The Power of Partnerships: United Way’s Best of 2018

This month, we’re looking back on the best of 2018: the moments that helped define the year’s successes, the ways we engage with our community, and the most significant impact seen this year. Each week, we’ll be taking a dive into an area of our work that has set this year apart. Today, we’re highlighting the community partnerships that make our impact possible.

Here are some of the key partnerships we formed in 2018 that are creating the kind of impact that no one organization could create on its own.

The Partnerships That Power Change

Our long-standing partnerships with community-based organizations in cities and towns across our region are the backbone of our work to help more than 250,000 people in need. In May, we awarded strategic grants to 146 community based organizations best-positioned to deliver high-quality programming and effective solutions.   

This included 20 new partners, including Playworks, Horizons for Homeless Children, Sportsmen’s Tennis and Enrichment Center, Latino Stem Alliance, More than Words, Resilient Coders, Action Inc., Boston SCORES, Boston PIC, Friends of St. Stephen Youth Programs, Friends of the Children – Boston, Future Chefs, HAVEN Violence and Prevention Support Services, MetroHousing Boston, Jeremiah Program Boston, LEAP for Education, South End Community Health Center, The Open Door, The Upper Room and the Waltham Boys and Girls Club.

Our partnerships with these 146 agencies will help advance our collective goals supporting young children, preparing youth for success, moving families out of poverty and ending homelessness. Read the full announcement here.

How Change Happens

The Community Impact team at United Way is constantly researching emerging trends and best practices in how community organizations can deliver transformational programming. We increased our funding and partnerships in three key areas this year that reflect that analysis in efforts to: disrupt poverty through two-generational approaches, enhance social-emotional learning both in and outside of school, and ensure youth who are disconnected from school or employment find a path to opportunity. Read more about this cutting-edge work helping our partners achieve better outcomes for the children and families they serve:

Building On Progress

What do you do when there is an unmet community need and you find an approach that works? You expand it!  This year, thanks to the generosity of our donors, grants, and partnerships with city governments and schools, we were able to expand some of our innovative initiatives into new communities or add new community-based organizations to the work.  

Highlights include bringing DRIVE, our first-of-its-kind system of universal developmental screening for young children, to Lynn, Salem, and Gloucester. We expanded the Shared Services model, currently in Cambridge and Somerville, to Boston to help more early education provider focus their efforts on giving kids the best education possible instead of worrying about the administrative needs that come with an early childhood care business. And we formed a new partnership with HomeStart to bring its successful eviction prevention model to the South Shore. Read about these highlights here:

What It Means to Live United

Let’s face it. There are thousands of nonprofits, businesses and generous individuals who are working to solve the entrenched issues facing our region. We believe that together, we can do more than any of us can alone.  That’s why we value the partnerships we have formed in the community this year – by bringing together nonprofits, government, and businesses, we will create change that lasts.