You've got questions, we've got answers.
Here at the United Way of the Ocoee Region we're committed to being as transparent as possible when it comes to how we manage and invest donor dollars, so we've compiled a list of answers to the questions we get asked the most!
United Way is a nonprofit organization that strategically improves lives by breaking the cycle of poverty, meeting immediate basic needs, giving kids an equal chance, and building pathways to a healthy community. We're after solutions that create long-term, sustainable change.
UWOR is dedicated to understanding and highlighting the specific needs in Bradley & Polk County. These needs are determined thoughtfully through an evidence-based approach using a Community Needs Assessment facilitated by a committee of subject-matter experts (CNIC). The results of the CNIC Report guide our annual investments. Our most updated Community Needs Assessment from 2022 revealed that stable housing, access to quality childcare, access to healthcare, and transportation were the top priorities to work towards improving in our community. Check out our most recent needs assessments here.
UWOR strives to help all neighbors of Bradley & Polk County in financial need. From homeless or impoverished families to families working paycheck-to-paycheck, nearly 46% of those living in our service area are in need. UWOR and its vast network of funded agencies ensure that anyone along the spectrum of need has access to resources. UWOR has taken an additional stance for working families struggling to get by - these families are called ALICE (Asset Limited Income Constrained but Employed).
We contribute to breaking the cycle of poverty by assisting with financial emergencies. With the more than 30 agencies we fund and our internal programming (Ocoee Connect & Housing United), we work with families to ensure they receive the resources they need in a crisis. Additionally, we bring awareness to a quiet struggle by presenting compelling data to our corporate partners on the reality of ALICE households and utilizing media resources to educate our community.
Local nonprofits in good standing and who are committed to breaking the cycle of poverty, meeting immediate basic needs, giving kids an equal chance, and building pathways to a healthy community are invited to apply for funding through an annual competitive allocation process. Volunteer panelists and our Board of Directors determine funding decisions. Today, we are supporting 30 local agencies and two internal programs. The funds that are raised in our area stay here to support agencies locally. View our funded partners here.
All funded agencies and internal programs must provide bi-annual results on the impact they have been able to achieve. We monitor these results for accuracy and assess how they've improved the lives of their client base, knowing our goal is for long-term strategic change.
No, UWOR has never funded Planned Parenthood in the entirety of its 85 years of service to our community. Additionally, United Way can not fund any agency outside of its service area - there has never been a Planned Parenthood in Bradley or Polk County. United Way’s across the United States are reflections of the values in their community. Our Board of Directors reflect our community’s values and our work is shaped by that.