Apply for emergency assistance

Nebraska & Iowa tornado relief fund

Emergency assistance application

In the wake of the devastating tornadoes that recently swept through Nebraska and Iowa, we recognize the immense challenges you may be facing in rebuilding your lives and neighborhoods. Donors across our community have generously contributed to the Nebraska and Iowa Tornado Relief Fund (NITRF) to support individuals and families affected by these tornadoes. Impacted households may complete a short form at the link below to request $1,000 of emergency financial assistance for essential needs not covered by existing resources.

Application details:

Priority will be given to households experiencing severe damage or complete destruction of their primary residences in the following counties: Douglas (NE), Lancaster (NE), Washington (NE), Crawford (IA), Harrison (IA), Mills (IA), Pottawattamie (IA), and Shelby (IA). Only one submission may be approved per household.

The form will ask you to share what you intend to use the funds for. These funds should be used for a loss incurred as a result of the tornadoes, and are intended to fill gaps and support the unique needs of your household. Funds may support expenses such as insurance co-pays or deductibles, security deposits or other essential expenses not immediately covered by insurance or FEMA. Submission of the form is not a guarantee of approval or payment.

To help process your application, please upload documentation in the attachments section of the form. This may include: your insurance policy or claim; FEMA application ID, application or approval letter; disaster report or other official documentation. In addition, the 211 Helpline team has flexibility to provide assistance based on individualized case management plans with local agencies and nonprofits.  

Individuals with limited computer access may also call 2-1-1 or text their ZIP code to 898211 for assistance to complete the form.

Upon completion of this form, a United Way of the Midlands team member may reach out to request additional details and suggest other resources available to assist, as needed. Emergency financial assistance available until all funds are disbursed.

Our Focus Areas:

Basic Needs

Crisis Response, Health and Well-Being

Education

Youth and Family Engagement

Financial Stability

Economic Mobility

our mission

United way of the midlands unites our community's caring spirit to build a stronger tomorrow.

United Way Partnership at a Glance

United Way of the Midlands is committed to a genuine funding partnership.  When you partner with us you can expect:

program eligibility criteria:

UWM requires organizations to submit an application for each unique, clearly delineated program for which they are seeking support. UWM does not fund organizations, we provide grants to programs. Below are minimum requirements.

  • Have 501c3 (not-for-profit) status, or a 501c3 fiscal sponsor
  • Programming primarily serves economically vulnerable populations
  • Programming primarily serves the Omaha Metropolitan area.
  • Programming focused on one of the following: Crisis Response, Health and Well-Being, Youth and Family Engagement, Economic Mobility. Please click here to review funding areas, priorities and required metrics.
  • UWM investment request cannot exceed 50% of the total program budget.
  • Organizations with revenues over $500,000 should submit a 990 and independent audit; smaller organizations may submit a 990 and board approved financial statements.
  • Commitment and ability to report required client-level demographics are results based accountability metrics for each funded program.

We do not allow the following: Sponsorships, annual funds, galas, or other special event fundraising activities, conferences or events, capital campaigns or new building construction (“bricks and mortar”), debt reduction, endowment funds, dissertations, theses or student research, sectarian religious activities, political lobbying, or legislative activities, support to individuals including tuition, loans, fellowships, or grants, strategic planning or community research, collective impact/backbone organizations.

Other considerations:

UWM is prepared for a record volume of applications and expects a highly competitive review process with requests far outpacing the amount available to invest. If you are submitting a request for funds for a program that has not received support from UWM in the past you can ask for $25,000 in support. It should be noted that an agency can only apply for funds for one program not previously supported by UWM.

Most grant awards for returning applicants will fall between $50,000-$75,000.

Frequently asked questions

With deep local roots in community service, United Way of the Midlands has served the Omaha-Council Bluff community for over 95 years. Working on behalf of thousands of donors, UWM’s focus is to serve those living in poverty – helping our most vulnerable neighbors stand strong and work toward independence. We invest in programs that demonstrate national, evidence-based best practices in the following areas:

  • Basic Needs
  • Education
  • Financial Stability

Please click here to review funding areas, priorities and required metrics.

United Way of the Midlands helps the most vulnerable members of our community – individuals living in or at-risk of poverty. In our metro, there are more than 100,000 people living in poverty. For a family of four, this means they are living on less than $25,000 annually.

