Community Action Grants

Applications Closed

Decisions expected at the end of March

As we turn the page to 2023, United Way continues to shift its community impact agenda to promote financial opportunity and prosperity and advance an economically just region. To help shape future strategies, United Way is providing one-year unrestricted grants to local coalitions and grassroots organizations that are currently implementing initiatives or campaigns to affect local change, or Community Action.

The United Way Community Action Grants will be awarded to strategies that are collective action (led by agencies) or grassroots action (led by residents within a community) and work to expand one of the following four avenues to economic prosperity:

  • Early Education and Out-of-School Time: Quality, affordable early education and out-of-school time programs when and where they are needed, offering developmentally appropriate learning environments that support social emotional wellbeing. 
  • Youth and Young Adult Pathways: Educational and career pathways for marginalized youth and young adults audaciously charting their own course to economic prosperity.
  • Housing Stability: A continuum of housing opportunities, resources, and supports that are effectively resulting in homelessness becoming a brief, exceedingly rare, one-time event.
  • Economic Inclusion and Wealth Building: Economic systems are fair and equitable, supporting individuals to experience financial stability and economic mobility.


Applications Closed

Applications available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Cape Verdean, Haitian Creole, Mandarin, Cantonese and Vietnamese.  

  • United Way intends to provide a total of 16 grants with awards of $15,000 each.
  • Applying grassroots organizations are required to have a Black, Indigenous, person of color (BIPOC) and/or a person who identifies as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual, Queer, Intersexual, Asexual (LGBTQIA+) on their leadership team.
  • Applying collective active organizations must have at least one participant as part of their leadership group that identifies as BIPOC and/or LGBTQIA+.
  • Funding is prioritized for the following geographies: Attleboro, Boston (citywide efforts, Dorchester, East Boston, Mattapan, Roxbury, South Boston), Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Haverhill, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, Malden, Quincy, Randolph, Revere, Salem, Somerville, Taunton.

We expect these growing partnerships to influence United Way’s next investment opportunity, a multi-year grantmaking process that will begin in the spring of 2023.

Additional Resources

Application Video Tutorial

Frequently Asked Questions [DOCX]

If these resources don’t answer your questions, contact

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Apply to be a Community Grant Reviewer!

Thank you for your interest, for any questions on Grant Review Team opportunities please contact Carolyn Grimes at

Community Lead Reviewers

Applications are now closed
Lead reviewers will work with us to organize and convene a team of local reviewers to make recommendations on grant recipients for their region. Lead Reviewers should expect to spend 10 – 12 hours and will be compensated at $500 per person. Grant reviewing will begin in late January 2023 and finish up by the end of March 2023.  If you have deep knowledge or lived experience in one or more of the focus areas and are organized and a strong communicator who is comfortable leaving space for conversation to lead to consensus, live or work in our priority areas and want to participate in leading a grant review team to support local nonprofits. Previous community organizing experience is helpful but not necessary.

Community Action Grant Reviewers

Applications are now closed
Reviewers will join a team of local community reviewers from a specific geographic area to review grants from that area and make recommendations for funding. They will attend at least two meetings, a training meeting and grant review meeting (s) and will read through an assigned number of grants. The expected time will be 4 – 6 hours with a compensation of $200. Preference will be given to reviewers who live or work in our priority areas and have familiarity with our focus areas. Previous grant making experience is not necessary.