, where every individual and family lives, works and thrives,” and supporting priorities are the result of BUW’s collaboration with hundreds of community members over several years. Berkshire United Way has served 26 towns throughout Berkshire County for over 90 years, mobilizing the resources necessary to address the most pressing issues and lead the way to a thriving community. As part of a global network, we focus on creating lasting change by giving parents the tools they need to be partners in their child’s success, leading to healthy decision making by youth and resulting in a successful, stable life.

Much like United Way Worldwide and local United Ways around the country, BUW has adopted the Community Impact investment philosophy which supports organizations and activities that employ nationally recognized best practices and innovative evidence based programs that track and report out measurable progress. To this end, BUW has embraced the collective impact approach as a way to achieve community impact because we believe that in today’s environment we can only achieve significant, sustainable improvements when we unlock the strengths of the entire community.  Collective impact involves collaboration among community and business leaders, health and human service organizations, government, schools, and community members. BUW supports the collective impact approach in order to more effectively improve the quality of life in Berkshire County.

The Results Based Accountability (RBA) framework allows BUW to enhance the services and activities it supports through the adoption of performance measures that effectively track and improve program performance. RBA focuses on 2 key types of accountability and language discipline:

  • Population accountability - results/outcomes and indicators
  • Performance accountability - performance measures

Focus on Population and Performance takes us from ‘talk to action,’ from what we do to what we achieve. To help improve program delivery, performance measures answer the following three questions:

  • How much did we do?
  • How well did we do it?
  • Is anyone better off?

Eligibility Requirements

All applicants must meet and provide evidence of the following requirements:

  • Be located in and primarily serving residents of central and southern Berkshire County
  • Be a not-for-profit organization
  • Be incorporated or chartered under appropriate local, state or federal statutes
  • Abide by federal and state laws regarding non-discrimination and anti-terrorism
  • Have an active, locally based, volunteer board of directors that meets regularly, makes policy decisions and holds election of officers
  • Have an administrative structure with defined lines of responsibility, a mission statement and bylaws
  • Be financially stable, perform a regular budgeting process and be able to submit audited financial statements and/or IRS Form 990 (with internal control deficiency letters if applicable)
  • Have current license, certification and permits if applicable
  • Be providing services/activities that address Early Childhood Literacy, Positive Youth Development, or Financial Stability   
  • Be able to demonstrate effectiveness of its programs/services or activities through measurable outcomes

Decision Process

Berkshire United Way utilizes trained community investment volunteers to review and evaluate proposals. The volunteers are screened to ensure they are free of conflicts or perceived conflicts of interest and will base their recommendations for funding on the overall assessment score, the clarity and thoroughness of proposals, the ability to track results, and the evidence or likelihood that the applicant will be successful at addressing the priority community issue through the use of best and promising practices and/or evidence based programs.  The Community Investment volunteers will make recommendations to the Berkshire United Way Board of Directors who will make final funding decisions.  All decisions are final; there is no appeal process.


Thank you to our leading corporate investors:


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