Programs funded through the Community Care Fund are selected through our Community Investment Review Team (CIRT) Process. This effort is facilitated by UWM’s Community Investment team of subject matter experts, along with our Analytics and Programs team.

During the CIRT process, community volunteers review funding proposals submitted by local nonprofit agencies. The volunteers evaluate each proposal based on a number of criteria, including the program’s ability to demonstrate measurable impact, drive efficiencies, establish collaborations and more. Their discernment resulted in a 2022-2024 investment portfolio that maintains a broad community-wide view and recognizes that challenges are interconnected.

Community Care Fund – United Way of the Midlands (unitedwaymidlands.org)

Community Investment Review Team – United Way of the Midlands (unitedwaymidlands.org)

The United Way of the Midlands has multiple funding priority areas. These priority areas include:

  • Food Access: Provide healthy and emergency food supports utilizing best practices
  • Shelter: Provide access to immediate safe shelter, transitional housing options and other support services for individuals and families
  • Homeless Prevention: Provide services that help individuals and families stay in their homes
  • Case Management and Legal Services: Provide access to a coordinated and integrated system of supports to remove barriers
  • Physical Health: Provide high-quality physical services across the lifespan to improve health and well-being
  • Behavioral health: Provide high-quality behavioral and mental health services across the lifespan to improve health and well-being
  • Health Promotion: Provide high-quality social services across the lifespan to promote positive lifestyle and behaviors
  • Family Support: Provide parent and child development services to support overall household well-being
  • Early Learning: Provide educational and affordable daycare services
  • Out of School Time: Provide a safe space for students to foster positive academic and social skills
  • Attendance and Credit Recovery: Provide services to reconnect youth to school and achieve academic progress
  • Mentoring: Provide youth engagement opportunities through positive relationships
  • Education and Training: Help adults and youth attain marketable and developmentally appropriate skills based upon best practices and employer demand
  • Employment: Assist adults and youth with job search, interview skills, placement and retention through enhancing employment status, and leveraging formal partnerships with businesses/sectors
  • Entrepreneurship: Help adults prepare for, create and manage their own successful business
  • Financial Literacy and Asset Development: Assist clients with awareness and knowledge about asset building/protection, and independent living preparedness

Please click here to review funding areas, priorities and required metrics.

We are no longer accepting Letters of Intent for the 2024-2026 investment cycle.

Our process embeds equity by looking at community served, BIPOC leadership, community voice and more. Application questions are designed to ensure we address economic and social disparity in our community, and that programs are reflective, engaged and responsive to the communities they serve. Further, the funding process is open and accessible to nonprofits of all sizes and capacity – ensuring UWM funds the best of the best. We also provide assistance through 1:1 and group sessions, as well as an application guide to assist programs in presenting their most compelling case for funding.

Programs funded through the Community Care Fund are selected through our Community Investment Review Team (CIRT) Process. This effort is facilitated by UWM’s community impact team of subject matter experts, along with our analytics and performance team.

During the CIRT process, community volunteers review funding proposals submitted by local nonprofit agencies. The volunteers evaluate each proposal based on a number of criteria, including the program’s ability to demonstrate measurable impact, drive efficiencies, establish collaborations and more. Their discernment resulted in a 2018-2020 investment portfolio that maintains a broad community-wide view and recognizes that challenges are interconnected.

Community Care Fund – United Way of the Midlands (unitedwaymidlands.org)

Community Investment Review Team – United Way of the Midlands (unitedwaymidlands.org)

LOI preparation meetings will be held on September 25th at 9:00am and September 28th at 2:00pm. Please email communityinvestment@uwmidlands.org to receive an invitation to the virtual session.

All eligible LOI’s will receive an invitation from UWM Community Investment staff to attend a Due Diligence meeting in preparation for the application. These meetings will be held from November 1st-December 21st, 2003.

If you are a submitting a request for funds for a program that has not received support from UWM in the past you can ask for $25,000 in support. It should be noted that an agency can only apply for funds for one new program. Most grant awards for returning applicants will fall between $50,000-$75,000.

As a funder UWM wants to ensure that we are responding to the needs of the community in an equitable and inclusive way. All investments will be reviewed on a quarterly basis to ensure that funds are being utilized as stated in the application.

