United Way of Rome & Floyd County adopts new model to ‘proactively address the root causes of complex community challenges no one agency can take on alone.’

United Way of Rome & Floyd County adopts new model to ‘proactively address the root causes of complex community challenges no one agency can take on alone.’

Media release: Instead of merely allocating funds to programs run by other nonprofit organizations, the United Way of Rome & Floyd County has been hard at work making substantial changes to the way it serves our community.

Prioritizing transparency and community-wide collaboration, the organization is focused on doing more to proactively address the root causes of complex community challenges no one agency can take on alone. The redesign aligns the local United Way with the community impact agenda implemented by successful United Ways around the country.

The full transition to a community impact model, which began in January, will take three years.

“As a first step, we redefined our traditional grant process to identify measurable impacts to high-priority challenges facing Rome & Floyd County. Our community can see exactly what positive outcomes United Way funding will support, right from the start,” said Alli Mitchell, Executive Director. Full guidelines and a Request for Proposals were published to the organization’s website in June. Agencies submitted interest letters and those qualified have been invited to apply.

A Community Investment Team made up of local community volunteers will determine funding amounts based on availability and prioritized need. “People often ask who decides what agencies are awarded funding and at what levels. The answer is now, definitively: “You do!”,” Mitchell said.

Other notable changes to the funding process include a two-year award period, allowing funded programs a greater level of stability, and a shift to funding locally governed, independent 501(c)3 organizations for the current grant cycle, which runs from January 2020 to December 2021.

“We believe every mission is worthy. To make significant, lasting change, we must concentrate our efforts. We know our locally governed, independent partners can make program decisions influenced by emergent changes in community priorities and adapt mission delivery strategically,” said Mitchell. “We believe we can take on complex community issues like poverty with strategies that are local, measurable, and deeply collaborative.

Says Bryan Shealy, United Way Board Chair: “Poverty is a deeply seated community concern and a root cause of many challenges local missions exist to address. It devastates those struggling to overcome it and negatively impacts the health, growth and development of our community. Our new United Way is committed to uniting people and strengthening our community by focusing resources to create measurable impact and improve the lives of all in Rome & Floyd County.”

The United Way also is taking the lead in creating a local online resource database and recently launched its Corporate Responsibility Consulting and Management Services, helping business and industry partners fulfill their goals of supporting our community. The service designs and coordinates corporate volunteer engagement experiences with local nonprofits, provides on-the-ground support, follow-up impact reports to the business and the community.

For information about partnering with the United Way, please call Alli Mitchell at 706.622.1990, or email info@uwrome.org

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