A new, free grant planning service is now available for Coos and Curry County nonprofits and community organizations through United Way of Southwestern Oregon. Groups are invited to schedule individual consultations with an experienced grant specialist to gain familiarity with foundation grant applications and award processes, and/or to request advice on framing or strengthening a specific funding request.

“With the right grant, for the right purpose, at the right time, groups can dramatically improve their service capacity,” says Jen Shafer, Executive Director of United Way of Southwestern Oregon. “As a result of COVID-19, local organizations helping people with food, housing and other basic needs face enormous continuing challenges. The demand is so much greater, while it’s harder than ever to hold a normal fundraising event.”

Shafer explains, “Foundations and funders are very willing to provide grant support to the South Coast, often through a straightforward process, but grant applications can still feel intimidating even to larger organizations. We’re offering this free, individualized, confidential service to demystify grant applications, so groups see how they can focus a small amount of time and build the capacity they need.”

Thanks to generous funding support from Wild Rivers Coast Alliance and Oregon Community Foundation, United Way of Southwestern Oregon launched this project to help Coos and Curry County nonprofits and community groups more easily identify and pursue grants appropriate to their needs.

The project will also regularly issue alerts for upcoming grant opportunities appropriate to the region. Informal private consultations can be used to learn more about application strategies, or to clarify information about an organization or their plans that may be especially significant to a potential grantor.

Under local leadership since 1961, United Way of Southwestern Oregon fights for the health, education, and financial stability of south coast residents. Donations to United Way of Southwestern Oregon support Coos and Curry County grantmaking and other local community-based programs and services.

For information about United Way of Southwestern Oregon, visit https://unitedwayswo.org/. For information about grant planning services, or to request a consultation, email swograntplan@outlook.com or text 541-294-4325.

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