United Way of Central Oklahoma's grant to fund innovative ideas
The United Way of Central Oklahoma is launching a program designed to attract innovative ideas from non-traditional charitable organizations.
The program, called the Oklahoma WayFinder Grant, could provide up to $250,000 in funding to local nonprofits that submit an idea to address a health and human service challenge in central Oklahoma.
“Our board put together a strategic growth committee to look at United Way of Central Oklahoma and its relevance and stability,” said Debby Hampton, president and CEO of the organization. “It was challenged to find bold and innovative ways to support the community.”
Through the new initiative, local nonprofits will be asked to submit ideas that address problems within United Way of Central Oklahoma’s five focus areas: strong families, successful kids, healthy citizens, independent living, and community preparedness. Finalists will be invited to pitch the idea to a panel of community leaders. The finalist with the best idea will receive one-time funding from United Way of Central Oklahoma.
“We’re taking a Shark Tank approach to tackling some of the most pressing challenges in the community,” Hampton said. “We want any nonprofit that has a bold new idea ... and is thinking outside of the box to address these issues.”
United Way of Central Oklahoma Board Chairman Jim Couch said the grant program is a way to elicit ideas for a changing society.
“We’re trying to look at how to provide social services in ways that haven’t even been tried before,” Couch said. “I think it’s an opportunity for us to break out of our mold. As society changes, we need to change with it.”
The deadline to submit the information form for the WayFinder Grant is 5 p.m. June 14.
For more information on the WayFinder Grant, please visit unitedwayokc.org/wayfindergrant or call 236-8441.