Become an Advocate
Whether you're speaking out on behalf of United Way, reaching out to members of Congress, or wearing the LIVE UNITED shirt to show your support, you can help inspire hope and create opportunities for a better tomorrow. So go ahead and advocate in a LIVE UNITED world. Do it in public. Be visible. Be loud.
community impact

Community Impact

United Way of Blount County's goal for community impact is to: "Improve people's lives by mobilizing the caring power of our community."

We implement impact strategies through collaborative partnerships with agencies, businesses, the faith communities and donors. Facilitating collaborations around key issues, providing financial and non-financial assistance to new and existing agency programs, and leveraging community support for these efforts are just a few of the strategies employed by United Way in order to build a better community.

Ultimately, United Way isn't just about the number of individuals served or even how many programs are funded, but about how lives in our community are changed and improved.

United Way of Blount County's grant process is essentially comprised of two funding streams:

  • Partner funding: Established, ongoing funding opportunity for programs that are accepted into partnership with United Way of Blount County after historical work in our county. Partner funding opens up in early fall for new partners annually, pending available funding. Programs must serve a Blount County population through a 501©3 with local board representation, and work in one of our three focus areas of health, education or self-sufficiency.
  • Discretionary funding: Any remaining funds left after our partner funding process is allocated through discretionary grants. A committee reviews the available funds and discusses the changing needs of our local community. Based on this discussion, a grant focus is made for the remaining year. Our funding then opens up for one-time grant opportunities and any 501©3 that serves Blount County people and aligns with the focus can apply. This time frame begins in the spring when our main funding is allocated.

For more information, please reach out to Wendy Wand at

Fund Distribution

Becoming a Fund Distribution panel volunteer is an engaging way to learn more about the local nonprofit community without sacrificing too much of your time.

Each year United Way of Blount County uses 100 volunteers to review grant requests, tour partner agencies and evaluate funding decisions through our Fund Distribution process. Volunteers receive grant proposals from 3-5 programs, go through a 1-hour training, and donate 1 day of their time to the overall process that strives to be efficient, effective and engaging for all involved.

You do not need any grant reading or non-profit experience to volunteer. We are seeking Blount County residents or full-time employees who are United Way of Blount County donors, who are interested in assisting with the impact of the non-profit community around them. If you would like to learn more about this impact, or how your United Way dollars are being spent, this is a perfect way to get involved!

Click here to view the 2018 Program Funding Brochure

Express Interest

Public Policy

As a leading community impact organization, United Way knows that real and sustained change in community conditions requires more than money. United Way engages decision-makers and policy leaders at the local, state and national levels to help address the most important community needs. Educating leaders on issues important to our communities is an activity that can be done by anyone: youth or seniors, employed or retired, individuals or families. Follow this link to ways you can be a national advocate: National Advocacy

Homelessness Task Force

 United Way of Blount County, in collaboration with stakeholders in our community, has established deep-rooted impact work addressing our homeless problem on a local level. Nonprofits, elected officials, faith-based entities, business owners and community volunteers meet on a regular basis to find tangible solutions to identified problems. As the needs of our homeless shift, the work follows. Our current focus includes:

  • Warming shelter for winter months
  • Tiny homes for transitional housing
  • Emergency shelter with supportive services
  • Advocacy for general barriers

Each focus has dedicated committee members who meet regularly to impact various barriers. Each quarter, these committees reconvene to update each other as well as the general public on progress while also identifying other needs. To get involved, please call 865-982-2251 ext. 18.