UWM is prepared for a record volume of applications and expects a highly competitive review process with requests far outpacing the amount available to invest – If you are submitting a request for funds for a program that has not received support from UWM in the past you can ask for $25,000 in support. It should be noted that an agency can only apply for funds for one program not previously supported by UWM.

Most grant awards for returning applicants will fall between $50,000-$75,000.

CREATE YOUR AGENCY PROFILE HERE

All programs that have been deemed eligible have been invited to apply, applications are now closed at this time for the 2024-2026 investment cycle.

Applications are now closed at this time for the 2024-2026 investment cycle.

Funding announcements will be made in June, 2024.

The current funding cycle will run from July 1, 2024-June 30, 2026.

An application guide will be provided in the new year to programs invited to move forward in the process. You may also reach out to the UWM Community Investment Team at communityinvestment@uwmidlands.org.

LOI Preparation Meetings September 25th at 9:00am and September 28th at 2:00pm.

Email communityinvestment@uwmidlands.org to receive an invitation to a virtual preparation meeting.

Resources for funded partners

As a partner and funder, United Way of the Midlands provides our currently funded agencies with necessary resources and tools to aid in your ongoing success. If you have questions that relate specifically to your programming, please reach out to your Community Investment staff liaison or email communityinvestment@uwmidlands.org.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

  • Welcome to UWM Funding Webinar – July 2024
  • Agency CEO Breakfast – August 8, 2024
  • Funding Essentials Summit – August 8, 2024

key reporting documents:

other resources:

2024 - 2026 Reporting deadlines:

  • Year One Initial Reporting-due August 9th 2024 by 5:00 pm CST 
  • Year One Mid-Year Reporting- due February 7th 2025 by 5:00 pm CST 
  • Year One Annual Reporting AND Year Two Initial Reporting due July 31st 2025 by 5:00 pm CST  
  • Year Two Mid-Year Reporting-due February 6th 2026 by 5:00 pm CST 
  • Year Two Annual Reporting-due July 31st 2026 by 5:00 pm CST 

*Refer to your grant agreement to determine whether is this required for your organization 

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

We are excited to announce that we are launching our new Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Fund at the end of March through EC-Impact. UWM’s DEI Fund will address racial, social and economic disparities in our community through programming investments that helps historically and/or systemically marginalized populations sustain living wage jobs and build multi-generational financial stability. Eligible agencies will be those whose leadership, staff, client population and program delivery methods reflect diversity,  equity, and inclusion. Details of the fund are still being finalized but you can contact Justin Tyree, Director, Community Impact – DEI, at jtyree@uwmidlands.org with any questions.

Community Care Fund

As a convener, collaborator and catalyst for change, our vision is to create a thriving community where adults and children have access to safety net supports, education, financial stability and good health, which are the building blocks to economic stability and a high quality of life. As part of that commitment, UWM invests in high performing non-profit organizations that provide programs and services that align with our 2022-2024 Goals.

2022 – 2024 Goals

Our collaborative services will result in approximately
8 million services over a 2 year investment period:

City of Omaha Arpa
Community Grant Program*

Funding will be provided to expand and enhance existing programs in the areas below:

Food Access

This includes, but is not limited to, food distribution, meal services, pantry and pantry services, and backpack programs, etc.

Care Coordination

Programs that provide access to a coordinated and integrated system of supports to remove barriers. Including, but not limited to, navigation and case management, material resources, legal, disaster, etc.

Shelter

Access to immediate safe shelter.

Homeless Prevention

Transitional housing options and other support services for individuals and families to prevent homelessness.

Financial Literacy

 Financial literacy, awareness and knowledge about asset building/protection, and independent living preparedness.

Family Support

Increase knowledge and skills of healthy parenting and childhood development.

Health Promotion

Increase knowledge, skills, or assets to promote health and nutrition, and prevent disease and diet-related illness or asthma.

Physical Well-Being

 Access to high-quality physical and dental healthcare services across the lifespan.

Behavioral Well-Being

Access to high-quality behavioral and mental health counseling services for all ages.

*This project is being supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number SLFRP0230 awarded to the City of Omaha by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

For more information about the City of Omaha ARPA Community Grant Program, you can read the press release at https://www.cityofomaha.org/american-rescue-plan-act.

