At this present time, we have put the application process on hold for Innovation Challenge.  When we relaunch in the future we will make an announcement.


    Non-Profit organizations and public entities working on the most pressing problems affecting Greater New Bedford are often focused on day-to-day operations and sustaining existing programs, and may not have the time, opportunity, or resources to take a step back, reflect, and consider new approaches to addressing those challenging problems, or new ways to do their work with greater efficiency or impact. Moreover, funding for new approaches or pilots is rare and often inadequately addresses the risk that organizations take on when trying something new.

    However, these new approaches and ways of doing business differently are often what lead to the biggest advances in tough social problems; including those in education, financial stability, and health. They are not always successful, but there is power in learning from both successes and failures.

    Through the Innovation Challenge, United Way of Greater New Bedford is seeking proposals that experiment, pilot, or test new ideas and approaches that can lead to breakthroughs in United Way of Greater New Bedford’s target areas of Health, Education, Financial Stability, and Basic Needs.

    Non-profits are eligible to apply for up to $100,000 to be used over a three year period.

    Projects of interest include:

    • Reimagined design of a program or services
    • Use or build technology to improve service delivery
    • Test new outreach and communication tools
    • Build innovative cross-sector collaborations

    Letters of intent (LOI) to apply will be accepted beginning February 26th and must be submitted by noon on March 11th. Contact Michelle Hantman at with questions.  Select organizations will be invited to submit a video pitch and a full proposal for an Innovators Panel to evaluate after the LOI review process.

    Click here to submit a LOI

    Click here to view the 2020 Innovation Challenge RFP

    Click here to review the Power Point from the Innovation challenge Information Session

    2018 Innovation Challenge Winners

    • Greater New Bedford Youth Alliance‘s project that aims to connect youth service providers through a technology platform that will enable them to track their participants and their community impact over time.
    • Greater New Bedford Community Health Center‘s Integrated Opioid Treatment Program incorporates opioid treatment into the primary care service model. After reaching 87% of its goal for number of patients served in the program, it is on track to exceed its goal in its second year.
    • The Women’s Center‘s project is an at-home security project that will help women who are victims of domestic violence stay in their homes and child(ren) in their schools. Seven families, totaling twenty individuals, benefited directly from the program in its first year.