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The Suburbanite
  • Decade of improvement for United Way

  • The issue: United Way of Greater Stark County

    Our view: Goal is to use donors’ dollars efficiently in meeting most-critical needs

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  • The issue: United Way of Greater Stark County
    Our view: Goal is to use donors’ dollars efficiently in meeting most-critical needs
    United Way’s basic mission never changes, but during the past 10 years, United Way of Greater Stark County has refined its operations to target the areas of greatest need in the most-effective ways possible. The latest reminder of this came with the announcement Wednesday of the next round of allocations.
    When the Alliance Area, Central and Western Stark County United Way organizations agreed to merge in 2003, it was a major step toward maximizing the value of donors’ dollars, through pooling resources and eliminating duplication.
    Since then, United Way of Greater Stark County has surveyed the community to determine the most-widespread and most-basic economic and social needs. Now it focuses its support on programs — not agencies, but rather specific programs within agencies — that can accomplish measurable goals related to education, family and financial stability, and health and basic needs. Programs that apply for funding must undergo a rigorous evaluation by committees, called impact councils, made up of more than 100 volunteers.
    United Way said Wednesday that it will fund 109 programs housed in 41 agencies in 2013-2014 — the first year of a two-year cycle. Funding for these programs in the second year will depend on their performance in the coming months.
    United Way also has streamlined its emergency aid to individuals, by funding a collaboration of social service agencies that use a centralized database.
    You don’t have to take our word for all of this. Along with all the fine-tuning it has done, United Way also has become more accessible to the community it serves. Along with the breakdown of the latest allocations in today’s Rep, you can find information about the allocations online at www.uwstark.org/community-
    partners or tinyurl.com/c9dmtcm.
    The changes that United Way has made in Stark County in the past decade have made the organization better, and donors’ dollars are going farther as a result.