IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Allocations volunteers talk about their experience

Over the last month, more than 450 volunteers came together to help review more than 200 applications from local community agencies seeking support from United Way.  Their work and unique perspectives help inform a significant piece of United Way’s funding strategy – to select the best community-based partners to advance our goals of increasing school readiness, opportunities for youth, and financial stability for families.

United Way ensures that funded agencies implement programs that are highly likely to improve the lives of underprivileged children and their families.  It is an honor to be a small cog in that system,” -Hugh Rappaport, a local attorney and allocations reviewer.

Below, more of our reviewers share their thoughts on the experience. You can also follow their experiences from our Twitter feed with the hashtag #whereyourmoneygoes.


What motivated you to serve as an Allocations Reviewer?

“I wanted to learn more about agencies serving Boston and to learn more about United Way’s role in the community.”

“An old colleague asked me to be involved and I realized it would be a great way to contribute to the funding of great organizations, and also introduce me to new agencies that are doing quality work.”

“I believe in what UW does. As a long-time contributor I valued the opportunity to participate in an aspect of the funding decision making process.”

Has serving as a volunteer changed your understanding of UW’s role in the community? In what way?

“It has actually sparked more interest for me in the non-profit sector.  Being new to the area, it was great for me to learn about some of the great programs we have in Mass.”

“Absolutely!  I knew UW was great, but I don’t think I actually realized the amount of work you do.  Taking part in this really opened my eyes to the impact these agencies have in and on the community, with the help from UW.  The world can get better and UW is helping one organization, one community at a time.”

“Yes, I know more about the careful consideration that is taken for each entity, the importance of reaching a consensus for each section of the application, and I get comfort over how United Way determines who to fund and how much.”

How would you describe your experience to a friend or colleague?

“Don’t criticize UW as a monolith, stuck in the mud, etc., until you have done one of these processes.” 

“Extremely fulfilling and eye opening.  Not just to see how much work the UW does, but how much more work there is to be done.  It humbled me and made me want to help more.”

“A very rigorous process completed by thoughtful and skilled volunteers.”


Read another recent post about our allocations process and for more information on how you can volunteer your time and skills, visit