Updated: Jan 13

United Way of Central Ohio is now accepting applications for Innovation Catalyst. A limited number of scholarships are available!

Program: To help Central Ohio nonprofit organizations create innovative, impactful and more sustainable initiatives, United Way of Central Ohio is once again partnering with CauseImpact to offer a premier cohort consulting package to a select number of agencies. The Innovation Catalyst program will begin in March 2022 and continue until November 2022. The program will conclude with the completion of an agency business plan for a new venture or business model, which will increase mission impact while diversifying revenue. Each participating agency will develop a launch-ready concept and business plan.

Funding: Through the generosity of United Way donors, along with critical funding support from AEP Foundation, the Columbus Foundation, and IGS Energy, matching funds will be available to subsidize the cost of the program. Each participating agency will receive a supporting scholarship of $13,125.00 and will be responsible for a 1:3 grant match of $4,375.

Eligibility: Any registered nonprofit organization whose primary service area is Central Ohio is invited to apply.

Requirements for Participation: Applicants must:

  • Submit a completed application no later than Noon on Friday, February 11, 2022.

  • Be able to provide matching funds of $4,375.00.

  • Commit to full participation in the Innovation Catalyst program:

  • Designate this project as a strategic priority.

  • Build an Impact Team (a description of the Impact Team will be provided as part of the application process. Please see below).

  • Assign a project leader from the agency’s leadership team.

  • Participate in group sessions and presentations (schedule TBA).

  • Develop, over the course of the program, a detailed business plan to launch-ready status.

  • Executive leaders and at least one board member from each finalist must be available for an online interview on Wednesday, February 16, or Thursday, February 17, 2022. Interviews will be scheduled as finalists are selected.

  • The business plan development process will conclude with live presentations to the program funders and the community in November of 2022.

How to Submit: The application process will take place on United Way’s E-Cimpact platform. You can add the application if your agency is already using this system, or if you are new to this system, register your organization to access it.

Agencies with an existing account: Login to E-CImpact. If you have not yet accessed this system, contact your agency’s primary contact (typically the Executive Director) for your login and temporary password. If you are unable to access the system, send an email to for further assistance. Click on Grant Applications (left navigation pane) and select the Innovation Catalyst application. You will also need to create a program to associate with the application.

Agencies which have not used the system before must create an account: Go to E-CImpact . Note: You must have an EIN to register an agency. Follow the prompts on the website to set up your agency profile. If you need assistance navigating the site in the future, access the user guide in the resources section in the lower right corner of the home page. If you need assistance getting registered or do not have an EIN, email us at You will be able to select the Innovation Catalyst application as you are setting up your profile. Note you will also need to create a program to associate with the application.

Learn more about how to apply at these information sessions:

If you have any questions, please reach out to Sean McGee at CauseImpact:

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Join us for a special evening with our co-hosts LC Johnson of Zora's House and Vicki Bowen-Hewes of SocialVentures and Special Guest Steve Votaw of Furniture Bank of Central Ohio

And support these innovative nonprofit organizations as they pitch for prizes over $20,000! Adaptive Sports Connection 3 Levels of Greatness ARC Industries, Inc.Columbus Music Commission CRC - The Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center

The program is provided in partnership with United Way of Central Ohio and the generous support of the American Electric Power - AEP The Columbus Foundation, and IGS Energy. #socent #dogoodbetter #causeimpact

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Looking forward to seeing these 5 innovative nonprofits pitch live and online! 3 Levels of Greatness Adaptive Sports Connection ARC Industries, Inc. CRC - The Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center Columbus Music Commission

More information coming soon!


The program is provided in partnership with United Way of Central Ohio and the generous support of the American Electric Power, The Columbus Foundation, and IGS Energy.

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