Apply for Human Services Funding

The Human Services Division invests in human services programs through the Children’s Services Dedicated Millage to help disadvantaged children and families in the community, as well as from the General Revenue Fund to assist adult residents or provide other services to Manatee County.

Investments are awarded on a competitive basis and the Manatee Board of County Commissioners determines the amount available in any given year. Programs are paid on a reimbursement basis, contingent upon the successful completion of the project, the results (human gain), and meeting the requirements of the investment agreement.

How to Apply

The new online application for Fiscal Year 19/20 is results-based. Each question has both guidance and examples within the application, readily available to applicants. All applications must be submitted by Friday, March 1.

Attend the Overview Workshop

January 25, 2019
10 a.m. - Noon
United Way Suncoast Manatee
4215 Concept Court
Bradenton, FL 34211

The workshop will introduce and release the Results First Investment Application to non-profit agencies. Hal Williams, Outcome Guide, will be on hand as well as a representative from Blackbaud (developer of the GIFTS Online application) to guide you through the application.

Apply for an Investment

All applicants must pass the eligibility quiz, which leads to the application for an investment. To meet the general eligibility requirements, applicants must:

  • Be recognized as a corporation under the State of Florida and tax exempt per the Internal Revenue Code (i.e., 501(c)(3)
  • Provide proof of sufficient insurance coverage
  • Provide a financial audit/compilation by an independent auditor, certified in the State of Florida
  • Serve residents of Manatee County.

The eligibility requirements are the first part of the online application following the registration (first application only).

On the registration page, click on the New Applicant? link (below the email field) to create an account profile. An account allows you to access your saved and submitted applications at any time. It also allows us to send you a submission confirmation email and notify you if additional information is necessary to process your application.

  • If you already have an account, please sign in using your email address and password to access your saved and completed applications.
  • This grant application system uses the following email domain: Please add it to your safe-senders list to be sure you receive all communications.


To access the application, select from the links below depending on the source from which you are seeking funds:

For non-profit agencies serving child residents (ages 0-17) or parents on behalf of children (ages 0-17):

For non-profit agencies serving adult residents or who provide other services to Manatee County:

Application Deadline

All applications must be submitted by Friday, March 1, 2019.

Applications received prior to the deadline will be greatly appreciated and can help the process move forward more efficiently.

More Information

For more information on the funding investment process, please contact Susan Ford at, or call (941) 749-3030.


Download supplemental forms

The following forms are also available for download within the application:

Important Tips for the Results First Application

As you approach the Results First Investment Application, keep these five helpful points in mind.

  1. This approach is a mindset difference. We have moved from being a funder of your programs to being an investor in your results. Funders grade proposals. Investors want to answer three questions:
    • What difference will this program make? When our money is gone, what will be better and for whom?
    • What are the chances that differences will be made? How strong are you on factors that forecast success?
    • Given all opportunities before us, is this program of high comparative value? Does it stand out in any way for high return in human gain?

    The application is organized around these questions.

  2. Words are used carefully. Many funders use words like outcomes, results, targets, goals, or impacts interchangeably. We offer a small set of key words and urge you to keep them in mind as they appear in the questions:
    • Results. The specific intended accomplishment to be made by individuals or groups served by a program. They are the gains that come from services. We do not equate the delivery of services or the availability of services as equivalent to human gain.
    • Targets. The specific number of persons you are committed to achieving the stated result, along with an explanation of who they are in terms of level of need or challenge. They are verifiable without high cost and set at a level to make a significant difference. We do not use other terms such as goals and objectives or anything that is “aspirational” rather than an actual commitment.
    • Milestones. What you look for that tells you whether your program participants are on track to get to the results. We do not call these benchmarks, indicators, or anything else.
    • Verification. How you will know that participants have achieved the stated milestones and results. We are validating accomplishment within programs, not completion of program activities.
    • Impacts. These are broader gains (or losses) which come from achieving a result. Some happen simultaneously in other areas of gain while others come later. Impacts increase return on investment when a result keeps on giving.

  3. Make sure the person or people who will implement the program are involved in writing your application. You are asked to define and commit in ways that go deep into what you do and achieve. You are not “writing a grant.” You are providing key data points to attract investment. 

  4. Look carefully at the Guidance and Examples provided for each question in the narrative. Our staff will take your questions only after you have read both Guidance and Examples and remain unclear.

  5. Note that length of response is not a virtue. We have tried to make the questions different enough that you need to say things only once. Also, the words needed to speak to results and who gets them are far fewer than the words needed to speak to activities. Word limits are in place to reinforce brevity. If we want more detail, rest assured we will ask for it.

Funder vs. Investor

The Funder

  • Invites submissions and selects from those applying.
  • Uses multiple criteria—including need, work plan, quality of proposal writing, evaluation design, etc., to select. May offer points for proposal sections.
  • Funds direct services, capacity-building, technology, etc. using the same approach.
  • Spends most of the time at “front end” making new grants

The Investor

  • Seeks to uncover all possible promising opportunities.
  • Answers three questions of each opportunity.
    • What are we buying?
    • What are the chances we will get it?
    • Is this the best possible use of our money?
  • Clearly distinguishes among investment in programs, innovations, and organizational growth.
  • Reserves considerable time for “back end” understanding results from past grants