Program areas at The United Way of Central Maryland
OBJECTIVE OF PROGRAM: For over 95 years, United Way of Central Maryland (United Way) has been a human service leader for the region, encouraging all central Marylanders to give, advocate and volunteer. United Way is dedicated to helping individuals and families facing poverty to meet their basic needs, stabilize and achieve self-sufficient lives. We do this through grantmaking, collaboration, promoting volunteerism and advocacy, and mobilizing resources as a trusted fundraiser. Additionally, United Way addresses local needs and creates impact through targeted direct-service initiatives. United Way uses expertise, data, and local knowledge to better understand the issues facing central Marylanders and to make informed investment and programmatic decisions. As part of this work, United Way convenes local stakeholders and actively works to develop collective impact strategies in partnership with other nonprofit organizations and government agencies. United Way has moved beyond fundraising and grantmaking and into creating innovative direct-service initiatives that support family stability in high need communities. United Way implements evidence-based best practices and incubates promising ideas in the areas of education, housing, health, and workforce development.United Way Grantmaking Through our grantmaking, United Way works to sustain and grow the capacity of community-based partners to strengthen families and neighborhoods, underpinning the community safety net and improving the lives of Central Marylanders who work hard but still can't make ends meet. We direct funding annually to over 100 nonprofit organizations through grants that target specific community needs, most through a competitive allocation process administered by our volunteer Region United Network Advisory boards (RUN Boards). In FY21, United Way provided five types of grants: - Directed Grants are awarded to qualified nonprofit organizations based on recommendations from United Way RUN Boards and/or staff. United Way's Board of Directors approves direct grants to support our Impact Strategy programs and address community needs in the areas of Education, Health, Housing, and Workforce Development. - Neighbors United Grants are disbursed by the United Way in conjunction with the Neighbors United Programmatic Team to provide capacity building and community engagement support to local non-profits to respond to neighborhood/ community needs. In FY20, three non-profits were selected through a competitive process to engage in neighborhood work in Meade/Severn, Anne Arundel County; Morrell Park, Baltimore City; and Lansdowne, Baltimore County. A group of community members, including board and local partners, use a scoring rubric to evaluate proposals and select partners with insights from United Way staff. These grants can be renewed for up to four years, with continuation contingent on successful completion of programmatic benchmarks each year. United Way Board approval is given on a yearly basis; for the three non-profits selected in FY20, grants were renewed for FY21. - Family Stability Program Grants are awarded to organizations wishing to serve as funded partners in the implementation of a regional homelessness prevention program model with demonstrated success. United Way's Family Stability Program (FSP) has worked for 9 years to prevent homelessness for at-risk families. It is based on the Siemer Institute's evidence-based model used nationwide to prevent homelessness for families. In January 2021, 18-month grants were awarded through an open, competitive process to support Family Stability sites across Central Maryland. These grants will be eligible for up to two one-year renewals. - Neighborhood Grants are available through a new competitive grant opportunity launched in FY21, that focuses on amplifying the power of residents. United Way has come to believe that the true path to real, lasting and systemic change in our neighborhoods is one that is community-led, informed by their in-depth knowledge of their neighborhood's existing assets and needs and inspired by their desire for a healthier, happier community. Nonprofit organizations with annual operating budgets of $500,000 or less are eligible to apply to for a Neighborhood Grant. Funding decisions are informed by are United Way's six local Region United Network (RUN) Boards, serving each of Central Maryland's jurisdictions: Baltimore City, and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties. Funds are allocated among the six jurisdictions based on relative ALICE population. RUN board volunteers use their local knowledge and subject matter expertise to assess where United Way funding and other support is most needed. They then evaluate applications and recommend grants of between $2,500 and $10,000 each. Their Neighborhood Grant recommendations are then reviewed and approved by the United Way's Board of Directors. - COVID-19 Community Fund Grants These grant opportunities, which began in March 2020 and continued through FY21, are specifically designed and extended to community partners to address the most critical community needs stemming from the COVID-19 global pandemic, including areas such as: access to food, mental health, digital access, and health/safety services. Most grants are offered through a competitive process in which United Way board members score applications and provide recommendations to United Way's executive committee. Some grants are directed grants, determined by United Way staff and leadership, and carried out as described in the "Directed Grants" section above. Grant Eligibility Criteria All eligible applicants applying for a Neighborhood Grant and/or a COVID-19 Grant must