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March 06, 2015

United Way Announces Bold Plays and Accelerated Strategies

Corporate and community partner endorsers of the Bold Goals for Our Region joined United Way of Greater Cincinnati for the 2015 Bold Goals Summit today (Friday, March 6) at the Reds Urban Youth Academy. United Way convened the group to update progress and issue a call to action to re-double commitments to achieving the goals by 2020.

The goals were adopted in 2011 as a collective vision for our community in the areas of education, income and health. They are the foundation for a thriving community – and are ultimately about creating opportunity for a better future for all in our community.

“The goals are ambitious but achievable, if our community is able to mobilize the right kind of collective leadership, effort and resources,” United Way president and CEO Rob Reifsnyder told the gathering. “We’re headed in the right direction and important progress has been made, but we need to accelerate the pace of change.” Reifsnyder cited the 260+ endorsers, 10+ collective impact initiatives, nearly 100,000 United Way donors, 140+ agency partners and initiatives and unlimited potential volunteer power.


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With partners Agenda 360, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation and Vision 2015, United Way laid out the 2015 Playbook and ways that corporate and community partners can help accelerating progress, including two new strategies and doubling down on three ‘Bold Plays’ that will change the game.

The two new strategies address where and how United Way will put its resources:

  • Building strong families through a multi-generational approach, providing integrated, easy-to-navigate services for children and their families;

  • Build strong communities with a place-based, community-driven approach, integrating easy-to-navigate services where people live, learn and work – targeted communities to be determined based on need, capacity and leverage

The three Bold Plays are evidence-based, scalable strategies that United Way believes will help make greater progress, faster.

  1. Universal quality preschool for every 3 and 4 year-old

  2. 15,000 more people in in-demand jobs

  3. 3,000 more families supported through home visiting

There are some two-dozen strategies across all of the Bold Goals and no silver bullets, but United Way is uniquely positioned to be able to pull it all together through these new strategies,” said Ross Meyer, vice president, community Impact at United Way. In the next several weeks, United Way will refine the ‘where’ – identifying the targeted communities where there is concentrated opportunity to make significant change.

“We know that better education early in life will lead to a stronger workforce down the road. A stronger workforce means we will be a stronger community. We must find ways to support the strategies laid out today in the Bold Plan. We will either pay now or pay much, much more down the road,” said Johnna Reeder, President and CEO of REDI Cincinnati, speaking to the business imperative of the Bold Goals.

“All of us here believe there is simply nothing more important than doing everything we can – and we need all of you to help us get there. No one organization alone can achieve these Bold Goals, but together, we stand a chance. We ALL have a role to play,” Reifsnyder said.

Reifsnyder invited the assembled endorsers to think about specific ways they could help, including:

  • Help in identifying and advocating for public funding to get the Bold Plays done
  • Leveraging the skills and talents in their own companies to advance the work in the community – particularly providing expertise in innovation, data analytics and marketing
  • Help accelerate kindergarten readiness by making sure their employees have access to quality preschool
  • Help accelerate student achievement by running a campaign to adopt a class or recruit tutors and mentors
  • Help accelerate college and career readiness by offering internships or job shadowing experiences to high school students
  • Help accelerate gainful employment by partnering with workforce development programs to conduct mock interviews and hire qualified candidates
  • And of course, invest financial resources to make these Bold Plays and other high impact strategies happen

Summit attendees were also treated to a first look at the 2015 edition of the State of the Community report. Updated regularly online at the redesigned www.FactsMatter.info, this 6th edition contains data on 29 of 48 indicators that are continuously monitored and provide the data necessary to track progress toward the Bold Goals.

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