The 2017 Community Impact Grant Cycle has CONCLUDED. The 2018 Cycle will begin in October 2017.

Are you a United Way of Northwest Michigan donor or volunteer? Please consider being a member of our Community Advisory  Teams (CATs)! The CAT are comprised of United Way investors and volunteers who oversee grant funding. More than 10 residents from our five-county region serve on United Way’s CATs.

The Community Advisory Team fosters the process to allocate donor funds to address community needs in the areas of Education, Basic Needs and Health. This is a unique and critical function of United Way’s grant allocation process. Volunteers are asked to study the grant applications, participate in the orientation, fully participate in grant interviews and follow up sessions. We seek a diverse group of volunteers from our United Way donors and volunteers to participate in the CAT. Helpful skills include finance, budgeting, grant experience, knowledge of the needs in the community and a passion to advance the common good. Please complete the application and submit your request to serve on the team.


If you are interested in participating on CAT, please complete the form below:

Community Advisory Team Application

Fields marked with an * are required



During the 2017 CAT process, each team member was give $100 to “Pay it Forward” in the community. Below are stories about what CAT members did with their funds.

“I chose to address the UW area of concentration, high school graduation. I elected to raise funds for a needs based scholarship for a graduate of Elk Rapids Schools alternative high school, The Sunrise Academy.

 This project is save, awarding the scholarship (in progress as I type this) to a graduating Senior of ERHS Sunrise Academy, complete. I took the $100 challenge and grew it with the financial support of 4 other families in the district, to a $1100 annual scholarship to be awarded this year and for the next 3 years as well totaling $4400 dollars over the 4 year life of the project.

 That’s a fair return on the initial $100, and a great example of how a few people with a clear goal in mind can reach it.” – Dick Thompson, CAT Facilitator

My random act of kindness went to a single parent of teenagers.  With a history of substance use and homelessness, this individual continues to strive to make life better for themselves and their family. They face many costs, high needs and a busy schedule and often struggles to make payments and go without simple luxuries. However, they do whatever they have to do, picking up side jobs, etc to make sure that their children have the things they need and are supported both at home and at school.  This is one of our neighbors that is truly someone who inspires hope in all they touch and truly deserving of a random act of kindness.” Matt Zerilli – CAT Member