provide: - Copy of their IRS Determination Letter, identifying the organization as a nonprofit, 501(c)(3)or other). - Most recent copy (within the last two fiscal years) of one of the following financial documents: 1. Financial audit of their organization (preferred for all organizations and required for organizations with total gross charitable income of $750,000 or more) 2. Financial Review, conducted by an independent auditor (acceptable only for organizations with total gross charitable income of $749,999 or less) 3. Internal financial statement (acceptable only for organizations with total gross charitable income of $300,000 or less within the last two fiscal years) - Good Standing Certificate of Status - From Maryland's State Department of Assessments & Taxation (SDAT)To be eligible to receive funding through United Way's other competitive grant processes, organizations must provide: - Copy of their IRS Determination Letter identifying the organization as a nonprofit, 501(c)(3)or other - Most recent copy (within the last two fiscal years) of one of the following financial documents: 1. Financial audit of their organization (preferred for all organizations and required for organizations with annual revenues of $750,000 or more) 2. Financial Review, conducted by an independent auditor (acceptable only for organizations with total gross charitable income of $749,999 or less) - Good Standing Certificate of Status - From Maryland's State Department of Assessments & Taxation (SDAT) - Current roster of their Board of Directors
In October 2017, UWCM took over the operations of the Ben Center at Benjamin Franklin High School, rebranded it the United Way Neighborhood Zone in Brooklyn and integrated its strategy/programs into our operations. Over the years the program grew to meet additional needs in the community. Today the United Way Neighborhood Zone in Brooklyn is a true "hub" within the community that provides a safe nurturing environment for students and community members to not only seek out a vast array of services, but to be active participants in shaping their community to be what will help them fulfill their hopes and dreams for themselves, their family and the community. Current programs include an on-site Family Center providing free full-day childcare for teen parents enrolled at Benjamin Franklin, a social-emotional program for students, family stability services to prevent evictions for at-risk families, a workforce development program for SNAP beneficiaries and community school services. Key outcomes include: - The United Way Family Center at Benjamin Franklin has provided intensive parenting supports to 102 teen parents and early childhood education to 75 children, cumulative since 2014. Additionally, the center has helped 48 teen parents graduate high school at a rate of 67%. - The Social-Emotional Wellness Program continues to grow and reaches a majority of the school's students each year. In the 2020-2021 school year the program served 316 students, approximately 60% of the entire student body. Students received individual and group counseling, crisis intervention/mediation, and wellness programming. - The Family Stability site at Benjamin Franklin has prevented evictions for 152 families (96.2% of families served) and disruptive school transfers for 336 children (99.7% of school age children served), cumulative since 2012 through June 30, 2021. Due to the success of the United Way Neighborhood Zone in Brooklyn, the Zones have expanded into Poppleton in West Baltimore, and Columbia in Howard County.
Objective of program: 211 Maryland is an accessible, free of charge, 24 hours a day information and referral service for The state of Maryland. People seeking information about services such as food assistance, shelter, medical care, substance abuse treatment, protection from domestic violence, and many more, can call this easy-to-use helpline. Available in 150+ languages, 211 connects callers to trained, certified call specialists at one of four nationally accredited call centers in Maryland who assess their needs and link them to The right solutions using a comprehensive database of federal, state and local services - both government and non-profit. 211 is part of The national 211 system available in all 50 states, The district of columbia, and puerto rico. 211 systems are instrumental in identifying needs or gaps in services, providing a more accurate picture of local needs and emerging trends.results of program: during fy 2021, 211 Maryland United Way helpline answered 143,082 calls. The top services requested were housing assistance; utility assistance; tax/legal assistance; health and mental health care and food assistance. The impact of The covid-19 pandemic continues to be evident. Requests have shifted from food and health resrouces to rent assistance, as The eviction moritorium was lifted. A 37.9% increase in requests for housing assistance, a 33.9% increase in requests for tax/legal assistance, a 5% decrease in health and mental health resources, a 44.9% decrease in food requests, and a 16% decrease in utilities in fy21 over fy20. 211 worked with The fuel fund of Maryland to provide expedited utility assistance to low-income bge customers whose services were off and who had applied for energy assistance through ohep. In partnership with The cash campaign of Maryland, 211 worked to increase awareness of eitc and free tax preparation sites. 211 handled over 14,000 calls for free tax preparation and scheduled over 4,000 free tax appointments. 211 worked with bge homes to provide heating systems and repairs for those in need during The winter months. Our follow-up surveys demonstrated that 86% of The people who called 211 received The services that they were seeking.