United Way of Greater Cleveland Announces Funding to Graduate Kids and More
Contact: Kendra Wheeler, Media Relations Manager, 216-436-2122, 216-849-4922 cell
CLEVELAND (June 19, 2014) Today, United Way of Greater Cleveland took a major step to graduate more kids, lift families and individuals to financial stability and create a healthier community when its board of directors approved funding to implement its Community Impact Agenda. United Way will invest $34 million in work to change our community once and for all.
“This agenda fulfills United Way’s commitment to maximize impact by narrowing our focus to achieve real, measureable community change and achieve our goals,” said Rick Buoncore, United Way board chair and MAI Wealth Advisors managing partner.
“Our Community Impact volunteers spent 1,082 hours reviewing 327 proposals from 167 agencies to make funding decisions with the intent of creating the most impactful investments with the resources we have,” said Robin Cottingham, United Way Community Impact chair and KeyCorp senior vice president. “This agenda reflects a deliberate shift to a preventative approach where we can get a long-lasting return on our investment and solve some of our community’s problems.”
“The agenda is designed to advance education, income and health,” said Bill Kitson, United Way president and CEO. “Funding 132 programs throughout Cuyahoga County will address issues for individuals and families of all ages.”
In education, United Way is investing $6,341,146 to support programs to increase the quality of preschools available to our kids as well as focus on achieving grade-level reading, address social and emotional barriers to learning such as chronic absenteeism and provide the support necessary to see our kids through high school graduation and beyond.
In income, United Way is investing $5,875,147 to support programs helping individuals and families achieve and maintain financial stability with a focus on workforce development through education, job placement and retention and consumer advocacy and legal mediation. The goal is to help our community earn it, keep it and save it. In income, United Way is also supporting food and housing programs.
And in health, United Way is investing $4,253,852 to support programs helping our community members prevent trauma, make healthy choices to reduce obesity, manage chronic disease and increase access to health care.
“We set our priorities and strategies and invited the nonprofit community to apply to implement them,” said Buoncore. “But the reality is some agencies that received United Way funding in the past, will not be funded this year.”
“This is the dilemma United Ways across the county face when narrowing the focus for greater impact,” said Kitson. “Some very good programs United Way funded in the past do not fit the new Community Impact Agenda. But it also opened the door to 20 new agencies, some announced earlier this year as part of our work with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.”
In addition to supporting the Community Impact Agenda, United Way invests in a number of community programs and activities aligned with its mission. For example, United Way administers the Cuyahoga County’s food grant supporting food pantries throughout the county and special projects such as Supporting Partnerships to Assure Ready Kids (SPARK), a nationally-recognized project proven to show significant results at improving kindergarten readiness among low-income children. United Way also provides funding and support to the Family Stability Initiative designed to help families with school-aged children avoid losing their homes to foreclosure with the goal of not moving children from their current school district which negatively impacts academic performance.
And United Way distributes $12,207,780 in donor-directed funds to local nonprofit organizations and $3,693,580 to Catholic Charities Diocese of Cleveland, Jewish Federation of Cleveland and United Black Fund of Greater Cleveland.
United Way of Greater Cleveland is a leader in mobilizing people to give, advocate and volunteer to advance education, income and health in our community. Join us and LIVE UNITED.