uwkv Innovation fund

In a time of unprecedented uncertainty, innovation in the social sector is essential. With needs growing by the day, creative solutions to address entrenched issues are more important than ever. Kennebec Valley’s nonprofits work tirelessly to support our most vulnerable neighbors. With the day-to-day intensity of serving local people in our communities, little time and resources are left to test innovative approaches that could expand services to more people in need.
UWKV defines an “innovative” approach as a novel solution that is more effective, efficient, collaborative, and/or sustainable than current solution(s). We are seeking proposals that experiment, pilot, or test new ideas and approaches that can lead to breakthroughs in UWKV’s priority areas and help redesign the future of the Kennebec Valley.
Applications are due June 30, 2021. UWKV will host an optional Virtual Informational Meeting on June 1.

Funding Range & Project Length

Nonprofits may apply for one-time grants of $10,000-$30,000. UWKV will award no more than $60,000 in 2021. Awarded grants may be used over the span of one or two years at the discretion of the Review Committee; the reporting periods will be adjusted accordingly.

Priority Areas

The entire community benefits when nonprofits can be responsive to evolving needs. Local nonprofits are encouraged to submit innovative ideas that address the following priority areas, though other requests may be considered.

  • Diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Housing
  • LGBTQ+ support
  • Technology innovations
  • Systems improvement
  • Collaboration amongst nonprofits
  • Cross-sector partnerships


  • Program will experiment, pilot, or test new ideas and approaches that can lead to breakthroughs in UWKV’s priority areas and help redesign the future of the Kennebec Valley.
  • Recipient is a nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation as defined under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Service Code (or fiscally sponsored by such a corporation). Only one application per organization.
  • Organizations that receive UWKV annual allocations funding are eligible to apply AND organizations that have no current affiliation with UWKV are eligible to apply if they meet eligibility criteria.
  • Proposals may come from collaborations and networks, as well as stand-alone organizations.
  • Program must be compatible with UWKV's mission, vision, and values.
  • Organization is located within or will strictly serve the people in UWKV’s catchment area.
  • Organization has an annual audit or annual review from an independent auditor.
  • Programs should serve diverse groups in the community, be open and not restricted by residency or membership.
  • Organization has a plan to measure outcomes of the project over the grant cycle and beyond.
  • Applicant must demonstrate capacity to execute the program.
  • Programs should show opportunity for sustainability or continuation after the grant funds are expended.

Please note that UWKV cannot support:

  • Grants to individuals
  • Art/cultural/literary organizations
  • Animal services
  • Capital needs or campaigns
  • Environmental concerns

2021 Key Dates 

  • May 19 – Application Opened
  • June 1 at 2 p.m. – Virtual Information Meeting (optional)
  • June 30 – Application Due 
  • July 16 – Finalists Notified
  • Week of July 19 – Hold for Finalist Virtual Presentations
  • August – Winners Announced
  • TBD 2022 – Six-month and Final Grant Reports Due

Application Materials