Dear Friends and Supporters,
Spring is a special time in our region after our notorious Chicago winters. We at United Way thought it was the perfect time to reach out and share more about the work and impact you’re making possible with your support. As many of you know, we’re more than halfway to the ambitious goals we set in 2010 as part of our transition to impact. Behind the round numbers are high school graduates, heads of households with new or improved jobs and families receiving health care, some for the first time in years. FY 14 reporting from our partner agencies at the end of June will further reveal our progress and we look forward to sharing those numbers with you.
Our community impact team and their regional advisors are currently making recommendations for our FY 15-16 grant-making which will be decided in June. This two-year granting cycle to best-in-class nonprofits that serve our strategies in early learning, afterschool programming, job training, health care and basic needs support will further change the story for needy families. This funding is particularly critical as our agencies face ongoing cuts in government funding.
United Way has the knowledge and expertise to advise state government on ensuring sustained and effective funding for human service delivery amidst our fiscal crisis. That’s the message a United Way of Illinois delegation shared in meetings with Governor Rauner, Senator Cullerton and Representative Durkin during meetings held on April 15 in Springfield.
United Way has expanded our innovative Neighborhood Network model of highly coordinated services with planning grants for eight additional communities. Representatives from four of those communities—Evanston, Little Village, Austin and Robbins Blue Island—joined existing Network leaders from Brighton Park and West Chicago for a two-day workshop on collective impact and goal setting. This first cohort of Neighborhood Networks is working to identify the community change they most want to impact with United Way’s assistance.