United Way announces more than $3M invested locally this year

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — The United Way of Indian River County, like most United Ways across the country, is focusing on education, financial stability, and health in order to move the dial on community conditions.

Its Board of Directors has approved approximately $3,300,000 dollars for investment in local programs and initiatives for their fiscal year 2015-2016. In line with the new Community Impact approach, funding was opened to programs other than traditional United Way Partners giving the whole community a chance to offer solutions and receive financial support for programs that can meet goals and affect change.

“United Way has begun moving toward a more concentrated approach to addressing community-level issues by showing measurable progress in the areas of Education, Financial Stability and Health, the building blocks for a good life,” explained Meredith Egan, Director of Community Impact. “A good part of the 2015-2016 funding will go to programs addressing community-wide educational goals as determined by a Vision Council made up of local experts and committed volunteers. Currently we are recruiting members for Vision Councils to lead in the areas of Financial Stability and Health.”

“Things have really changed at United Way,” added Michael Kint, CEO, United Way of Indian River County. “We are more focused and outcome driven than ever before. We have one mission that drives everything we do, and that is to advance the common good – because we recognize that we are all united. The measure of United Way is not in the fundraising campaign, but in the ways we are impacting the community — in connecting people across the region, and in improving the foundations of our communities.”

“Key to the successful implementation of community goals is the continued commitment of citizens, philanthropists and business leaders,” said Katie Kirk, Annual 2015-2016 Campaign Co-Chair and United Way Board Member. “We are proud to recognize the incredible individual and corporate donors who have helped us meet our ambitious goals in donations, volunteering and advocacy. Because of their continued efforts, and the generosity of new donors all across this community, United Way will be able to meet an increased need and move forward with its exciting new vision.”

United Way of Indian River County is implementing Community Impact with the following approach, listen to the community to learn what challenges in education, financial stability and health people care most about and what ideas they have to make things better; recruit dedicated people to figure out the strategies that have the best chance of solving the toughest problems; turn those strategies into something concrete that people want to invest in, with their money, time and expertise; use those resources wisely to achieve challenging goals; keep people in the loop by reporting back, listening to what they have to say, and gaining ever-greater knowledge of the community.

The United Way of Indian River County Community Investment for 2015-2016 includes support of programs and initiatives as follows:

• Education: $818,179

• Financial Stability: $233,000

• Health: $698,650

• Community Support: $219,732

• Donor Designated Funds: $51,887

• United Way Center (Community use): $45,900

• Non-profit Incubation Center: $36,000

•Familywize Prescription Savings (leveraged): $433,470

• Volunteer Income Tax Preparation (leveraged): $92,050

• Volunteer Income Tax Returns (leveraged): $698,684

• Total Investment: $3,327,552

Community Support includes disaster preparedness, information and referral, non-profit agency support, and community capacity building. Leveraged support is value for Indian River County residents as a result of United Way partnerships.

United Way does the critical but largely invisible work required to reach community goals — it takes an entire community to make a difference. For more information about United Way or to give online, visit the website at UnitedWayIRC.org. United Way of Indian River County invites people to get involved by helping others. Go to VolunteerIndianRiverCounty.org to learn about local opportunities for service.

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