Program areas at United Way of Benton and Lincoln Counties
United Way invests in strategic initiatives and partnerships with non-profit service providers to meet critical community needs and which can be leveraged to foster partnerships with other funders. We continue looking for ways to use existing resources to help service providers meet more of their mission and to assure resources are in place to guide vision, align strategies, build public will, support shared measurement, mobilize funding, advance supportive public policies, and engage volunteers.
Community services: United Way is committed to changing our communities for the better in fundamental, lasting ways by enhancing the ability of individuals to care for one another. We are able to play this role because of the trust the community has in United Way's expertise, efficiency and results. We strive to understand our community, its people and its challenges. We're acquainted with the network of service providers in our region and we know who has the capacity and track record to bring about change. We continue to look for ways to use existing resources to better help service providers meet more of their mission. Community investment activities include regional and community needs assessment, data collection and analysis, community education presentations, production of documents designed to highlight regional needs, funding trends, and emerging issues. Day of caring: United Way promotes volunteerism through our annual day of caring event. Companies and individuals come together to complete service projects benefitting people and human service programs in Benton and Lincoln Counties. Day of action: United Way creates day of action events to target volunteer resources at specific need identified by agencies, communities or municipalities.additional activities include advocacy, development and support of strategic initiatives, and community leadership.
Investment strategies: United Way runs a competitive application process to support high quality programs serving individuals and families in our geographic footprint. Those selected for funding align precisely with our areas of focus, present evidence-based models for service delivery, and demonstrate effectiveness with data-rich results. Before it receives United Way support, a program must undergo a rigorous evaluation to ensure sound strategies and measurable results. We hold our programs to the highest standards, so donations have the greatest impact. Because we value building long-term, population-level change, but not at the expense of protecting emergency response, investments are made through a two-track funding model:- an intervention/crisis-based funding cycle--meeting basic needs--to support emergency and/or transitional services.- a prevention-based funding cycle--breaking the cycle--to support collaborations aligned with our overall goal of breaking the cycle of childhood poverty. Meeting basic needs (bn): United Way supports intervention as well as crisis-based services. We define basic needs as the most fundamental necessities of life which, when absent or threatened, would create an emergency, (e.g. Food and shelter). Funding is prioritized for both emergency and transitional service. Emergency services provide immediate or short-term assistance to meet basic human needs when they are absent, while transitional services provide people with a short-term or defined period of assistance to sustain basic human needs in a transition to self-sufficiency. Under contract to the city of corvallis, United Way manages the allocation process for the city's social service fund (ssf), as part of the basic needs cycle. Social service fund funds support service to corvallis residents; United Way funds support services to residents of broader Benton county. Breaking the cycle of childhood poverty (bccp): this work supports prevention-based services that align with one or more of the following identified goals: - increasing availability and access to affordable, quality childcare so families can work- providing educational supports for youth, especially at transition points (grade school to middle school, middle to high, and high school to college or on to "real life")- delivering life and job skills training for youth and young adults so they can succeed - teaching financial literacy so more people can make smart choices about their opportunities and challengesbccp goals and targets resulted from several years of research, community conversations and informed discussion by vision councils in Benton county and by community conversations and assessment surveys in Lincoln county. Final recommendations were crafted by the United Way community impact committee, which retains oversight of both the bccp and bn funding mechanisms. South Benton advisory group: United Way received a 15-year bequest from the margaret e. hull fund of the Oregon community foundation to support United Way's mission in service to rural Benton county residents. To ensure the work conducted through this bequest meets the needs and desires of the bequest and community members, United Way conducted a needs assessment in the rural south county communities of monroe, alpine, bellfountain, glenbrook, ingram island, and irish bend. This established new relationships between United Way and rural Benton county residents and expanded United Way's knowledge base about the needs and assets of the assessed communities, and where funding will have the greatest sustainable impact. As a result of the relationships established through the needs assessment United Way formed the south Benton advisory group (sbag). Members of sbag aim to create long-lasting, sustainable impact within the south Benton county communities. To perform United Way mission work and to address the priority issues highlighted in the needs assessment, sbag works under the auspices of United Way's community impact committee to develop a comprehensive plan for the funding allocation process. This will include continuing assessment of community needs, providing strategic planning and other backbone support where appropriate, and developing open and common communication channels among groups and individuals as they build their working relationships. Sbag will also intentionally develop a long-term funding strategy for south Benton county interests. Emergency food and shelter program (efsp): United Way administers the emergency food and shelter program (efsp) in our two-county service area. Efsp was created in 1983 to supplement and expand the work of local social service agencies to help people with economic emergencies. Efsp funds must be used to supplement feeding, sheltering (including transitional sheltering) and rent/mortgage and utility assistance efforts only. United Way convenes the local board(s) to determine the highest need and best use of funds and to select local recipient organizations (lros) that will provide emergency food and shelter services. Needs are assessed annually to adapt to particular community needs. Additional funding is directed to unaffiliated non-profits as requested by United Way donors. See schedule o.