The application windows for Black Empowerment Works Grants and Grant Reviewers are now open. Learn what you need to know here.
Black Empowerment Works promotes Black self-determination, social mobility and economic prosperity by resourcing and funding grassroots/community-based, Black-led work (ideas, programs and projects). Annually we open the application process to select new grantees. To date, we have invested $1.6 million in 58 ideas and leaders.
In year three of United Way's Black Empowerment Works we are looking to continue our investments in Black changemakers across the Greater Cincinnati area.
As a core tenet of the program, community members make the investment decisions. By reviewing applications and holding conversations, they will work together as a team to select a diverse group of work to funds. Through these investments and ongoing capacity support and resources, we aim to fulfill the original vision of the Champions of Change.
Each year, we seek to fund a diverse portfolio of work, representing different focus areas, organizational structures, and communities. This grant opportunity is open to nonprofit organizations, for-profits/social enterprises, community coalitions and groups, and individuals who meet the eligibility requirements. Applicants may only submit one application per year, with request amounts ranging from $2,500 to $25,000.
Expand the sections below to see what the Black Empowerment Works Grants will and will not fund.
This funding opportunity is open to non-profit organizations, for-profits/social enterprises, community coalitions/groups and individuals who meet all of the other eligibility requirements above. Funding can be used to support program costs, operation and overhead costs, and more!
The following types of work and expenses are ineligible for funding through this program:
In alignment with the Black Empowerment Works focus and P&G Feminine Care's mission to unleash girls' and women's confidence, the Always Confidence Fund will invest in work that:
Priority will be given to work that addresses one of the opportunity areas lifted up by our panel of girls who helped to shape the fund. Review the Grant Information Packet for more information. All other general eligibility requirements apply. No separate application is required.
Grantees will be selected by community reviewers. All applications will be reviewed by at least three reviewers. In addition to the written applications, grant applicant/reviewer conversations will occur where applicants can share more about their work and reviewers can ask additional questions.
Some of the qualities that make up a strong application include:
Applications must be submitted through our online portal by July 1, 2022, at 5:00 p.m. EDT.
It is strongly recommended that you review the entire Grant Information Packet before submitting your application.
Grant applicant creates an account in the online portal & completes the eligibility survey. (Deadline: July 1 at 12 p.m. EDT)
If deemed eligible, the applicant completes the full application form. (Deadline: July 1 at 5 p.m. EDT)
Community reviewers read & evaluate the applications in teams. (July 13 – July 28)
Reviewers hold 30-minute conversations with applicants to learn more about their work. (August 1 – August 12)
Reviewers make decisions using the written application and conversation information. (August 15 – August 22)
Applicants receive individual communications about the reviewers' investment decisions. (August 24)
Black Empowerment Works Grant Reviewers will work in small teams of three to five, reading a subset (approximately 10) of the applications submitted. Through written application reviews and conversations with grant applicants, they will work to identify applicants in their pool they would like to fund. Final funding decisions will be made following the assessment of information collected from all review teams.
In general, we are looking for people who are:
We believe taking part in this process has several benefits, namely:
“As a reviewer for Black Empowerment Works you are plugged into the many innovative and creative, black-led local initiatives designed to meet the needs in the communities' individuals live and serve."
– Angela White, 2020 Reviewer
"I think this opportunity provided unique and exceptional networking opportunity to connect with other reviewers... Not to mention a great personal and professional development opportunity for us as reviewers.”
– Diamond Brown, 2021 Reviewer
"It not only helped a community I care about but helped bring light to the crucial role the under-recognized entrepreneurs in the city play to help it grow and develop.”
– Garrison Mays, 2021 Reviewer
"I loved the recognition that black folks are brilliant, talented, capable, and will be the creators of sustainable changes in our community. I also appreciated the opportunity to take part in a process that sought to address poverty—an issue that black communities have inherited because of generations of systemic racism.”
– Josselyn Okorodudu, 2020 Reviewer
Reviewers can expect to dedicate approximately 28 hours between June 20 and Aug. 22, consisting of training, independent application review, decision-making meetings and grant applicant conversations.
For more details about becoming a reviewer, please read the Reviewer Information Packet. We strongly encourage reviewing this document before you apply.
Sign up for one of our information sessions on Eventbrite. Sessions are as follows:
May 5, 2022 (Thursday)
Watch the recording on YouTube.
May 31, 2022 (Tuesday)
5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m. EDT
May 10, 2022 (Tuesday)
12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. EDT
Madisonville Public Library
4830 Whetsel Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45227
May 16, 2022 (Monday)
5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. EDT
Cincinnati Parent Empowerment Network
5771 Rhode Island Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45237
May 24, 2022 (Tuesday)
This event has passed.
Lincoln Heights Outreach Incorporated
9913 Wayne Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45215