Development Grants




Developing stronger communities is a part of the mission of United Way of Southeast Mississippi. To support this mission, United Way has created a fund to support Community Development grants available for innovative service projects.  These grants provide funding for short-term projects or one-time expenses that will have a positive impact in the community. Grants are available to any nonprofit agency or any community group serving on behalf of a non-profit agency as long as the project meets the grant requirements outlined below.  The maximum available through a Community Development Grant is $5,000.


These funds are not designed to support ongoing program expenses, sponsor annual events, or fund capital campaigns. Examples of inappropriate funding requests include operating expenses, salaries, and consulting fees. Individuals are NOT eligible to apply for the grant.  

Completed applications must be submitted electronically to


  1. Requests must align with the mission of United Way SEMS by addressing a need in education, health or financial stability for individuals and families.
  2. Requests must serve a population located in Forrest, Lamar, Marion and/or Perry counties.
  3. Grant application must propose a program that is benefitting a 501(c) non-profit organization. W9 of the benefiting organization must be provided.
  4. Grant recipients must provide a one-page summary of the program within three months of completion of project timeline completion.



  • Community Development Grant Applications are accepted throughout the year and reviewed as they are received by the United Way of Southeast Mississippi Community Impact Executive Committee. Applicants will receive communication from the Director of Community Impact within a week of applying. Funding decisions will be communicated within a month of application.
  • The funding cycle for Community Development Grants is from April 1 until March 31. Awarded grants must be spent by the benefiting nonprofit before the end the funding cycle. If a community group is working with a benefitting nonprofit, the grant award will be distributed directly to the benefiting nonprofit for the use specified in the application. The group applying is responsible for working with the benefiting nonprofit to ensure the funds are used in the manner as described in the application and approved by the UWSEMS Community Impact Executive Committee. The applicant is also responsible for submitting a one-page summary of the program within three months of project timeline completion.

If no funding is available, applicants are encouraged to reapply at the beginning of the next funding cycle (April 1). Applicants will need to update their information as it applies in reapplication. Applications will not be held on file for future funding cycle review. 

Click here to download the application.