GAINESVILLE, FL (July 5, 2016) —United Way of North Central Florida is pleased to announce its FY17-19 funded program investments in core areas including education, income, health and immediate needs. The entire list of funded programs totals $3 million dollars over three years – one of the longest funding commitments of any United Way in the state.
The full list of funded programs is available and published on the United Way website. (www.unitedwayncfl.org/ImpactPartnerPrograms)
Earlier this year, a record number of local nonprofits responded to the agency’s FY17 funding call for outstanding initiatives that could be measured and tracked for effectiveness. In all, 52 programs sought funding via the agency’s Community Investment Fund, the only pot of money within the charitable giving organization that stays 100% local.
The increase was a substantial jump since the agency’s last funding cycle, which saw 26 programs approved, said UWNCFL President and CEO Deborah Bowie.
“We had an immense response to our RFP. A record $2.7 million dollars was requested in total, which is nearly three times what we have available to fund every year. Still, we visited, vetted and reviewed all applications and in the end, we are very pleased to announce a strong portfolio of 35 funded local programs all doing amazing things to change lives in our community,” Bowie said.
The programs represent the strongest in the area to turn the curve on critical quality of life indicators of a healthy community, Bowie said. Despite the increased number, though, there are needs where not enough resources are available to make an impact. Increasing the agency’s bandwidth next year will be a focus of the agency’s fundraising strategy, she added.
“The competition this year was incredible, and while we are ecstatic over the quality and number of programs we were able to fund, there are many more that are doing great work in our region,” said Community Impact Director Norinda Yancey.
“The challenge for them going forward will be to keep doing what they do to build a sustainable track record and continue to collect data so that when future investments are made, we can assure donors we’ve invested in the very best and most successful programming,” Yancey said.
The entire process of receiving, reviewing and visiting programs in-person is handled by the agency’s volunteer arm, the Community Investment Council. The council is comprised of agency volunteers in the health and human services industry, some of whom have been helping to steer funding recommendations in North Central Florida for nearly a decade, Yancey said.
“These volunteers review every application, sit down to discuss the reported data each agency is required to submit and then they visit the programs in action,” Yancey said.
“They give a lot of themselves, not only to United Way but to the entire nonprofit community over what essentially takes nearly nine months to put together. We are very fortunate to have the council and their years of knowledge and experience to help advise us,” Yancey added.
There were some key differences in the FY17 funding cycle, Yancey said, namely in the following highlights:
• United Way increased its funded portfolio by 9 programs – from 26 funded programs to 35;
• United Way increased its partner agencies from 19 to 23;
• 21 previously-funded programs will receive funding in the FY17 cycle;
• In the area of income, United Way saw an increase in funded programs, a welcomed addition to its funded initiatives given the region’s poor showing in national studies about income disparity.