neighborhood-leadership-academyThe NLA was formed in 2012 and is sponsored by United Way and Fifth Third Bank, and Donatos. The program provides valuable training to central Ohio current and emerging community leaders in the areas of advocacy, consensus building, effective collaboration and communication skills. For more information, contact Sharon L. Ware, 614.241.3071,; or Jennifer King, 614.227.8715,

Near East Side Neighborhood Leadership Academy

Click Here to Apply

With an emphasis on Columbus’ Near East Side, this unique leadership program is designed to equip residents with the knowledge and tools to become agents of change. Participants will aspire to make a positive impact in their neighborhoods by building upon existing assets of their community.

Learning opportunities will be designed such that participants benefit from a good balance of traditional, classroom-based learning with highly-engaging experiential learning opportunities including community tours and field trips.

Southside Neighborhood Leadership Academy

Click here to apply

United Way is proud to have launched this second Neighborhood Leadership initiative designed for Columbus Southside neighborhoods. Following the tenets of the Neighborhood Leadership Academy, the Southside Neighborhood Leadership Academy seeks to engage local Southside residents in leadership development, community engagement and collaboration skills building. For additional information, contact Katelin Hansen, 614.954.2427 or


The Neighborhood Partnership Grant (NPG) Program offers competitive grants that aim to improve the quality of neighborhood life in Franklin County. Grants are available for neighborhood-driven collaborative projects located in Franklin County. The program accepts requests up to $10,000. Please note: In 2017 grants ranged from $500 to $7,225. The average grant award was $2,904.

  • Agencies and institutions within neighborhoods are eligible for grants as long as the project is resident driven and supported.
  • Proposals must be received electronically by 11:59 p.m., Thursday, January 25, 2018 using the online proposal form. The link to this form will be located at the bottom of this page beginning November 30, 2017.
  • The online proposal cannot be saved for submittal at a later date, and therefore must be completed and submitted with all required attachments at one time. With this in mind, please utilize the “Application Questions” document provided below, which mirrors the online proposal form.
  • Read and answer all questions completely and pay close attention to the word limits assigned to the narrative fields. This limit is listed next to the corresponding field, and is tracked and displayed as you input information.
  • The maximum grant award is $10,000. Applicants are encouraged to allocate no more than 25% of the total project budget to stipends or consultant fees.

Required Attachments
The following four attachments must be included with your online proposal. These files must be attached/uploaded to the online proposal using the spaces provided at the bottom of the online application.

  • One (1) letter of support from a collaborators/partner involved in the proposed project including organizations, churches, business groups, and/or individuals, describing their level of participation in the project.
  • A complete budget and narrative form. A blank version can be downloaded below.
  • A signed statement from the fiscal agent, authorizing the request and agreeing to serve as fiscal agent for the project. Letters should be signed by senior leadership at the organization. Examples include Executive Directors, Presidents, Chief Operating Officers, or Board Presidents. A scanned copy of this statement must be included with your electronic application.
  • Proof of tax-exempt public charity status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service (example provided below).

If you need assistance with this form or the electronic submittal, please contact Jennifer King at United Way of Central Ohio at (614) 227-8715.

Neighborhood Partnership Grants: Committee Approved Eligibility Criteria

Projects must:

  • Be specific to a geographical area defined as a neighborhood.
  • Be submitted by residents of an area, but can be partnered.
  • Show collaboration, partnership and/or commitment from others.
  • Appear to be fiscally sound and responsible.
  • Demonstrate short-term results and contribute to long-term impact.
  • Engage numerous people and stakeholders from the community.
  • Show a demonstrated impact in the community requesting funds.
  • Demonstrate activities in one of the following areas: community and economic development, education and Public Awareness, crime prevention and safety, or Home Improvement and Education


Link to Application:

Final Reporting Form

To report your results for grants already approved for 2017, go to the following link:

Learn to Improve Your Community Through the Neighborhood Training Academy

The Neighborhood Training Academy provides grassroots, small nonprofits and community residents the opportunity to improve existing skills, build or improve organizational capabilities and create new ways in developing stronger and safer neighborhoods.

United Way of Central Ohio’s Neighborhood Partnership Center (NPC)’s Training Academy and its community partners offer over 60 low cost  training in:

  • Grant Writing
  • Organizational Development
  • Financial Stability
  • Technology Building
  • Safe Homes and Neighborhoods

The Neighborhood Training Academy is made possible with the support and partnership of more than twenty local non-profit organizations, government agencies, academic institutions, faith-based organizations and independent consultants. All of these organizations share in our objective of building vibrant neighborhoods.


United Way of Central Ohio has increased its efforts to improve neighborhoods by focusing on five priority neighborhoods in Franklin County: Franklinton, King Lincoln, Northland, Near South Side and Weinland Park.

These areas were chosen based on their needs and asset-based trends and the opportunity these neighborhoods have for achieving lasting change. In 2008, United Way adopted strategies that will reduce the number of vacant and abandoned housing units by one third, as well as reduce the crime rate by 30 percent in these priority neighborhoods over the next decade.

For additional information, contact Sharon L. Ware, Assistant Impact Director, Neighborhood Partnership Center, at or call at 614.241.3071.


Every year the Neighborhood Partnership Center, in conjunction with the city of Columbus, puts together a community led conference. The Neighborhood Best Practices Conference began in 2010 and offers opportunities for community groups to share their success and collaborate on a wide variety of obstacles plaguing communities today.

Over 250 residents, advocates and community leaders joined by a keynote speaker, present various workshops led by community based organizations and share ways to tackle youth violence, beautification/gardening, how to merge various races/religions with your effort, impact crime, understand police and fire services, youth involvement within a community, utilize technology to fight crime and understand resources.

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