December 17, 2012
CINCINNATI – United Way of Greater Cincinnati is investing $50,727,000 in programs, initiatives and community change efforts that will support its Agenda for Community Impact and help achieve the Bold Goals for Our Region.
The 2013 investments are slightly more than the total dollars invested in 2012 and signal the first year of United Way’s third three-year investment cycle for the Agenda.
United Way’s Board of Directors has approved the investments, which include $38.4 million for 288 programs and community change investments through United Way’s Call for Investment process.
This amount includes $17,615,000 for programs aimed at preparing children for kindergarten and help youth achieve success. $8,127,000 is targeted for programs that help families and individuals achieve financial stability. Another $6,753,000 is targeted to help older adults and people with disabilities achieve maximum independence.
Preparing children for kindergarten and helping community members achieve financial stability are United Way’s top two priorities and directly support organizations whose work is often cited by contributors as primary reasons for contributing to United Way. Within the $17.6 million for Education, $10,164,000 is targeted to preparing children for kindergarten, a 5 percent increase for United Way’s number one priority.
“We’re tremendously pleased that, thanks to the generosity of our community, we’re able to maintain high levels of funding for programs that help families and individuals deal with a tough economy and move toward financial stability and help children grow into successful adults,” said Rob Reifsnyder, United Way’s president. “Funding decisions are never easy, but the Agenda for Community Impact helps us prioritize these investments. In fact, this year was the first time United Way invested toward a specific Health strategy, which allowed for greater alignment of health investments to support Education and Income.”
“We are very pleased to provide an increase in funding for preparing children for kindergarten, allowing us to invest in the foundation of the future. Education is essential to getting and keeping a job with a livable wage and health benefits,” said United Way board chair Valarie Sheppard, senior vice president and comptroller, P&G.
“These investments would not be possible without the generosity of our community’s individuals, companies and foundations, and the outstanding leadership of David Joyce, our 2012 campaign chair, and his team of committed volunteers and staff who led us through one of the more challenging campaigns we’ve faced in several years,” Sheppard said.
The $38.4 million includes several United Way strategic initiatives. $5,946,000 will fund programs and services such as Partners for a Competitive Workforce, place matters, the Regional Earned Income Tax Credit Collaborative, United Way Success by 6®, United Way Volunteer Connection, United Way 211, and the Community Research Collaborative, a United Way—University of Cincinnati partnership.
Investments are determined using three criteria: Impact – demonstrating measurable change and improvement in lives and the community; Alignment – contributing to the goals of the Agenda for Community Impact; and Accountability – delivering efficient, effective and quality services. Other considerations include the individual strength of the program, the combination of programs that best meet the goals of the Agenda throughout the region, and the funds available.
Donor-directed gifts of about $6 million will go toward specific initiatives and programs, primarily related to early childhood education, and directly to specific agencies. Another $1.4 million in donor-directed giving goes to other United Ways, primarily Butler and Warren counties, for services there.
The Cincinnati Area Chapter of the American Red Cross, United Way’s partner in the annual fundraising campaign, is receiving $4.9 million for services, such as disaster relief, and support of the campaign.
There are 288 programs being funded at 146 agencies. Of these, seven new agencies are becoming United Way agency partners.
“United Way investments and staff efforts over the past few years have led to substantial enhancements in data systems focused on effectively measuring the outcomes – not just the outputs – of the community initiatives and agency partners we invest in,” Reifsnyder said. “We hope these common data systems will continue to lead to service improvements across our partners to help get to the root of the problems of those they serve.”
Of the remaining funds raised in the 2012 campaign, $3.3 million is set aside to cover the reserve for uncollected pledges from companies going out of business, layoffs, people moving, and deaths. Another $5 million goes toward fundraising and $2 million for United Way’s year-round operations. The remaining $675,000 supports national and state services such as public policy, training and campaign work with national corporations.
The first Call for Investment process was created to support the Agenda for Community Impact upon its adoption in June 2005 by United Way’s Board of Directors. The process results in a three-year investment cycle, with the first one implemented in January 2007.
Funding sources for investments include the campaign and the United Way Foundation.
Call for Investment—Collaborative Projects
Collaboration across agency lines and among public and private providers is one of the most significant developments in human services. United Way encourages providers to enter into collaborative work in support of the Agenda for Community Impact.