OUR COMMUNITY IMPACT MODEL
At the end of 2015, our Board voted to adopt a new approach to how we work. Our new business model, the Community Impact Model, takes specific problems in the community and focuses funding and efforts to address them. This is done in collaboration with other organizations by leveraging funding, expertise, and resources. The issues we will focus on in San Juan County in coming years will address critical needs in the areas of Education, Income Stability, and Health.
Our local United Way is working collaboratively in our county to identify local issues of concern, set specific community goals, and to partner in developing and implementing strategies to address our county’s most pressing issues. It will focus on ways to partner with donors to invest in our future and secure our tomorrow: for the homeless, the poor, the working poor, and for our community as a whole.
Specific and Time-framed
How long will it take to make the transition? The transi@on will take place over several years in conjunction with partner agencies and community members.
What now? With our Community Partner Investment Strategy, United Way will continue to make strategic investments in island nonprofits as we have in previous years, investments that promise results related to one or more of our three impact goals, with special priority given to those engaging in community partnerships.
Our new strategy also includes community initiatives, collaborative efforts designed to test and implement new ideas. For example, we are in the process of developing initiatives around homelessness: There is no reason why any child or any family living on our abundant islands should be homeless.
COMMUNITY IMPACT PLAN
What caused us to move to an initiative-based community impact? United Way Worldwide had been assessing this community impact model through careful research, pilot programs, and the creation of best practices, and found that initiative-based funding will produce more targeted and focused outcomes and measurable results. Many other local United Ways have been transitioning to this model. Our Board made the decision to move forward in making this transition in December 2015. Two key factors for this decision are: (1) the impact we want to have in the community in our three key areas and (2) how we can best leverage donor dollars to accomplish our community goals.
How long will it take to make the transition? The transition will take place over several years in conjunction with partner agencies and community members.
First, With Community Partner Investments, United Way will continue to make strategic investments in island nonprofits as we have in previous years, investments that promise results related to one or more of the three selected impact areas, with special priority given to those engaging in community partnerships.
Our second strategy is Community Initiatives, collaborative efforts designed to test and implement new ideas. We are in the process of developing initiatives around homelessness: There is no reason why any child or any family living on our abundant islands should be homeless.
TRANSITIONING TO THE NEW MODEL
Full implementation of the Community Impact Plan is slated for 2018. It will take time to build new partnerships and collaborative capacity. With greater collaboration across agencies, we believe that there will be less competition for resources and a greater opportunity to test new ideas and innovative strategies that make island life be6er for all of us.
During the remainder of 2016, United Way will be introducing the plan to its donors, volunteers, and partners. Activities include “getting ready” training for current community partners as well continued refinement of our goals based on our discussions with partners and other community members on each of our three islands.
The Community Impact Model will help us to:
Maximize the impact of donated dollars in the community.
Promote greater volunteerism and community engagement.
Focus on the priority areas identified in community needs assessments and conversations in the community and advanced by United Way of America (UWA): Education, Health, and Income Stability.
Evaluate the funding distribution process to ensure that funding supports programs that meet our community’s most pressing needs and produce a measurable impact.
Open the funding process to include both new and existing Community Partners that offer programs and services to meet emerging needs.
Make issues related to homelessness a priority.
Research and develop coordinated community systems.
Encourage greater communication, coordination, and collaboration among nonprofits, faith organizations, and others in the community.