Changemaker Grants

Changemaker Grants

Trident United Way Changemaker Grants mobilize resources and empower nonprofits dedicated to making a positive impact in the Tri-County community. Grants are awarded in quarterly cycles, each with a cycle-specific focus on investing in the areas of greatest impact for TUW and its partners while aligning with TUW priorities. Each quarterly cycle will award $100,000 in total grants.

2023-2024 Quarterly Grants

Q1: Capacity Building

Q2: Improving Access to Opportunity for ALICE

Q3: Communities of Color

Q4: Economic Mobility in data driven areas of need

Q1: Capacity Building

Capacity-building Funding is an investment in the effectiveness, efficacy and future sustainability of a nonprofit or agency by providing resources to improve and/or expand an organization's mission. It can enhance the strategic planning and implementation of operational and organizational structures and long-term goals. Capacity-building grants, therefore, focus not on the outward-facing work but the inner workings, means and systems of the organization. 

Capacity-building grants are critical, providing funds to:

  • Innovatively increase organizational effectiveness
  • Provide staff and volunteer development
  • Allow training and certification opportunities
  • Enhance internal systems
  • Improve technology and equipment
  • Develop strategic planning outlines and communities of best practice

Examples of requests for support include new or existing projects in areas such as skill-building opportunities for staff or board members, diversity and equity initiatives, leadership development and management training, strategic planning, succession planning and website development.


  • IRS 501c3 nonprofit organization
  • Not classified as a private foundation and does not engage in political activities as defined by the IRS
  • At least 50% of the agency service population is at or below 200% of the poverty level 
  • Primarily provides services to residents of Berkeley, Charleston and/or Dorchester Counties
  • Agencies provide services to clients and/or beneficiaries without regard to race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, veteran and/or disability service, based on client population 
  • Board of Directors structure with at least three non-compensated members who are also not related by blood or marriage
  • Align with TUW’s priority areas of Education, Financial Stability, Health and Basic Needs
  • Does not require religious worship, instruction or proselytization to receive services
  • Provide the following documents with application:
    • Verification of Federal Nonprofit Status: 
      • 501(c)3 IRS letter of Nonprofit Status for your organization
      • If organization uses a fiscal agent, submit their 501(c)3 letter
      • If organization is a religious organization that has not registered as a 501(c)3 with the IRS, you must certify that the organization meets the requirements for exemption under IRS section 501(c)3:
    • Current State of South Carolina Office of Secretary of State Registration or Exemption 
    • Most current 990
    • Proposed Budget
  • Submit Status Report and Final Budget
    • Within 30 days of the expending of funds submit Status Report & Final Impact Report by September 2024
    • Complete online via SurveyMonkey
    • Reporting to include (but not limited to):
      • # of participants, volunteers, attendees or beneficiaries
      • Details on accomplishment of increased capacity or benefit to organization
      • Other measures or data points described in application
      • Photos, success story and any plans for follow up or next steps with engagement (if applicable)
  • Eligibility Checklist and documentation validation by TUW staff
  • The Changemaker Grant Review Council, consisting of community volunteers, has experience and understanding of Trident United Way mission, investment strategy and grant process will review the applications, score, rank and discuss the applications recommendations on funding allocations
  • A rubric will be used for scoring applications based on 
    • Completeness & Clarity of application
    • Alignment with TUW’s focus areas of Education, Financial Stability, Health and Basic Needs
    • Feasibility of the described activity or project
    • Impact of the described activity or project on the organization
    • A final decision making meeting will be held with all review council members providing feedback and input on funding awards

Volunteer to serve on the Changemaker Grants Review Council

Trident United Way is seeking individuals who are interested in serving on the Changemaker Grants Review Council. The main function of this review council is to help review applications and recommend funding for the grants, and to ensure the funding provided helps achieve the greatest impact/need. TUW is honored to enlist, engage and train community volunteers to review grant applications and inform funding recommendations on behalf of the community we all call home.

Please contact Katherine with any questions at


Changemaker Grant Information Sessions

A representative from any nonprofit organization or agency interested in applying for a Changemaker Grant must attend one session. In person attendance is recommended for all.

In-person information sessions with be held at the Trident United Way offices at 6296 Rivers Avenue in North Charleston.

  • August 21, 8:30-10:00am
  • August 22, 2:00-3:30pm
  • August 23, 3:00-4:00pm This virtual option is only available to applicants who attended an Info Session in January 2023.

Changemaker Grant Application Open

August 23

Changemaker Grant Application Deadline

September 11

Application Review & Decision Making

September 15 - October 9

Grant Notifications

October 12


Questions? Please email