by: Teyona Miller
Marketing Specialist, United Way of Volusia-Flagler Counties
In March, the United Way of Volusia-Flagler Counties kicked off the Fill the Gap Match Campaign that challenged the organization to reach a goal of $300,000. Thanks to the support of hundreds of individual donors, Intracoastal Bank, and Root Organization, the Fill the Gap Match Campaign exceeded the goal and raised over $314,000. Due to the campaign’s success, UWVFC will be increasing its annual funding by nearly $100,000. This money will go toward funding 23 valuable and resourceful programs at 18 agencies within Volusia and Flagler counties.
“It is because of the generous donors and their belief in the impact that the United Way of Volusia-Flagler Counties has on our community that we were able to increase our funding to the community this year,” said board chair Kim McBee of Foundation Risk Partners. “Dealing with a pandemic has not been easy for any business, and many of our nonprofits are feeling the strain on their services. This funding will allow these organizations to focus their attentions on providing great quality programs and serving those who need these integral resources.”
The 2021-2023 grant cycle opened in November 2020 and closed in March 2021. Twenty-four agencies submitted a Letter of Intent and all were invited to submit a proposal for funding.
UWVFC received 31 completed applications in the process for a total of $2.221 million in requests.
All applications are reviewed by the Community Impact Cabinet, a group of subject area experts with knowledge in fields related to the United Way’s focus areas of Education, Financial Stability, and Health. The volunteers review the applications individually and then score them as a team based on five main categories: quality, alignment, accountability, systems change, and social return on investment. Based on the team reviews, the CIC recommends a slate of programs for funding to the UWVFC Board of Directors. For the 2021-23 grant cycle, the UWVFC Board of Directors approved funding for 23 programs for a total of $1,237,100. In the most recent Community Impact grant cycle (2019-21), 21 programs were funded for a total of $1.144 million.
The United Way prioritizes three main focus areas – Education, Financial Stability and Health. Health will be supported by eight programs, Education by six programs and Financial Stability by nine programs. Of the 23 funded programs, 18 are returning and five are new to the UWVFC Community Impact grant process. Three new agencies joined as partners for this cycle: Atlantic Center for the Arts, Presbyterian Counseling Center, and Healthy Start Coalition of Flagler/Volusia.
“During each new cycle, the Community Impact Cabinet focuses on finding the best programs producing measurable change in our three focus areas of Education, Financial Stability, and Health,” said Robin King, chair of the Community Impact Cabinet and President/CEO of CareerSource Flagler Volusia. “We are confident that these programs will perform with their innovative approaches to tackling our community’s most pressing needs.”
This new grant cycle will begin in July 2021 and the community can check on the progress and outcomes of these programs quarterly on UWVFC’s website. Individuals or businesses interested in supporting services that benefit Education, Financial Stability, and Health initiatives in the Volusia and Flagler communities can donate to the United Way by visiting www.unitedwayvfc.org and clicking on ‘Donate.’ United Way is able to turn each dollar received into $3.92 in impact in our community.