Community Investment Process


Behind all of our work are committed and caring volunteers — people just like you — who are giving time and talent to improve the quality of life across our community. There are all kinds of ways to get involved and help further our mission. We’re always on the lookout for experts in multiple fields, including education, finance, public policy, and others, who are interested in helping to advance the United Way mission.

Help determine how United Way Dollars are invested! On an annual basis, United Way provides funding to local programs that have proven their effectiveness. Through a process we call Community Investment, donor volunteers lead the review of funding requests, program outcomes, financial data, and past performance. 


River Valley United Way (RVUW) invites our donors to join us for a very rewarding volunteer opportunity to help make recommendations about investment priorities for Pope, Johnson, and Yell Counties. We seek to identify a diverse volunteer group of donors to review applications, make objective and independent recommendations about funding priorities, based on community impact areas, and guided by the unique needs of our residents.

The Community Investment Process ensures that dollars raised annually through the United Way campaign are reinvested in our community to help those with the greatest need. The volunteer review takes place during July & August. Volunteer meetings typically take place during business hours. The total volunteer time commitment including training is approximately 25 hours.


Application Submitted & Compliance Review

June - RVUW staff review partner agency proposals to ensure they are on time and have all required information completed

Volunteer Training

June/July - Community Investment Volunteers attend a workshop with RVUW to ensure they understand our process, our goals, and their role as Community Investment Volunteers. Volunteers will review a grant application, scoring worksheet, and other materials pertinent to evaluating an applicant's application and effectiveness. 

Training sessions will take place in Russellville, Dardanelle, and Clarksville. 

If you have a small group of volunteers, we can schedule a workshop at your location and convenience.

Volunteer Review

July - Volunteers begin to review the agency and program proposals and build their commentary for upcoming site visits. 

Program Site Visits

July & August - Community Investment Volunteers visit agencies, evaluate programs in person, speak with the staff and even at times program recipients, in order to better inform their recommendation for funding. 

Review Findings & Wrap-Up

August - Community Investment Volunteers meet to discuss program assessments, site visit observations, and to develop their initial funding recommendations based on the program's proposal.

Campaign Kicks off!

August - RVUW's annual fundraising drive kicks off with the goal of raising enough to fully fund the Community Investment Volunteers' recommendations. 

United Way Board of Directors Approval

December - RVUW's Board of Directors reviews the committee's funding recommendations for approval.

Programs Are Notified of Approved Funding Amounts

January - Agencies are notified of their approved funding amounts for the next program year which begins July 1. 

Community Investment Volunteers are required to:

  • Be a current donor to RVUW or become a donor to RVUW prior to CIV training
  • Commit to learning about the priorities needs of the community through research materials provided by United Way,
  • Understand the programs under review and work with the assigned team to evaluate funding request
  • Commit approximately 25 hours to attend Community Investment training, required team meetings, site visits, and actively participate in team discussion to develop final funding recommendations for the assigned proposals
  • Reside or work in Pope, Johnson, or Yell Counties
  • Maintain confidentiality
  • Participate in a training session, site visits, and review meeting(s),
  • Be able to analyze applications (i.e., finances and budgets, performance outcome measurements and evaluations, strengths/weaknesses)
  • Review applications independently prior to team meetings or site visits
  • Ensure recommendations are objective, fair, and impartial
  • Work as a team to make recommendations on application selections and funding
  • Adhere to RVUW Conflict of Interest Policy and Procedures


Submit your Community Investment Volunteer Application using the webform below.

River Valley United Way works to ensure that there is a rigorous and transparent review process. Thank you for your interest in supporting our work by volunteering your time and talent and assisting us in selecting community partners to improve the lives of citizens across the region.


Conflict of Interest Disclosure
Are you or any of your immediate family members currently serving on the board of or employed by any entity receiving funding from River Valley United Way?
Are you a current donor to River Valley United Way?
Have you served as a Community Investment Volunteer in the past?