Funded Programs

Each year, United Way of Central Illinois invests millions of dollars in local services working to meet the needs of our community. Our focus is on protecting services vital to the immediate Basic Needs of the most vulnerable members of our community; while making long-term investments in Education, Financial Stability and Health, because these are the building blocks for a good quality of life.

Below you will find current investments made through United Way’s Community Fund. Additional programs and funding can be found at the links below.

Effective July 1, 2015, applications for community funds are no longer restricted to member agencies. Programs interested in applying for Community Funds should call the Director of Community Impact at 217-726-7000.





United Way supports emergency services vital to the basic needs (food and shelter) of the most vulnerable members of our community. These services, which include services for victims of violence and disaster, stabilize families so that they may begin building a good quality of life.

You can learn more about Basic Needs priorities and strategies here.

2021-2022 Basic Needs Investments

Total Investment: $232,571

Funded Programs

  • Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois
    St. John’s Breadline – $59,587
  • Contact Ministries 
    Emergency Shelter and Support for Women, and Women with Children – $27,746
  • Helping Hands of Springfield, Inc.
    Emergency Shelter – $32,042
  • Mini O’Beirne Crisis Nursery
    Crisis Nursery Core Program – $24,715
  • Senior Services of Central Illinois
    Daily Bread Home Delivered Meals – $11,533
  • Sojourn Shelter and Services
    Adult and Children Shelter – $79,948


Education, financial stability and health are the building blocks for a good life. Education is essential to getting and keeping a job with a livable wage and health benefits. An income adequate to pay for today’s necessities and save for the future provides families some sense of financial stability. Access to quality health care keeps children on track in school and adults productive at work. Remove any one of these building blocks and the other two topple.



Helping children learn, achieve and succeed while engaging families and communities.


  • Children enter Kindergarten prepared with the skills needed to succeed
  • Children reach academic milestones on time and successfully transition to middle school
  • Children transition to high school and develop the skills needed to graduate on time with a plan for success after high school

You can learn more about Education priorities and strategies here.

2021-2022 Education Investments

Total Investment: $461,014

Funded Programs

  • Big Brothers Big Sister of Central Illinois
    Comprehensive Mentoring – $90,404
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Illinois
    Project Learn – $81,625
  • Compass for Kids
    Camp Compass – $107,507
    Club Compass – $96,757
  • Girl Scouts of Central Illinois, Inc.
    Girl Scout Leadership Experience Outreach – $4,660
  • Springfield Public Schools
    Camp Kindergarten: Ready, Set, Go! – $25,566
  • Springfield Urban League, Inc.
    Freedom School – $23,867
    Brandon OutREACH – $29,320
  • Community ACEs Training
    (Adverse Childhood Experiences) – $1,308



Providing individuals and families the education, skills and supports needed to lead financially stable lives.


  • Adults are equipped to support themselves and/or their families in a financially stable environment
  • Seniors are supported to lead independent lives
  • Unfunded Priority: Children are equipped with the skills needed to make financially smart decisions throughout their life

You can learn more about Financial Stability priorities and strategies here.

2021-2022 Financial Stability Investments

Total Investment: $158,888

Funded Programs

  • Helping Hands of Springfield, Inc.
    Helping Hands Representative Payee Program – $10,175
  • Memorial Behavioral Health
    Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness – $31,658
  • MERCY Communities, Inc.
    Permanent Supportive Housing – $21,935
    Transitional Living Program – $33,696
  • Senior Services of Central Illinois
    Comprehensive Elder Assistance Services – $41,220
  • Springfield Urban League, Inc.
    The Empowerment Program – $20,204



Activating and inspiring our community to get healthy and stay healthy.


  • Individuals are supported, connected, and engaged to lead healthy lives
  • Individuals will have access to needed mental health services
  • Unfunded Priority: United Way will advocate on behalf of health issues aligned with selected priorities/strategies

You can learn more about Health priorities and strategies here.

2021-2022 Health Investments

Total Investment: $115,612

Funded Programs

  • Lutheran Child and Family Services
    Counseling – $33,600
  • Senior Services of Central Illinois
    Senior Connection and Transport Program – $29,400
  • SIU Center for Family Medicine
    CIRCLe 211 – $52,612


Provides $20,000 of funding to the Homeless Management Information System administered by MERCY Communities.

Provides $24,000 of funding to Disaster Services provided by the South Central Illinois Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Provides $15,415 of funding to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library provided by United Way of Central Illinois.

Community Fund Total Funding: $1,159,415


Community Fund – United Way’s Community Fund is supported by the United Way Annual Campaign and is the primary way United Way invests in local programs aligned with community priorities and strategies in the issue areas of basic needs, education, financial stability, and health.

Learn More

Red Feather Grant – Red Feather Grants provide funding to programs which benefit multiple other programs and/or the community but do not qualify for funding under the current priorities and strategies set forth by United Way’s Vision Councils.

To learn more about Red Feather Grant funding opportunities, please contact the Director of Community Impact at 217.726.7000.

Venture Fund – United Way’s Venture Fund provides one-time funding for health and human service projects created to enhance the quality of life in Sangamon and Menard Counties. Eligible projects must be aligned with one or more of United Way’s issue areas of basic needs, education, financial stability, or health.

Learn More

Emergency Fund – United Way of Central Illinois’ Emergency Fund provides additional funding to local nonprofit agencies during times of crisis. The fund was established to provide a safety net to community agencies to protect daily operations and vital services.

Learn More

Emergency Food & Shelter Program – The Emergency Food and Shelter Program was created by Congress to help meet the needs of hungry and homeless people throughout the United States and its territories by allocating federal funds for the provision of food and shelter.  United Way of Central Illinois serves as the convener of the local EFSP board.

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SingleCare Free Prescription Drug Card – United Way partners with SingleCare to provide a free prescription drug discount card to the community. Individuals can save up to 30% on their prescriptions, and since launching the program more than 8,000 residents in our region have signed up for the card.

Learn More – The MyFreeTaxes Partnership provides free state and federal tax preparation and filing assistance for qualified individuals. It’s easy, safe, secure and 100 percent free.

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My Smart Money – My Smart Money™ is a free and easy online tool that can help anyone get their financial house in order.

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