Granite United Way Announces $13.5 Million in Community Support
Granite United Way’s Board of Directors has announced that $13.5 million in support will be delivered to local communities throughout New Hampshire and Windsor County, VT. this year. This impressive figure is a result of the recently completed grant funding process led by more than 152 volunteers across the state. The grant funding process and donor designations awards $4.6 million to more than 140 programs that focus on improving health, income and education in local communities.
"Granite United Way has taken a hard look at the needs of the communities we serve," said Alex Walker, Chair of Granite United Way Board of Directors. "We continue to invest in our community with both the traditional grant funding approach along with investment and collaborations that are making measurable improvements in our communities."
In addition to the volunteer-led grant funding process, Granite United Way has played a key role in several critical initiatives that combined bring in $8.7 million into the community. Examples of these initiatives are the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program that returned $6.2 million in federal tax refunds this year to struggling families throughout the state. Granite United Way also worked closely with its 2-1-1NH initiative and Familywize to secure more than $2 million in prescription drug savings for New Hampshire residents. Additional Granite United Way initiatives provided $.5 million in community investments such as Literacy initiatives, Youth Venture, Manchester Homeless Services Center, direct services in the Northern New Hampshire region, Whole Village Family Resource Center and many other important services.
Granite United Way’s fundraising and fund distribution processes are local to each of their six regions with investments made in the areas of Education, Income and Health. In each region, Community Review Team volunteers carefully reviewed funding proposals and visited agencies in order to assess each program and their long-term impact. These well-trained teams, made up of community members and industry experts who dedicated approximately 2,000 hours to United Way, evaluated the programs seeking grant funding and made the tough decisions on which programs are to be funded.
"As the Granite United Way continues to face challenging economic times, I am extremely proud of our volunteer review teams who made carefully considered decisions on where to invest local donor dollars," said Patrick Tufts, President and CEO of Granite United Way. "These teams met throughout the spring to determine the programs that would best support their local communities. We cannot thank them enough for their dedication and commitment."
To further demonstrate the impact of United Way programs on the communities served, funded programs must report quarterly on progress towards their goals. Program goals must align with the local goals and critical needs identified in community needs assessments conducted by United Way.
United Way’s volunteer-led decision making process allows for efficient investing by encouraging collaboration and innovation among local programs; the same level of collaboration exhibited by Granite United Way, a more efficient, consolidated organization, born out of the merger of six independent New Hampshire United Ways. The most recent merger took place in January 2013 when Lakes Region United Way joined the organization. With that merger, Granite United Way now covers 80% of New Hampshire.
In addition to workplace campaigns, Granite United Way collaborates with several corporate partners to ensure that community needs are met. One example of this collaboration is with Citizens Bank Foundation which donated $75,000 to the previously mentioned Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program that benefits low to moderate income families. This year program volunteers helped file more than 4,000 tax returns for struggling families, generating more than $6.2 million in federal refunds back to the local economy.
"Collaborating with corporate partners helps us create United Way sponsored collaborations that address problems in ways no single agency can," said Patrick Tufts, President and CEO of Granite United Way. "Like United Ways across our nation we are committed to evolving as the needs of our communities change."
The next application date for Granite United Way is September 2013.