“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”
― Albert Einstein
As we approach the end of another fiscal year here at United Way of King County, I’m really proud of the work that we have been able to accomplish in the community and the people we have helped. I’m also grateful for the dedication and hard work of so many donors, volunteers and partners that help shape how United Way evolves to best meet community needs.
That evolution has been going on for some time. Several years ago, in response to the voice of our donors and changes in the fundraising landscape, we moved away from investing in a broad array of social services to making very focused grant-making decisions that produce significant and measurable results.
This increased focus on our key priority programs is both producing significant results, and resonating with donors. As a result, our restricted donations (dollars that are given and directed toward a specific program) have been growing and will allow for expanded investments in the agencies participating in these programs in the coming year. These core programs include:
- Parent-Child Home Program
- Reconnecting Youth
- Streets to Home
- Jobs Connect
- Fuel Your Future
- Free Tax Campaign
- Benefits Hubs
These programs are where we know we can make an impact—where we’ve proven we can. They reflect the greatest community needs, donor interest and they maximize United Way’s ability to scale solutions and leverage additional resources to make the greatest impact possible.
In contrast, our general (or unrestricted) pool of money that traditionally came from workplace campaigns has been shrinking over the past several years, which means we have less unrestricted dollars to invest.
As is likely true in your own experience, people are no longer giving through workplace campaigns in the same way that they used to. Individuals now seek out which nonprofits and issues they care about and give to them directly. This is generally a GREAT thing, but it changes the role that United Way as an organization plays as a leader in our community.
In response to the declining amount of unrestricted dollars that we have, we’ll be providing six-month contracts to nonprofits whose work is not within these core program areas beginning July 1 with the opportunity to apply for grants from a more limited pool of funds in January 2019.
We at United Way are proud of the investments we make and the life-changing work that agencies do every day. We have notified the agencies that will receive six-month contracts, and encourage them to work with us to find points of intersection within our core programs.