BEMIDJI -- The application process for grants from the local United Way is now underway, with a deadline of March 31.

Guidelines and application materials are available at www.unitedwaybemidji.org. Interested parties can also contact the United Way office at (218) 444-8929.

Eligible organizations must be incorporated, not-for-profit and IRS tax exempt. Applicants must provide a local community service based on documented needs within one or more of the United Way's community impact areas, which include education, health and basic needs, a release said.

Applications, including financial documents, will be reviewed by the Community Investment Cabinet, which will serve as a local volunteer committee. Members of the committee will make site visits to all applying agencies to ensure donor dollars are well spent and results are delivered.

The final investment decisions will be approved by the United Way of Bemidji Area Board of Directors in June. Applications must be to the United Way office, located at 716 Paul Bunyan Drive NW, by 5 p.m. on March 31.