RFP Alert: Power Up Fund 2023

2023 Power Up Fund 
Request for Proposals (RFP) 


The United Way of Greater Mercer County Board of Directors created the Power-Up Fund to support BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) nonprofit leaders who share in and align with United Way of Greater Mercer County’s (UWGMC) commitment to reducing barriers for under-resourced, economically challenged and under-served populations. Our objective is to operate with an equitable lens while filling community gaps. UWGMC’s work centers on disrupting poverty in three areas: education, economic security and dignity, and overall health & wellness.

The Power Up Fund will invest in leaders of color who are reflective of the communities they serve. Research has shown that organizations led by leaders of color are underfunded and organizations led by women of color receive even less support. UWGMC will address the funding disparity in the Mercer County area by providing unrestricted grants and connecting BIPOC leaders to valuable organizational resources. 

UWGMC’s endowment seeds the Power Up Fund. UWGMC’s strategy is to:

  • Fund organizations led by leaders of color tackling access to quality education, economic justice/empowerment, health equity, and civic engagement. 
  • Investing in the leader’s own development and growth.
  • Connecting capacity-building and other resources in support of the organization. 
  • Bringing visibility to the funding disparity that exists.

To be eligible for the Power Up Fund grant, organizations must be 501(c)(3) organizations serving Mercer County area residents:

  1. with the leadership of color, prioritizing EDs/CEOs of color; 
  2. whose mission is aligned with UWGMC’s mission to propel individuals and families to reach their fullest potential, especially those who have been traditionally under-served or marginalized, creating a thriving community; and 
  3. that incorporate B.I.D.E (Belonging, Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity), racial injustice, and accessibility in their work.

For 2023, UWGMC will award up to eight (8) grants from $5,000 - $10,000 to nonprofit organizations that bring a unique perspective and impact the population served.

RFP Timeline

  • June 5, 2023 – RFP Announcement
  • July 19, 2023 – Proposal due
  • August 25, 2023 – Grantees announced
  • February 1, 2024 – Final Report due to UWGMC 

How Funding Can Be Used

Over the years, United Way of Greater Mercer County’s (UWGMC) work has evolved but nonprofit capacity building still remains at the epicenter. Power Up grants can support infrastructural, capacity-building needs, including but not limited to:

  • Board Development
  • Fund Development
  • Financial Management
  • Program Evaluation
  • Special Events Planning
  • Staff and Professional Development including Coaching 
  • Strategic Planning
  • Technological Upgrade

What UWGMC Hopes to Accomplish with the Power Up Fund

  • Elevate nonprofit leaders of color through financial, leadership, and other capacity-building resources to help their organizations and programs grow, thrive, and succeed.
  • Increased visibility and open/honest dialogue on funding disparity and/or supports that exist for BIPOC leaders. 
  • Learn from peers and partners in the field who have long worked to advance racial and economic justice and health equity.


  • Applicant must be a public charity with tax-exempt status under section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service
  • Applicant must have an established Board of Directors
  • Funded requests must be part of the nonprofit’s mission
  • Nonprofits must serve under-represented or vulnerable populations in Mercer County
  • Must be willing to host site visits
  • Must be willing to submit a final report
  • Must be willing to partner to bring visibility to funding disparity that exists for organizations led by leaders of color and organizations led by women of color
  • Must be willing to provide a photo and story to demonstrate the use of funds

Selection Process

  • Up to eight (8) nonprofit organizations will be awarded
  • The Power Up Fund Grants Advisory Committee will serve as the selection committee 
  • Grant size will be from 5,000-$10,000
  • UWGMC will dictate the timeline for RFP announcement, grant distribution, public relations, and reporting requirements

How to Apply

To apply for these funds, you are encouraged to submit the online application, or you can submit the paper application which is available to download below. Application is due July 19, 2023. Please follow the instructions carefully. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. 

PLEASE NOTE: for the online application please make sure to click the "I am not a robot prompt."

The proposal should be no more than three (3) pages and include the following information:

  • Organization name/address/contact information for point person
  • Brief description of organizational mission, history and population served
  • Description of needs/challenges/issues to be addressed 
  • Statement on how Belonging, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity; social and economic justice is incorporated within the organization, programs or project
  • Statement of how funding will make a difference or be used 
  • Statement on desired outcome/what does success look like 
  • Demographic information for Board and staff leadership
  • How will the organization recognize UWGMC for this funding
  • Organizational or Program/Project budget
  • Board list
  • Most recent audited financial statement
  • 501 (c)(3) determination letter
  • W-9 Form 
  • Latest copy of annual report (PDF is preferred) 




For questions, please contact Fatima Scipio, Director of Community Impact, by email at fatima.scipio@uwgmc.org or 609-637-4914.