We do not want to throw money haphazardly at problems. Instead, we desire to maximize every dollar donated to our agency. This is why we have a robust funding strategy. This means that on average .92 of every dollar given to United Way goes directly to the meet community needs in a healthy, thoughtful way, .07 cents allows us to provide the necessary administration to accomplish the work we do, and .01 cent allows us to hold the United Way brand and connect to a global network of resources.
To ensure that dollars invested make the biggest impact on the greatest needs, organizations who apply for grant funding go through multiple rounds of vetting and must meet certain criteria to be awarded. First and foremost, they must align with United Way’s missional impact areas of health, education, or stability. Within each of these core areas, there are additional subgoals of how those areas need to be affected to address community needs.
All grant funding decisions at United Way are made by panels of volunteers who are also local donors. Through series of meetings, nearly 100 volunteers spend hours poring over the grant applications received from local nonprofits every year. Through the generosity of local people offering time to volunteer, we are able to extend our reach.