Thank you for your interest in the United Way of Orleans County

grant writing services!


For the grant writer to better assist your organization, please take the time to

fill out the application and include the following materials listed below.

Email completed information to



Mission statement– Be sure to mention the geographic areas or demographics that your organization services.

Organization’s History– Be as specific as possible using dates, name(s) of founders and past executives, and organization name changes.

Descriptions of programs and services– Any numbers reflecting how many individuals are/were reached by your programs will be particularly helpful. Please highlight any program successes or failures as well as operating costs.

Most recent total operation budget– This should include a clear breakdown of program costs.

Current list of board members

A statement of need– The statement of need can be approached several different ways, but it should either explain your organization’s general needs such as staffing, equipment, repairs, or it could be a particular program’s needs. If you are seeking grant funding for a new program, please explain the specific need within the community that the program will service.

Methods of Accountability– List any parent organizations, accountability programs, certificates, and/or internal assessments that might apply.

We also encourage submitting any previous grant applications or letters of enquiry that might contain any or all the materials listed above.

If your organization is missing any of the above listed items, the grant writer can assist in drafting them. However, this will delay the process of pursuing and writing grants.

Grant Writing Prioritization

Although we would like to assist as many organizations as possible, assisting every organization in Orleans County with grant writing needs all at once is not feasible. To be as fair as possible in selecting which grant opportunities to pursue and in what order, we have put into place a series of priorities. Although most organizations will qualify for grant writing assistance, some may take lower priority depending on several factors.


Non-Profit Status– The United Way of Orleans County gives priority to its partner 501(c)3 non-profit agencies, second, to all other non-profits, and third, to all for profit businesses and government agencies.


Feasibility of Grant Request– The feasibility of a requested grant, correlating program, or organization is also important. Organizations that have already identified grants and paired them with provably successful programs will take priority over those applying for grants without a history of success. Also, organizations who have not submitted the above required materials or need help drafting them will take lower priority over those that have. The United Way of Orleans County has a committee of experienced board members and employees to determine the feasibility of a grant or program.


Due Date– If an applicant already has a grant determined, the further out the due date, the more attention it can receive. Depending on the size of a grant, its due date, and the current workload of the grant writer, some grants may be declined if the proper notice is not given. Grants due within one month of contacting the grant writer may be rejected.


Scope of project impact– Scope is also important. Programs that have a reach across the whole county will take priority over those limited to a single town, village, or neighborhood.


Intention of grant funding– Since the role of the community grant writer is meant to build capacity for non-profits in Orleans County, priority is given to feasible projects that are beyond an organization’s capacity. For example, a grant that seeks to create, expand, and/or strengthen a project takes priority over a capital grant covering general operation costs. Temporary or bridge funding of programs with proven success is also of higher priority. Although the grant writer can assist in seeking/writing grants to fund an applicant’s general operations, or capital grants, applicants seeking assistance for funding over 50% of their organization’s total operating budget will not be accepted.