The United Way of Norman is offering up to $10,000 for an area nonprofit of its choosing that addresses a community need.

The Launch, a United Way program that awards grant money to an organization with a concept that “has clear potential to make a measurable impact in the community,” is taking applications from nonprofits through Friday, according to a news release.

“We always want to be on the cutting edge as needs within communities change,” Daren Wilson, president and CEO of United Way Norman, said in an email Tuesday. “The Launch gives nonprofits in our community (the chance) to dream and ask, ‘If we had $10,000 dollars to think of creative ways we can solve problems or assist more people who need help, what does this look like?’”

The program, modeled after the TV show “Shark Tank,” will view presentations from nonprofits through Feb. 10. The organization entering the contest must be a 501c3 and provide service to the United Way chapter’s service area in southern Cleveland County, the release states.

Panelists will judge the nonprofit and its idea on four criteria:

  • It has “clear potential” to positively impact a beneficiary population and affect systemic change
  • It is is either brand new or notably better than a current solution and innovative, novel, effective, efficient and sustainable
  • It fills a need and has potential to deliver measurable outcomes
  • It has a clear mission and objectives, clear ways to deliver, measure success, raise money, budget and perform other functions as well as continue after the grant money is spent

A committee will identify the top four applicants to go before the Launch panel of judges, Wilson said.

Wilson said the past two grants of this kind received “several applications” each year.

“We expect several applications again this year,” he said.

Trending Video