Innovation Fund

Thanks to over 80 years of donor support, United Way Peterborough & District has a proud history of working with local human and social service agencies to transform our community. Working with our donors and our community, UWP seeks to change social conditions to create opportunities for a better life for individuals, families, and communities by making our community a better place to live for everyone. Since 2014 UWP has committed to investing over 1 million dollars annually in the community through three (3) investment streams: Long-Term Priority Fund, the Innovation Fund and the Neighbourhood Fund.


Non-profit organizations play an important role in tackling the problems of a fast-changing society. Through its Innovation Fund, UWP seeks to support nonprofit innovators, whether small or large, to design and/or deliver new initiatives that meet the community priorities identified within this Request For Proposals. Projects funded through the innovation fund should be a beta-test of a new idea or a research project designed to build a deeper understanding of community issues.


UWP is seeking innovative approaches, pilot projects or research initiatives that will deepen our community understanding of issues that align with United Way Peterborough & District’s core funding streams: From Poverty to Possibility or Healthy People, Strong Communities.  This request for proposal is for one- time Innovation Funding where up to $75,000 will be distributed over 12-18 months.

From Poverty to Possibility:

Poverty is the result of multiple, complex, and often overlapping social issues. Individuals experiencing poverty may be challenged to meet their basic needs, live independently, and engage in community activities. As a community, high or disproportionate levels of poverty can impact people’s sense of belonging, their feeling of safety, and their ability to access needed resources.  Our funding focus for the UWP pillar, From Poverty to Possibility includes:

Basic Needs

  • People have improved housing
  • Seniors and individuals of working-age have the capacity to manage personal finances and build

Life Skills

  • People have the necessary skills to support personal and vocational
  • Individuals of working-age are able to secure meaningful and fulfilling

Healthy People, Strong Communities:

Strong communities provide the environment necessary for individuals to achieve their goals and create lasting change in their lives. Strong communities are built on individual and collective assets such as coping strategies and social connections. Developing these assets can help to nurture vibrant communities where every individual has the opportunity to experience personal safety and wellbeing.  Our funding focus for the UWP pillar, Healthy People, Strong Communities includes:

Community Supports

  • People are supported to build a sense of belonging and improve well-being.


  • Applications are strongly encouraged from multi-sector/agency collaboratives and will be given priority consideration over single agency applications
  • The lead agency for the application is/will:
    • Provincially Incorporated, registered charity
    • Operate, and/or provide direct service, within the City and/or County of Peterborough
    • Have been in operation for a minimum of two (2) years
    • Undertake an annual financial audit and demonstrate sound financial management practices
    • Conduct an outcomes-based evaluation of the results of the project
  • Priority will be given to programs which demonstrate how the lessons learned through the innovation projects can be incorporated into existing organizational programs and structures
  • Funding requests that seek to support an existing initiative will not be considered
  • Funding open to organizations currently funded or not funded by United Way Peterborough & District

Interested organizations/collaboratives should contact Betsy Farrar, Manager of Community Impact, to discuss their interest in applying for this funding prior to submitting a request for funding. Coaching and mentoring will be provided by UWP throughout the Innovation Funding submission process.


All proposals, that are complete and submitted on time, will be evaluated by the Community Impact Committee (CIC). Proposals will be scored using a standard set of scoring tools assessing the proposals alignment to the objective, outcomes and deliverables identified in the Request for Proposal.

  • RFP Details Released to Community – February 22, 2022
  • Submission Deadline – March 18, 2022 at 5:00 
  • CIC Review of Submissions – March 21 to April 1, 2022
  • Notification of Funding Decision – Week of April 4, 2022

Interested applicants will be asked to develop a written and/or multimedia pitch (20 minute limit) that addresses the following questions:

Project Feasibility & Need (70%)

  • Explain how this project is innovative. What is the process or idea your organization/collaborative is testing or trying to better understand?
  • Define how the innovation project will support the achievement of meaningful, lasting improvement in the local quality of life or strengthen the work of the sector.
  • Explain why your organization/collaborative is best suited to delivering the work of this project. What is the experience of the organization/collaborative in addressing this issue?
  • Describe how the project aligns to or deepens the learning of the funding focused outlined in this RFP.
  • Describe how the innovation project will evolve the applicant’s organization/collaborative’s practices and programs.
  • Include details of the collaboration required for project delivery and how partners will implement a shared-delivery model. Include any other partnerships, in-kind or financial, being leveraged.
  • Clearly describe the program design with reference to how it is intended to improve client outcomes.

Evaluation & Monitoring (20%)

  • Identify a tentative plan regarding the monitoring and evaluation of the innovation
  • Implementation details including timeline

Financial Stability & Need (10%)

  • Describe the budgeting and financial management processes used by the lead
  • Describe why UWP funding is necessary to support the project and the specific role that UWP funding will play in the project’s


Complete submissions consist of the following:

  • A written or multi-media pitch (20 minute maximum)
  • Evidence that the lead applicant meets the eligibility criteria

Late or incomplete submissions will not be considered.

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