The programs we invest in are helping real people right here in Martin County, which is why local people just like you determine where the donations go.

Through our fundraising efforts, United Way of Martin County brings together local resources, and we work with volunteers to ensure those dollars have the maximum return on the investment for our community.
With hundreds of nonprofits in Martin County, identifying which programs align with our community’s goals and aspirations is no small task. Many people do not realize that United Way staff does not decide who receives grants through our annual funding process. The Citizen Review process is the method by which local community representatives volunteer to evaluate the proposals from programs seeking United Way funding.
Our role is to help train United Way representatives from the local community who evaluate proposals from grant seekers. Every application for funding is vetted by these Citizen Review volunteers who live and work in our community. The goal is to identify the programs that best align with our work in Education, Financial Stability, and Health and can demonstrate measurable results in their respective area of focus.

What is a Citizen Review Panel?

Each year, United Way volunteers and donors play a crucial role in the grant process by serving on Citizen Review Panels where they review applications from local nonprofit organizations seeking funding for their program(s). The process includes reading grant applications, participating in site visits and making recommendations to the Fund Distribution Committee. With roughly 50 applications received each year, Citizen Review Panels ensure a fair and equitable means for distributing funds to programs that address community needs in the areas of health, education, and financial stability.

What do Citizen Review volunteers do?

There are four parts to serving on a Citizen Review Panel:

  • Training: A volunteer training session will be held at the Children's Services Council on Tuesday, April 2, from 1:00 to 2:30 pm to provide instructions on accessing and navigating the grant management platform.
  • Review: Volunteers will read three to four grant applications on their own time. Each application will take one to two hours to review.
  • Site Visit: Site visits are conducted either in-person at the program location or remotely via Zoom, depending on access and location. During a site visit, volunteers can ask questions, learn more about the program(s), and tour the facility if onsite.
  • Evaluation: Panels will deliberate and provide feedback immediately following agency site visits. Feedback is shared with United Way's Fund Distribution Committee which makes the final funding recommendations to the United Way Board.

How do I register for a Citizen Review Panel?

  • Volunteer registration will open on Monday, March 11, 2024.
  • There is a limit of six participants per panel, so please register for only one (1) or two (2) Citizen Review Panels
  • To prevent any potential conflicts of interest, please avoid selecting a panel that includes an agency with which you have an affiliation.
  • Preference will be given to United Way donors and/or first-time participants.
  • Once registration is confirmed, you will receive a calendar invitation with
    additional details.

What can I expect on the day of the site visit?

  • If the panel meets in person, you must provide transportation to the program locations. If the site visit is held remotely, you may join via Zoom from the United Way office or from a location convenient to you.
  • You will visit two to four agencies. Each agency will present on one to three programs for 45 minutes per program. Then, the panel will deliberate at the United Way office and complete their evaluations.
  • The approximate timeframe is 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. depending on the number of programs your panel is evaluating.
  • Light snacks and refreshments will be provided.

2024 Site Visit Schedule:

  • Thursday, April 11 (VIRTUAL)
    • Catholic Charities, Children's Emergency Resources, Children's Home Society, Guardians for New Futures, LifeBuilders
  • Tuesday, April 16 (IN-PERSON)
    • Alzheimers Community Care, Council on Aging of Martin County
  • Tuesday, April 23 (VIRTUAL & IN-PERSON)
    • Epilepsy Alliance Florida, Junior Achievement, Martin Chamber Foundation, Police Athletic League, Suncoast Mental Health Center
  • Wednesday, April 24 (IN-PERSON)
    • ARC, Helping People Succeed, Hope Center for Autism
  • Friday, April 26 (VIRTUAL)
    • 211, Drug Abuse Treatment Association, Tykes & Teens
  • Tuesday, April 30 (IN-PERSON)
    • Caring Children Clothing Children, Hope Rural School, House of Hope
  • Wednesday, May 1 (IN-PERSON)
    • Banner Lake Club, Hobe Sound Early Learning Center, Project LIFT
  • Thursday, May 2 (IN-PERSON)
    • Martin County Healthy Start Coalition, Mary's Home, Salvation Army
  • Wednesday, May 8 (IN-PERSON)
    • Light of the World Charities, SafeSpace, The Inner Truth Project, YMCA
  • Thursday, May 16 (IN-PERSON) 
    • Hibiscus Children's Center, Love And Hope In Action, Martin County School District