With deep local roots in community service, United Way of the Midlands has served the Omaha-Council Bluff community for over 95 years. Working on behalf of thousands of donors, UWM’s focus is to serve those living in poverty – helping our most vulnerable neighbors stand strong and work toward independence. We invest in programs that demonstrate national, evidence-based best practices in the following areas:

  • Basic Needs
  • Education
  • Financial Stability

Please click here to review funding areas, priorities and required metrics.

United Way of the Midlands helps the most vulnerable members of our community – individuals living in or at-risk of poverty. In our metro, there are more than 100,000 people living in poverty. For a family of four, this means they are living on less than $25,000 annually.

Programs funded through the Community Care Fund are selected through our Community Investment Review Team (CIRT) Process. This effort is facilitated by UWM’s Community Investment team of subject matter experts, along with our Analytics and Programs team.

During the CIRT process, community volunteers review funding proposals submitted by local nonprofit agencies. The volunteers evaluate each proposal based on a number of criteria, including the program’s ability to demonstrate measurable impact, drive efficiencies, establish collaborations and more. Their discernment resulted in a 2022-2024 investment portfolio that maintains a broad community-wide view and recognizes that challenges are interconnected.

Community Care Fund – United Way of the Midlands (unitedwaymidlands.org)

Community Investment Review Team – United Way of the Midlands (unitedwaymidlands.org)

United Way of the Midlands-funded programs operate in Douglas, Sarpy or Pottawattamie counties. This means donor dollars stay right here in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro, helping our neighbors fulfill their needs and lead healthy, independent lives. Our 2-1-1 Helpline impacts the whole state of Nebraska and eight counties in southwest Iowa.
Originally called the Omaha Community Chest, the first campaign was held in 1923. Over the years, our name has changed but we have continued to work alongside the Omaha-Council Bluffs community to ensure our most vulnerable neighbors have services available to help in times of need.

United Way of the Midlands brings individuals, businesses, nonprofits and government agencies together to strengthen our community.

  •  We identify community needs, service gaps and opportunities to improve life in our region.
  •  We inspire individuals and organizations to give their time and financial resources to support these needs.
  • We convene organizations with related programs to facilitate collaboration and information sharing – ultimately strengthening the network of services available to community members.
  • We invest in the metro’s strongest health and human service programs.
  • We require funded programs to demonstrate quantifiable results so we can evaluate and share our progress with you.

Programs funded through the Community Care Fund are selected through our Community Investment Review Team (CIRT) Process. This effort is facilitated by UWM’s community impact team of subject matter experts, along with our analytics and performance team.

During the CIRT process, community volunteers review funding proposals submitted by local nonprofit agencies. The volunteers evaluate each proposal based on a number of criteria, including the program’s ability to demonstrate measurable impact, drive efficiencies, establish collaborations and more. Their discernment resulted in a 2018-2020 investment portfolio that maintains a broad community-wide view and recognizes that challenges are interconnected.
View our investments here

As a community-wide organization, United Way of the Midlands leverages its unique attributes to serve as a funder, educator, data aggregator, innovator and convener.
One person, on their own, may not have much reach. But when we put our efforts together, and leverage the volunteer resources and experienced know-how of the United Way, thousands of lives are changed for the better. The United Way makes sure donors’ dollars are invested wisely, for maximum impact, with clear, measurable goals in more than 110 programs across the community.
Continue to our website to read more about the funding process.

United Ways across the country are locally-governed by a Board of Directors in their service areas and set their own policies.

Because United Way organizations have a community-wide perspective, United Way of the Midlands connects with United Way organizations around the country to share learnings, experiences and insights. United Way Worldwide (UWW) often facilitates information sharing and aggregates data from the network of nearly 1,800 community-based United Ways around the world. UWW is an international service association created to serve independent, local United Ways by providing necessary services such as training for staff and volunteers, national publicity, campaign materials and program and service data. UWW does not set policy for UWM or any of the other locally-governed United Ways across the country.
Read more about United Way Worldwide

Donors can make online gifts by clicking here or simply texting THATKINDOFTOWN to 41444. Many donors also give through a workplace campaign.

You can also mail a check or stop by and see us at our office at 2201 Farnam St., Ste. 200, Omaha, NE, 68102. Please call 402-342-8232 or email support@uwmidlands.org if you have questions.

