United Way of Northwest Arkansas believes that children living in poverty is both a severe and sobering situation in Northwest Arkansas that demands collective action. According to 2015 census data, over 27,000 children under the age of 18 live in poverty in our community and another 20,000+ children live in “near poor” families – that is almost half the children in the region.

United Way of Northwest Arkansas is committed to creating pathways to prosperity that increase opportunities for children to live and grow in a thriving, nurturing environment – looking forward to a successful future. We realize no one organization can do it alone. And reducing child poverty in Northwest Arkansas must be more than just helping our neighbors in need. We’re all connected. We are all in this together. We, as a community, need to stand up for all children and their future.

UWNWA has committed to address the issue of children living in poverty with the goal that every child will be provided with a pathway out of poverty. United Way will play a specific role in the community to address this issue by:

  • Convening and educating our community about children living in poverty
  • Identifying impactful partnerships with the goal of providing a pathway out of poverty
  • Mobilizing resources to achieve collective impact in our community
  • Investing in our community to reduce the number of children living in poverty

Interested in seeing who received CLIP funding in 2016?

Check out our blog to meet the 19 First Step Funding programs!

Interested in applying as an organization for our CLIP Funding process?

Check out “Funding Opportunities” on our For Nonprofits page!

Interested in volunteering? Great!

Please fill out the form below in its entirety, press the Submit button, and make sure you immediately receive the confirmation email. You will be contacted by a United Way of Northwest Arkansas staff member with next steps within the next few business days. Please be sure to fill out all fields in the application.

  • The United Way values diversity and strives to have grant review panels that reflect the NWA community. Providing the following information is optional, but we hope you consider sharing the following information:

What does it mean to be a Community Investment Volunteer?

The United Way of Northwest Arkansas (UWNWA) is seeking 35 community impact investment volunteers to serve as grant reviewers to help read and rate program proposals for our Children Living in Poverty (CLIP) Initiative. UWNWA is seeking knowledgeable volunteers; especially those who are subject matter experts as peer reviewers to objectively evaluate a competitive group of grant applications against the criteria in the Children Living in Poverty Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). Reviewers will be chosen based on their knowledge, education, experience and any criteria included in FOA that the applicants must respond to.



Community Impact Investment Volunteers are critical to the success of the Community Impact Investment Process. These volunteers help ensure UWNWA donor dollars are invested in programs and collaborations that align with UWNWA’s Community Impact Initiatives. This process is meant to be an educational and rewarding experience for the investment volunteers. For the upcoming investment cycle, Community Impact Investment Volunteers will be assigned to teams to evaluate proposals in each of the Children Living in Poverty (CLIP) Initiative. The bold goal of the UWNWA is to create a pathway out of poverty for every child. The seven investment focus areas for CLIP fall within one of two sectors of impact – Stronger Today and Prosperity Tomorrow.

Composition of Community Impact Investment Teams:

  • Seven investment teams (one for each investment focus area) consisting of at least five (5) investment volunteers each.
  • Each investment team will have one member designated as the investment team leader.

Key Responsibilities of the Investment Volunteers:

  • Attend one of the investment volunteer orientation and training sessions
  • Review and evaluate all applications for your assigned Initiative area (from the comfort of home or wherever you work best)
  • Meet with your assigned Initiative area team to review and rank programs
  • Work with UWNWA staff to conduct site visits to ask follow-up questions to collect additional information to help the team make informed recommendations for funding.
  • Attend your assigned Initiative area team’s final meeting to participate in the decision-making process to finalize your team’s funding recommendations
  • Optional check-in site visits throughout the funding period (on a voluntary basis, if you are interested in seeing how your investment(s) is being put to use)
  • Continue to be an enthusiastic supporter and champion for United Way and its community investment process

Community Impact Initiatives 

The entire investment process is driven by our Community Impact Initiatives. Your team will review programs that are all a part of one of the CLIP initiative areas. For example, if you are on the “Parents as First Teacher” team, your group will focus on early childhood programs that are making an impact on the school readiness and education of children in our community


  • Get a behind-the-scenes look at how United Way invests your dollars in the community.
  • Deepen your awareness of community issues, needs and resources.
  • Play an active role in helping to meet the needs in the community.
  • Increase your visibility and your employer’s in the community.

For a more indepth description and time commitment, see here.

Community Impact Grant Panel Volunteer Training Sessions:

Community Impact Grant Panel Volunteers are critical to the success of the Community Impact Investment Process. These volunteers help ensure UWNWA donor dollars are invested in programs and collaborations that align with UWNWA’s Community Impact Initiatives to create a pathway out of poverty for every child. Volunteers are required to attend one of the following training sessions to help better prepare you for your service on the panel. Please RSVP to the training sessions listed below. All sessions will take place at the United Way Community Room at 100 Parkwood in Lowell.