United Way launches new funding cycle with two kick-off events

“What does United Way do?” The vast majority of people would respond that it’s a great organization that raises money through companies and gives it out to local community-based organizations. And while they would essentially be right, it’s only a fraction of the real story.

Because while United Way does raise money in partnership with generous, like-minded corporations, and while it does give money to community-based organizations, the funds raised are not simply passed through.  Instead, donations are allocated through a thoughtful, rigorous performance-based model that’s been hailed as a best practice by respected philanthropic think tanks like Root Cause and the Center for Effective Philanthropy.

While raising money is important, it’s what you do with it once you get it that counts the most.  And it’s not much money you raise, but how much of a difference you make in people’s lives that is the true measure of success. biddersconference Yesterday, close to 400 of the greater Boston region’s nonprofit leaders joined United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley to kick off the application process for United Way’s next three-year funding cycle, which will start July 1, 2014. And earlier today, in Portsmouth, NH, over 30 agency representatives arrived for a similar event for United Way of the Greater Seacoast. Leaders from community-based organizations attended to learn more about the community strategies and measurable impact United Way is looking to achieve for the next three years, and  the new measures that United Way will hold them accountable to for their next round of funding. “We believe that the best and most sustainable way to achieve positive outcomes is to unite change agents around common goals and to support related programming and initiatives,” says Peg Sprague, Senior Vice President for Community Impact. “For over 75 years, we have convened partner agencies, other practitioners, business leaders, funders, and community members to develop and support efforts that are aligned with our shared vision and that contribute to targeted outcomes. United Way agencies have always been critical partners.” Over the next few months, over 200 organizations from the region will apply for funding to advance United Way community strategies including:

  • increasing access to quality early education and family support programs for young children;
  • advancing academic achievement, mentoring and college & work readiness efforts for youth;
  • providing job training, placement and financial coaching for families;
  • reducing homelessness.

Applications will be reviewed by staff and community volunteers throughout the winter and spring, and agencies will learn in the late spring about the amount of funds they will receive and which of the community outcomes they will partner with United Way to achieve. We look forward to partnering with them!