Please email our team at communitystrong@uwmidlands.org to cancel, void or refund a donation.

If you donate through our online donation form or through a text-to-give campaign, you can visit https://www.mobilecause.com/constituent-terms-new/ to learn more about terms, how to opt out, get help or learn more about your donation.

We’re happy to help you start a workplace campaign! There are many ways you can share your enthusiasm for United Way and promote philanthropic giving in your workplace.

For more information, please contact Greg Vassios, Senior Vice President, Corporate and Donor Relations at gvassios@uwmidlands.org

Yes, United Way of the Midlands operates local and national campaigns on electronic pledging systems. For more information on electronic campaigns, contact Greg Vassios, Senior Vice President, Corporate and Donor Relations at gvassios@uwmidlands.org
United Way of the Midlands’ leadership giving programs recognize local donors who have given $1,000 per year or more. The Bridgebuilder Society recognizes donors with yearly gifts of $1,000 – $9,999 and the Tocqueville Society recognizes yearly gifts of $10,000 or more. UWM is proud to recognize approximately 2,000 Bridgebuilder Society members and more than 250 Tocqueville Society members each year.
Yes, United Way of the Midlands donors can designate to a local human and health services agency of their choice, even if the agency is not funded through UWM’s Community Care Fund. When a donor designates a gift to a specific UWM-funded agency, those dollars will be distributed and reported separately from the amount allocated annually through the CCF. Click here to read the Designation Guidelines

You can also designate your gift to a specific giving area or one of our initiatives: Basic Needs, Education, Financial Stability, Book Trust, Opportunity Youth or the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
No, United Way of the Midlands does not currently have a foundation. In 2003, the UWM Foundation was formed to build long-term support for the organization’s ongoing human service mission. In 2017, after careful consideration, the UWM Board voted to formally dissolve the UWM Foundation Board. The UWM Board agreed that the primary focus of the foundation had been to encourage current Tocqueville Society members to convert their contributions into Endowed Tocqueville Society gifts, and they felt a Tocqueville Endowment Committee could better carry out this mission.

We make every dollar count. United Way of the Midlands is ranked 7th for campaign performance out of approximately 1,200 U.S.-based United Ways. As a result, 92 cents out of every donated dollar is invested directly back into our local community. Read more about United Way’s financials
*Updated December 2020

If you’re in need of assistance, call the 2-1-1 Helpline or text your zip code to 898211. 2-1-1 Information and Referral Specialists have the community’s most extensive human service database at their fingertips. They can connect you directly to food pantries, counseling, utility assistance or other health and human services in our community.

2-1-1 is available by phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The call is free and confidential.
Read more about the help available

United Way of the Midlands operates the 2-1-1 Helpline call center, which provides information and referral services to the full state of Nebraska and eight counties in Iowa (Pottawattamie, Harrison, Mills, Shelby, Cass, Montgomery, Fremont and Page). UWM works alongside the Nebraska 2-1-1 Coalition to ensure this service is available to all Nebraskans. The coalition includes the State of Nebraska, the Nebraska Public Service Commission, Nebraska’s United Way organizations, University of Nebraska’s Public Policy Center, regional and county health departments and others.
Read more about 2-1-1

United Way of the Midlands works with local nonprofits to identify meaningful volunteer opportunities for a variety of interests and time commitments. Projects range from a one-time hourly project, such as painting a house or clerical work, to a continuous commitment, such as mentoring or tutoring.
Click here to browse all available volunteer opportunities

Day of Caring is an annual day of volunteerism, pairing hundreds of volunteers with dozens of project in the Omaha metro area. This special day of service was created in 2001 to promote the spirit and value of volunteerism in the Douglas, Sarpy and Pottawattamie County area.
Click here for more information on Day of Caring

If you have more questions, email communitystrong@uwmidlands.org or call our main number at 402.342.8232 to be connected to a staff member who can provide an answer.

Questions?

For questions regarding the status of your submission, please text your ZIP code to 898211 or email ne211@uwmidlands.org.

Nebraska & iowa tornado relief fund

Join United Way of the Midlands in assisting our neighbors in need following the devastating storms that passed through Nebraska and Iowa on April 26.