United Way Hastings & Prince Edward has endeavoured to become a respected fundraising organization and trusted community partner. In an effort to continue to bring about measurable and permanent change for people throughout Hastings and Prince Edward Counties, United Way Hastings & Prince Edward has adopted three national priority areas that are supported by the communities’ not-for-profit social services sector following extensive research that began in 2011. These priority areas include All That Kids Can Be, From Poverty to Possibility and Strong Communities.
Each of these priorities is part of a larger strategy known as Community Impact (C.I.). Community Impact can be defined as making fundamental changes to community conditions, which includes, but is not limited to allocating funds through the annual fundraising campaign. Ultimately, it is about people and organizations coming together to create lasting measurable change.
The C.I. strategy will be achieved by identifying the root causes of key local issues, developing strategies to address them, bringing together the funding and resources needed to get the job done, and finally, measuring the results. In order for United Way of Quinte to have a greater impact throughout Hastings and Prince Edward Counties we must set community priorities, continue to develop partnerships with the social service sector as well as other sectors, organize United Way Hastings & Prince Edward’s resources and measure and communicate positive changes that are happening as a result of our work.
As part of the C.I. strategy and in order to address these priorities United Way Hastings & Prince Edward will alter the way in which we currently allocate funds raised through our annual fundraising campaigns. Traditionally, not for profit organizations that are successful in receiving funding from United Way Hastings & Prince Edward receive funds based on a one year commitment.
In the fall of 2015, local not for profits applying for 2016/17 funding were able to request a multiyear funding commitment. In order to have a greater impact on some of the toughest long term and short term social issues in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties such as food insecurity, lack of housing, transportation challenges, and children’s success, United Way Hastings & Prince Edward believes longer-term funding has the potential to affect change.
Multiyear funding has been analyzed and examined at length to ensure that this course of action offers the greatest opportunity for agencies throughout Hastings and Prince Edward Counties to successfully meet their community objectives and provide the best opportunity to succeed.
In addition to multiyear funding, United Way Hastings & Prince Edward will continue to offer single year funding and small grants to those agency programs better suited to the single-year funding. This will be based on levels of readiness and/or a program’s ability to demonstrate measurable outcomes that align with the CI strategy. Single-year funding may also be recommended for some programs simply due to the volume of applications received.
United Way Hastings & Prince Edward would like to assure all agencies that eligibility for multiyear funding will not be determined by the size of their organization or their budget. An agency’s ability to demonstrate measurable impact, accountability, transparency, sustainability, viability, and financial need will be determining factors.
Even though the funding model has changed the way in which applications will be reviewed will remain consistent with past years. A citizen review panel, made up of volunteers in our community, under the leadership of United Way Hastings & Prince Edward staff, will review all applications and make recommendations regarding funding to United Way Hastings & Prince Edward’s Board of Directors. Each Citizen Review Panel will be comprised of a cross-section of 15-20 individuals with varying skill sets and perspectives from the non-profit, private, and public sectors. The funds donated to United Way Hastings & Prince Edward are raised by the community and we believe strongly that they should also be allocated by the community. The process of utilizing volunteers in this manner fosters an environment of transparency and credibility and United Way Hastings & Prince Edward will continue to utilize this method of allocating funds to our community partners.
Over the past four years United Way Hastings & Prince Edward has been communicating regularly with its funded agencies regarding community priorities and the change in funding models as well as the potential for that to impact their funding relationship with United Way. All agencies funded by United Way Hastings & Prince Edward are important and valued by United Way and by the communities they serve but in identifying the community’s most pressing needs, United Way also recognized that not all of the agencies traditionally funded in the past will align with our stated priorities. This means that these programs will not receive funding in the future. However, new agencies, not historically funded by United Way Hastings & Prince Edward, have been encouraged to apply as long as they are a not-for-profit, charitable organization, or another body deemed a ‘qualified donee’ by Canada Revenue Agency, and they meet United Way Hastings & Prince Edward’s eligibility criteria.
Whether an organization is receiving multiyear or single year funding from United Way Hastings & Prince Edward funding will continue to be dependent on reaching annual fundraising goals. The extensive research done throughout Hastings and Prince Edward Counties revealed many key priorities and it also revealed the very real fact that the need is far greater than the money supply available.
United Way Hastings & Prince Edward will continue to work with local not for profits to ensure we are all focusing on the key issues within our communities that matter most to people today.