St. Cloud, MN (July 7, 2022) – United Way of Central Minnesota (UWCM) will invest $1.8 million into three focus areas and one that generally addresses local needs: $550,000 for education, $400,000 for health initiatives and $240,000 to financial stability. The remaining $600,000 will be added to United Way of Central Minnesota’s safety net funds, dedicated to supporting ongoing community issues like emergency food distribution. UWCM’s investment cycle begins July 1, 2022. Education and financial stability will receive funding through fiscal year 2024 and health will receive funding through fiscal year 2023.
Focused on solutions
The United Way of Central Minnesota Board of Directors is committed to focusing on solutions for some of the greatest challenges facing the community. “Creating impact and change is not just the work of one individual or organization in our community. The beauty of United Way of Central Minnesota’s efforts in making a difference lies in our collective work that targets specific problems with solutions that work. United Way works effectively with many organizations and programs in a holistic way that changes people’s lives, one at a time, in our community. These investment decisions will equip our partners to make a big difference for many in our community during the next year and for years to come,” explained Steve Windfeldt, United Way of Central Minnesota’s Board of Directors Chair.
More than 43 volunteers gave 670 hours of their time to review agency requests for funding during United Way’s vetting process for these dollars. Organizations under review were required to explain ways their work benefits the community, solves regional problems and serves a significant number of people in the Central Minnesota area. They needed to show how they will assist those with the most needs: lower-income households and those who qualify for a federal poverty level designation; community members who need support to achieve a healthy lifestyle; students who face educational barriers that prohibit them from achieving full academic, social and emotional success.
Agencies were also required to provide a clear picture of their financial standing and information about how much of the requested monies will be allocated to administrative and operational expenses. They needed to prove they follow all federal and state financial regulations, disclose all of their revenue streams and provide current financial audit reports.
Central Minnesota's capacity to care
The issues facing Central Minnesota have continued to increase as the world faces post-pandemic realities—but so has Central Minnesota’s capacity to care. United Way’s allocation of donations, volunteer hours and advocacy increase each investment by combining with hundreds of others to bring about measurable, positive change. United Way of Central Minnesota’s President and Chief Executive Officer Larry Olness sums up why this is important for our region: “The outcomes we hope to achieve in each of our areas of impact—in education, health and financial stability—require that we mobilize the efforts of several organizations in our area. We can solve complex problems and help people right here with these dollars.”
For more information, contact Sam Switzer by calling 320-252-0227.