$5.34 Million to be Invested in Local Communities
Friday, April 6, 2012
The Board of Directors of Granite United Way recently approved $3.54 million in program grants for approximately 200 critical programs and initiatives throughout the organization’s footprint in New Hampshire and Vermont. An additional $1.8 million in donor directed funds will be distributed to local community partners and through various United Way initiatives and collaborations that include 2-1-1 NH, Upper Valley Strong and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Programs. This $5.34 million investment, an increase of about $90,000 over the last year, comes at a crucial time for many service providers who are seeing increases in need.
"In order to meet the increasing needs of adults, children and families throughout NH and VT, we are investing in the community in both traditional and non-traditional ways to meet growing demands for assistance while ensuring that we’re creating positive, long-lasting change in our communities," said Cathleen Schmidt, Chair of the Granite United Way Board of Directors.
Granite United Way’s fundraising and fund distribution processes are local to each of their five regions with investments made in the areas of Education, Income and Health. 194 Community Review Team volunteers carefully reviewed funding proposals and visited agencies in order to assess each program and their long-term impact. These well-trained teams, made up of community members and industry experts who dedicated approximately 10,730 hours to United Way, evaluated the programs seeking grant funding and made the tough decisions on which programs are to be funded. "Despite a challenging year raising dollars, I am proud that Granite United Way will be investing more in local programming compared to last year. This is a testament to the generosity of our donors and the dedication of our volunteers," said Patrick Tufts, President & CEO, Granite United Way.
United Way’s volunteer-led decision making process allows for efficient investing by encouraging collaboration and innovation among local programs; the same level of collaboration exhibited by Granite United Way, a more efficient, consolidated organization, born out of the merger of five independent New Hampshire United Ways. Like the United Way, as the needs of the community evolve, programs will need to re-evaluate how they serve those in need.
Granite United Way will invest $162,000 in programs not previously funded by the organization. These community partners will now benefit from the programming and relationships that exist within the United Way network to enhance the services being offered to those in need. One of those partners is More than Wheels, an organization that provides individuals with the tools and information they need for financial stability by working with them to secure a low-interest loan on a reasonably priced new or used car. This will, in turn, increase their job prospects, their family’s health and well-being, and their credit and overall financial picture.
"Our clients continue to show a 75% improvement of spending less on car repairs but even more revealing, 52% indicated improved access to healthcare. These exciting results and systemic changes would not be possible without the critical funding from organizations like Granite United Way," said Debby Miller, Executive Director, More Than Wheels.
Additionally, Granite United Way received a matching grant from the Morgridge Family Foundation to implement a strategic literacy initiative. This important program harnesses the expertise offered by local educators to identify and assist students who are not reading at grade level. In 2012, Granite United Way anticipates reaching over 1,600 struggling readers with this $218,000 community investment.
"Working to improve literacy rates in our region can have lasting implications in more than just elementary school classrooms. On-track readers are more likely to graduate from high school, to make positive health and vocational decisions, to vote and volunteer and less likely to commit crimes. We expect this investment to have a positive effect on our community well into the future," said Dean Christon, Executive Director of NH Housing Finance Authority and Granite United Way’s Southern Region Community Impact Chair and Board Member.
To further demonstrate the impact of United Way programs on the communities served, funded programs must report quarterly on progress towards their goals. Program goals must align with the local goals and critical needs identified in community needs assessments conducted by United Way.
Last year, Granite United Way funded programs served nearly 200,000 individuals, children and families.
For a complete list of funded programs, please go to www.graniteuw.org/community.
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