United Way of Greater Yankton’s approach to investing into local human service programs is based on the belief that the interests of our community are best served when a unified process is used to make investment decisions. It ensures fiscal and program accountability for all agencies receiving United Way funds while meeting the social service needs of the community. In the process, volunteers analyze each agency’s effectiveness at providing services, review the need for programs in the region and analyze the impact of United Way funding in meeting those needs.
United Way’s Allocations Committee is where community financial resources and the needs of the people meet. Sometimes difficult decisions are made considering overall community priorities and available funding potential.
United Way’s Allocations Committee is given the responsibility of reviewing funding applications and determining whether those applications, presented yearly by participating agencies, show an accurate analysis of program services and dollars required for such operations. Members of this committee are volunteers – community members who give their time and thought to study agency and community needs in relation to available funds.
Through objective study and judgement, this committee represents the citizen-givers in determining how contributed funds can best be granted for the most effective well-balanced community services.
United Way of Greater Yankton utilizes a numerical scoring system for evaluation of agencies and programs that will receive Community Impact Grant Awards. The primary purpose of this system is to objectify the process and to gain a common ground to make funding decisions.
The following is a brief overview of factors reviewed by United Way’s Allocation Committee when determining investments into local agencies.
Partner Agency Expectations
Is the agency a well-managed and efficient 501(c)(3)? How well does the agency maintain its relationship with United Way?
Is the agency financially responsible and how serious is the need for United Way funding?
Program Impact, Need & Evaluation
Impact: Are program goals and outcomes set and achieved? How does the program fit into United Way’s three priority funding areas, Education, Financial Stability & Health? How efficiently is the program delivered to target population?
Need: How well does the agency establish the need for the program? What support data is offered to support this? How does that established need fit the needs matrix of the community?
Evaluation: How does the agency measure effectiveness? Does the agency successfully collaborate with other human service providers to achieve goals?
In the greater Yankton community, as in most places, the United Way dollar represents only a part of the total annual expenditures for local services. As such, it is important that United Way dollars are used to invest in effective, meaningful, unduplicated services from partner agencies at the lowest cost to the giving public.
Last year, United Way of Greater Yankton successfully partnered with local companies and community volunteers to raise over $700,000 during the 2019 Community Campaign. That is an increase of 8% from 2018, all of which is invested into the Community Impact Fund and internal United Way programming.
This past June, the United Way Allocations Committee, consisting of community leaders from multiple sectors, gathered to evaluate funding requests for the upcoming year. With the 8% increase in campaign dollars, the Community Impact Fund distribution for 2020 was also able to increase by 8% overall.
Twenty-eight local human service agencies, facilitating over 62 programs, will receive United Way funds in 2020. All programs focus on the Education, Financial Stability and Health of the greater Yankton community.
Programs receiving Community Impact Funds that are facilitated and managed internally by United Way include Big Friend Little Friend, The Big Red Bookshelf, Imagination Library, Character Playbook, Stuff the Bus School Supply Store, Adopt-a-Family Holiday Program, Beds for the Holidays, The Clothing Closet, MyFreeTaxes, Delta Dental Mobile Program, SPARK, LINC, Galaxy Digital - Get Connected and the Retired Senior Volunteer Program.
Community Impact Grant Awards are invested to partner agencies which include the Boys & Girls Club of Yankton, The Center and Senior Nutrition, Family Education & Counseling Center, Habitat for Humanity of Clay & Yankton Counties, Pathways Shelter for the Homeless, River City Domestic Violence Center, River City Family Connections, Servant Hearts Clinic, Southeast CASA, Yankton Area Literacy Council, Yankton Contact Center, Yankton County Parents As Teachers, Yankton Food for Thought, Yankton Special Olympics and Yankton Transit.
Community Impact Mini Grant Award recipients include Connections, Cornerstone Career Learning Center, LSS – Center for Financial Resources, Senior Companions and Yankton Transit.
Connecting Kids Youth Scholarship Award recipients include the Boys & Girls Club of Yankton, Boy Scouts, EmBe - Girls on the Run, EmBe - Let Me Run, Girl Scouts, Yankton Baseball Association, Yankton Swim Team and Yankton Area Ice Association.
Art Education Grant Award recipients include Yankton Area Arts and the Yankton County Historical Society.
Each grant recipient is required to submit impact reports which include current data on program outcomes, goals and financial management. United Way then reviews all information submitted and creates quarterly Community Impact Reports to share collective impact data to investors and volunteers.
As good stewards of community contributions, United Way must assure that services meet changing needs, accepted standards and reflect effective and efficient use of funds.
For more information about United Way’s allocation process, grant recipients or internal United Way programming, please visit www.yanktonunitedway.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the United Way office at (605) 665-6766.