Become a Funded Partner

Please see the below sections for information about United Way Partnerships and Funding Requests.

Contact Martin Hutchison with any questions:

The 2024-25 application cycle is now closed.  

How to Apply to Be a Funded Partner

To be eligible to become a funded partner of United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore (UWLES), agencies must meet the following basic requirements found in the Memorandum of Agreement:

  • Agency must be a registered 501(c)3 and have been in existence for a minimum of one year at the time of application.

  • Program(s) for which funding is being requested must be in existence and active for a minimum of one year at the time of application.

  • Funding requests for new programs, by new or exisiting partners, should not exceeed $10,000.

  • Program must fall within the impact areas of Education, Financial Stability or Health.

  • Agency must have a Board of Directors (unpaid), who meet at least four times a year.

  • Agency must provide services within Wicomico, Worcester, Somerset and/or Dorchester Counties in Maryland.

  • Agency must provide verification of annual registration with the Secretary of State's office in the state which they are incorporated.

  • Agency must provide proof of liability insurance.

Agency must provide one of the following (note: a 990 EZ Form is not acceptable):

  • An annual audit of financial services by an independent certified accountant and an IRS 990 tax form if total support and revenue of $750,000 or more.

  • A financial review by an independent certified accountant and 990 tax form for total revenues between $300,000 and $749,999.

  • A compilation by an independent certified accountant and a 990 tax form for total revenues under $300,000.

  • Agency must provide reasonable evidence to substantiate the need for and effectiveness of its program, including outcome measurements.

  • Agency site visit for all applicants, to include the Agency’s Executive Director, Program & Financial Managers, and Board leadership.

  • All applications and supporting documentation are accepted online only. 

  • Partners may apply for funding for a maximum of four (4) programs.

  • The UWLES Community Impact Committee is comprised of approximately 27 local donors who invest over 1,100 hours annually reviewing all applications and helping to make annual funding decisions.  The CIC members serve 3 year terms, and are selected from current and past Board representatives and community leaders from all four Lower Shore Counties.

  • The amount of total funding available is dependent on the overall success of the annual United Way fundraising campaign, which commences each Fall through Spring.

  • Applicants are encouraged to request funding for what is needed to support their agency and/or program(s), keeping in mind that the application process is highly competitive and funding awards will vary based on 1) available funding, 2) quality of the application, 3) program outcomes, 4) site visit and 5) adherence to the UWLES Memorandum of Agreement (if current partner).

  • UWLES does not award Grants.  Funding is awarded to establish or continue UWLES Partnership with local nonprofit agencies to support success. 

  • There are no fees or dues to be a UWLES Partner. 

  • United Way provides year-round training, advocacy, managerial and volunteer support for all Partners in addition to allocated funding.   We are here to help!

  • All Partners are eligible to receive designations through the annual UWLES campaign, yet are not permitted to solicit designations for their agency.  Designations are paid as ‘first dollars out’ in Community Impact payments.

  • Affiliate partners do not apply for a specific funding amount, but do specify a program to receive donor designations only, paid in the following year.  Current affiliate partners reapply every three (3) years, with interim documentation/reporting required.  Program budget is not required in the application.  Measured outcomes for the program are required.  Note that NEW affiliate partners will not receive designated funds until their second year of partnership, as those gifts are pledged by the donors during their first year of partnership.

  • Full partners apply annually for a specific requested amount of Community Impact funding and receive donor designations as applicable included in their payments the following year.  Community Impact funding is paid in equal monthly installments each January - December. Allocations for existing partners, of $2,500 or less, will be in one payment in January., rather than monthly increments. 

  • All partnership benefits apply to both partner levels.

For questions about United Way partnership and funding, please contact: Martin Hutchison, Community Impact Manager at 410.742.5143 or

Early April

Applications open online via the online application system. New agency applicants will need to create an online account. Please contact Martin Hutchison at for assistance

Early May

Partner Applications Due 


UWLES Community Impact Committee Site Visits with Applicants


Community Impact Committee meets to make funding recommendations to be approved by UWLES Board of Directors.


Partnership Funding Notifications to Applicants.  New agencies are immediately welcomed as Partners and included in UWLES Partner lists.

January – December

Funding Distributed to Agency Partners in Monthly Payments