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Berkshire United Way Request for Proposal Funding

Berkshire United Way is seeking proposals to address its Economic Prosperity goals including connecting residents to available work and advancing career opportunities through exposure to various employment opportunities.  The Request for Proposal (RFP) is now available on-line at for funding from November 15, 2017 through June 30, 2020.

There are more than 17,000 individuals unemployed in Berkshire County, with only 2,700 of those collecting unemployment benefits with job placement support. An additional 26,000 were underemployed, not working 35 hours a week for 50 weeks a year. (Source: ACS 2011-2015 / Berkshire Benchmarks)

Job and income growth leads to a stronger local economy by increasing spending and the production of goods and services and stimulating economic activity. Social benefits to the community include reduced social costs related to crime, drugs, family disruption and strengthened security, education, and physical and mental well-being. Job creation further increases economic prosperity for all and promotes higher living standards. (Source:

Instructions for completing on-line eligibility as well as a complete list of eligibility requirements are included in the RFP.  Among the latter – organizations must be financially stable, located in and primarily serving residents of Berkshire County, structured as a not-for-profit, governed by an active, locally based, volunteer board of directors, and deliver programs and outcomes that align with one or both of the strategies: Employment Match Maker (Family Sustaining Employment-Pathways) and/or Adult Work-Based Experiences (includes College Internships). 

All applicants must confirm eligibility through survey monkey using the link:

After submitting the required eligibility documents to , eligible applicants will receive email confirmation with instructions on completing the application and details on registering for the mandatory Bidder’s Conference. Applicants must attend a Bidder’s Conference on October 3rd. All applications are due by MIDNIGHT on October 20.

For technical assistance, email Julie Singley, at NO LATER THAN NOON on October 6. Questions will not be answered after 10/6.

Download the RFP Overview, Rubric and Budget Template.

To download the Narrative Questions and Performance Measures only, click here.


Berkshire United Way ignites the collective power of individuals and organizations to build a stronger community together.

Our vision is that Berkshire County is a dynamic, engaged community with opportunities for all.

Berkshire United Way is working toward achieving this by leading coalitions, funding evidence-based programs, and developing effective strategies that will create lasting change in our community. We do the research to identify the most pressing issues, then bring people and organizations together to collaborate on making positive progress in these areas. Together, we can make a difference. Please join us in building our community.


Indicators of Success:

Work-based Learning – number of people placed in work-based learning settings 
Attain Jobs – number and % of unemployed workers placed in employment
Sustainable income – number and % of workers placed in jobs with sustainable income
Retain – number and % of individuals continuing to be employed for six months
Retain – number and % of individuals continuing to be employed for one year
Employer support – number of and satisfaction rating from employers being matched with employees and/or providing work-based learning opportunities


Collective Impact

BUW has embraced the collective impact approach 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[1] involves collaboration among community and business leaders, health and human service organizations, government, schools, and community members. As part of the collective impact approach, BUW includes investments in and monitoring of key programs and services. BUW is committed to investing in strategies that have demonstrated success in reaching our community goals, resulting in strong positive outcomes for individuals and families.

Eligibility Requirements

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

  • Be located in and primarily serving residents of Berkshire County;
  • Be a not-for-profit organization (501(c) 3 status is not required);
  • 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 specified strategies: Employment Match Maker and/or Work-based Experiences/Internships
  • Be able to demonstrate effectiveness of its programs/services or activities through measurable outcomes. See Appendix A of RFP Overview.

Decision Process

Berkshire United Way will utilize 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 document and track results, and the evidence or likelihood that the applicant will be successful at addressing the priority community issue.  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.

Priority will be given to applicants that:

  • Implement evidence-based, strengths-based (ABCD) curricula with fidelity;
  • Reach a target population (i.e. under-resourced individuals, unemployed or underemployed individuals);
  • Use of strong evaluation tools (i.e. MA Work Based Learning Plan);
  • Demonstrate past evidence of success in achieving its intended outcomes;
  • Have program staff that are actively engaged in Berkshire United Way coalition activities


Thank you to our leading corporate investors:


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