Posted on April 22, 2012 20:10
By Linda Yoder
Plymouth—How does the United Way of Marshall County make decisions as to which organizations will be supported agencies? A dedicated group of board members and volunteers serve and help assess which non-profit organizations receive funding from United Way.
What those volunteers look for are on-going efforts that change lives and change the community—programs, in other words, that can use the United Way funding to make a difference. And they’ve got to prove it. When organizations are interviewed, they are asked to show real outcomes where they’ve made a difference.
A tough question but it’s the kind that—given the competitive budget constraints in today’s non-profit world--needs to be asked. Non-profit and social service agencies have been hit hard by state and federal budget cuts in recent years and every dollar is vital.
The fact is the Allocations Committee received requests this year for $441,586 from a total of 27 organizations asking for funding, seven of them new requests. The challenge is that some organizations that do very good work may have to go without United Way support or with less of it. So the burden falls on those on the Committee to make not only good choices, but the correct choices in terms of spending United Way funds. It’s your money.
An important factor for those that serve on the Allocations Committee is seeing the impact the United Way has on boosting the quality of life in Marshall County and they, as much as anyone, see the need to raise additional support during the United Way’s annual fundraising campaign. Last year, over 20,000 Marshall County residents received help from a United Way Member Agency.
The money all stays local and it goes to good purpose. The main criteria the committee considers are helping children and youth succeed; strengthening and supporting families; supporting vulnerable and aging populations; and providing basic needs. Nothing lavish, nothing beyond simply supporting the most basic functions of life.
That’s why it’s important that good decisions are made at United Way—and they have for over 50 years—and that the community continues to invest in the organizations—both in time and money. Call the United Way of Marshall County, 574.936.3366 or visit www.marshallcountyuw.org for more information on how you can be involved in building stronger communities in Marshall County.