United Way of Central Kentucky (UWCK), the region’s leading convener of community change, reported mobilizing over $4 million in resources in 2015 at the Hardin County Chamber of Commerce’s March luncheon.
In addition to raising over $1.2 million through donations from individuals, corporate gifts, and special events, UWCK leveraged an additional $17,200 in grant funding for internal programs, generated $18,000 in donated goods and services to reduce operating costs, and engaged volunteers in over 4,800 hours of service at a value of $96,000.
Increased financial management efforts led to the collection of an additional $21,000 in payments made on pledges from the previous year’s campaign, which can be reinvested into the community. Members of UWCK’s AmeriCorps VISTA program raised $665,096 for their partnering nonprofit programs and managed volunteer services worth $35,520. Programs and agencies funded through UWCK grants awarded in 2015 leveraged $2,400,739 in additional in-kind donations and volunteer resources, for a total impact of $4,421,420 in value provided to the community in the past year.
UWCK maintained a fifth consecutive year of $1 million+ fundraising thanks to the generous support of local donors, businesses, and a network of over 150 volunteers who coordinate this community-wide effort.
Many companies within Grayson County supported UWCK’s network of local programs by hosting workplace campaigns, including Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center ($7,742); Wal-Mart ($6,105); Grayson County Schools ($11,457); MTD ($6,552); Fort Knox Federal Credit Union ($11,000); The Cecilian Bank ($42,794), Elizabethtown Community & Technical College ($4,090); Communicare ($25,055); Wilson & Muir Bank ($836); and Warren RECC ($9,818).
UWCK kicked off its annual fundraising campaign in early September 2015 and held 168 campaign meetings in partnership with 115 local companies through the end of February 2016. The amount of funds raised will continue to increase with through April 2016.
This spring, donations made to UWCK will be reinvested into nonprofit programs that create measurable and proactive change within the five county service region of Hardin, Breckinridge, Grayson, LaRue and Meade Counties.
An all-volunteer committee of representatives from each county will spend nearly 1,000 hours vetting programs seeking funds to ensure the greatest impact can be made with every dollar entrusted to UWCK. UWCK has grown to provide 34 programs provided in partnership with 24 funded agencies, up from 14 supported organizations in 2010. Despite this expanded impact, the organization invests only 19 percent of expenses in fundraising and management costs, which is well below the 25-35 percent recommended by the Better Business Bureau and IRS. Last year $347,652 was invested in 15 programs that served 20,665 clients in Grayson County in 2015.
The most important numbers, however, are the impact of these investments on the lives of local residents whose education, financial stability, and health have improved as a result of United Way. To date this tax season, 50 working families have benefitted from free tax preparation services and received more than $80,000 in refunds to build their savings and prevent future financial instability. In 2015, 15 trained volunteers taught 45 free financial education workshops to 232 adults and children. The following results were achieved through funded programs in the fall of 2015 alone:
*378 children were screened for developmental delays that would otherwise keep them from being prepared for success in school.
*122 children benefitted from a safe place to go after school where they receive help with homework and engage in physical activities, and 59 at-risk children were supported by the positive influence of a mentor.
*156 abused and neglected children in the court system were mentored by a trained, professionally-supported volunteer advocate, with 35 children being permanently placed in safe homes in the last six months.
*1,492 children in UWCK’s service area were supported by the BackPack Program to keep them from going hungry when school is not in session.
*221 clients who received emergency assistance with rent, utilities, and legal advocacy were prevented from becoming homeless.
*320 domestic violence victims were given legal help to protect them from their abusers.
*179 uninsured patients were treated through 276 free clinic visits to help manage their chronic medical condition.
More detailed results can be found at http://www.unitedwayck.org/impact-reports-0.
In addition to publishing an annual report and publicly providing all financial information through the organization’s website, UWCK has begun issuing quarterly Impact Reports to the community on the outcomes of programs as part of a commitment to demonstrating the value of investments, not just how many dollars were raised.
“As a fellow donor to UWCK, I want to know where my dollars are going and what impact they’re having on my local community,” said UWCK President & CEO Megan Stith. “As an organization, we will be putting increased focus on communicating those results rather than simply measuring our success by a how much we raise each year. We want to transparently show our supporters what they are getting for every penny they invest in our work as we create opportunities for families to break the cycles of poverty that impact 1 in 6 local residents.”
“I am amazed at not only the monetary contributions this community makes to United Way of Central Kentucky, but also the amount of volunteer hours they commit each year,” said 2015 Campaign Chair Greg Milby, with Quicksie 98.3. “The United Way is so much more that the dollars pledged during the campaign.”