*Thanks for your interest in our Social Innovation Fund! We’ll aim to keep you updated via email regarding our next Problem-Solving Pitches event!*


The United Way of East TN Highlands created the Social Innovation Fund in 2020. The fund is used to support new programs aimed to meet social needs by filling gaps in our community related to health, education, or financial stability. Nonprofit or community organizations with programs less than 2 years old are eligible to apply. You must be a 501(c)3 or covered under one in order to apply.


Our Social Innovation Pitch Night was held on May 12, 2022. We plan to have our next pitch night in the Spring of 2023.


Problem Solving Pitches Event

This event took place on May 12, 2022. We plan to have our next pitch night in the Spring of 2023. 


Thanks to last year’s event Sponsors!


How Funds Are Distributed

ETSU faculty led a group of volunteer students from the College of Business & Applied Technology (CBAT), Quillen College of Medicine and, Roan Scholar students. Through this process, the group will look to narrow it down to up to six finalists. All six finalists will be invited to participate in United Way’s Annual Problem Solving Pitches event (a live pitch competition, where they will be judged by a local panel and the entire crowd in attendance in May, so invite your friends if you are pitching!).

In Spring of 2022, the Social Innovation Fund plans do distribute it’s second round of funding with a total of at least $30,000 available with the intent of awarding three $10,000 grants.




A Step Ahead Foundation Tri-Cities – Mobile Health Unit
This program aims to provide long-acting, reversible contraceptives (LARC) across the Northeast Tennessee footprint. Ballad Health is retrofitting a mobile unit and training a Nurse Practitioner, while the Social Innovation Grant will go towards A Step Ahead Foundation’s efforts to provide free LARC to all those without preventative insurance coverage.

Huschka House
Established in February of 2021, the mission of Huschka House is to provide homeless young adults in Northeast Tennessee with a safe living environment, affordable housing, and supportive services in order to ensure lifelong stability and success. Huschka House promotes equality and acceptance for all young adults.

Junt@s of Johnson City

Established in February of 2021, Junt@s is a task force that has the goal of bringing together local partners to promote the financial stability of the diverse population of Washington County and neighboring areas. They aim to privde a haven for the immigrant, Black and Latinx populations so they can have a safe environment to flourish and seek assistance if they need to. 



Johnson County Senior Center – MyRide
MyRide TN of Johnson County is a senior-friendly program that offers door-through-door transportation that is provided by a well-screened and trained volunteer staff.

Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachians – Girl Scouts Make a rpl. Effect
This program connects Girl Scouts with peer Girl Scouts who have successfully completed their High Awards, Girl Scout alumni, as well as vetted adult experts in their respected fields.

Northeast TN / Southwest VA Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Alliance
This alliance intends to build regional awareness and understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion for all people of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.

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