United Way announces focused funding opportunities

Staff Report

ANDERSON, IN -The board of directors of United Way of Madison County has approved a funding process that focuses resources on two primary community issues: financial stability and school readiness.  “The funding process is one component of two broad community strategies that United Way, in partnership with many other individuals and organizations across the county, have developed over time,” said Nancy Vaughan, president.

Impact funding seeks a common outcome for the community and focuses a variety of services and supports to help individuals achieve the outcome. Strategies include roles for advocacy and volunteerism as well as roles for other partners and systems to connect.

School readiness has been a priority of United Way since the launch of Born Learning Connection in 2007.  With the new funding process, Born Learning will be one component of a larger focus on early development outreach and support for families, and high quality, accessible child care.

Financial stability strategies will focus on employment skills and financial empowerment, including connection to supports. The financial stability focus has been developed over nearly two years as part of a national mobilization pilot with 10 other United Ways to create better cross sector partnerships in local communities, as well as to engage residents in the creation of local solutions. 

“Over the past 15 months, we have facilitated dozens of conversations with hundreds of residents in the cities and towns of Madison County to better connect our work to the real aspirations and concerns of people who live here,” said Vaughan. “Combined with expert knowledge of people who work in the public and private sectors, we have created working groups to increase communications and connections to programs and target populations.”

Vaughan added that funded organizations will become part of an ongoing learning community to continue to improve and expand impact.

The entire United Way system – a worldwide network of independent local organizations - is working to increase collective impact in the areas of education, income and health.  United Way has the unique ability to work locally while leveraging resources available through United Way Worldwide and its global partnerships. “We are a collection of like-minded people and organizations that have the potential to be a very powerful global, social movement if we can come together around our values, our principles and our beliefs,” states Brian Gallagher, President and CEO of United Way Worldwide.

Competitive grants will be awarded to nonprofit organizations serving Madison County for funding in 2013.  A letter of intent will be due October 1 and invitations to submit full proposals will be made November 1. The request for proposal documents will be available at www.unitedwaymadisonco.org by August 15. 

United Way will continue to fund basic and emergency needs of individuals and families, educational supports for youth (i.e. tutoring, mentoring), mitigation of high risk behaviors (i.e. substance abuse, violence, crime) and healthy lifestyles (i.e. nutrition, fitness, mental health) through a mini grants process that will open February 1. United Way also supports a utility assistance fund and an “exceptional needs” fund in partnership with the Community Access Network, a group of basic and emergency needs providers that coordinate services.

A community “question & answer” presentation is scheduled at the United Way office located at 1201 E. 5th Street, Suite 1019 in Anderson on Monday, Sept. 10 at 3 p.m. 

About United Way of Madison County

United Way of Madison County is improving lives by mobilizing the caring power of community by focusing on the building blocks to a good life: Education, Income and Health. United Way of Madison County collaborates with over 35 local programs to create “Better Tomorrows” in Madison County. Governed by a 24 member volunteer board of directors, United Way of Madison County has been a member in good standing of United Way of America since 1973. For more information, contact             765-643-7493       or visit our Web site atwww.unitedwaymadisonco.org.

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