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Community Impact Strategy

United Way of Saginaw County's Community Impact Strategy puts focus on community outcomes; investment to community
In January 2014, United Way of Saginaw County (UWSC) announced the organization had adopted a new Community Impact Strategy which would change the organization's focus and funding model. The newly implemented strategy allows the organization to become more inclusive and better focused on community-driven outcomes, thus building a stronger community.
UWSC facilitates community partnerships, administers grants and implements programs designed to achieve outcomes in the areas of Health, Education and Financial Stability. These programs allow UWSC and their partners to unite together, enhancing capacity and adding value to the community. Listed below are UWSC's current Community Impact Programs:
Additionally, to further their Community Impact Strategy, UWSC's funding progressed from a closed allocations process to an open, more inclusive Community Impact Model. This new model allowed any 501(c)(3) health and human service provider that services Saginaw County residents to submit a program proposal.
Community Change Team volunteers, representing all walks of life, created community-wide goals for each of the three Community Impact Areas, and program proposals were encouraged to identify with an Impact Area as well as explain how that program would provide attainable outcomes to the community-wide goals.
Community Change Team volunteers were also responsible for evaluating the impact of the program, assessing program capabilities and prioritizing the program based on the previously defined, community-driven outcomes. Based on their evaluations, the Community Change Team volunteers have recommended the following programs receive awards:
UWSC Board of Directors have approved the recommendations from the Community Change Team volunteers and believe the programs recommended to receive awards clearly align with UWSC's impact areas, visions and community-level goals. "I am very proud, as is the entire Board, of the process we started more than two years ago," said United Way of Saginaw County Board Chair, Dave Youngstrom. "I want to thank the community Change Teams for their countless hours of service to make sure we are having the most impact in our community."
Awards will be released to the affiliated programs in January 2015. Community Change Team volunteers look forward to meeting with organizers of the new affiliated programs to ensure benchmarks are being met, impact is being created and accountability measures are in place.
"The Community Impact Strategy is designed to address conditions and behaviors that serve as barriers to long-term improvement while simultaneously providing for their immediate needs," said Larry Sims, United Way of Saginaw County community impact chair. "This strategy challenges service providers, including United Way, to maximize the utilization of community resources while demanding outcome accountability."
If a program did not sufficiently meet the necessary requirements, that program was not recommended to receive an award. United Way officials look forward to collaborating with those organizations on future opportunities.
UWSC believes that by collaborating and better aligning the resources and services available in our community, more effective and efficient services can be provided.
QUESTIONS? If you have any questions or would like more information, please submit your questions via email to Marsha Cooley. Here are a few of our frequently asked questions...
Why now? For more than two years, UWSC board members, staff, community volunteers and local field experts have worked together to develop a new model that would best benefit Saginaw County. "The board reasoned that the UWSC has a duty to the community, our donors and consumers to evaluate and support improvement strategies that offer the greatest impact to our community as a whole," said Larry Sims, UWSC Community Impact Chair.
What does a Community Impact Model do? The Community Impact Model is designed to address conditions and behaviors that serve as barriers to long-term improvement. In an effort to gain a better awareness of the community needs and resources, UWSC hosted several Community Conversations with Saginaw County residents, representing many walks of life. Their feedback along with local, state and national research will help provide desired Community Impact Model outcomes.
What are the major funding changes with a Community Impact Model? In addition to the open funding changes, UWSC has restated their mission and adopted an innovative community-focused vision and values. Driven by their new vision, UWSC will focus on creating change in the community through the areas of health, education and financial stability as research has identified these as the three basic fundamentals needed to have a successful life.
How will my investment be affected? A donor's investment to the community through UWSC will continue to demonstrate, even more now, how change is impacting the lives of others in our community.
What is the timeline for the 2015-16 award cycle?
  • January 8, 2014 - Post the Stage One - Letter of Intent (completed)
  • January 16, 204 - Informational Forum (completed)
  • February 5, 2014 - Stage One - Letters of Intent DUE to UWSC by 5 p.m. (completed)
  • April 25, 2014 - Invitation out to Stage Two applicants (completed)
  • June 12, 2014 - Stage Two - Proposals DUE to UWSC by 5 p.m. (completed)
  • October 3, 2014 - Announcement of Award Recommendations (completed) 
Thank you to everyone who has helped and will continue to help us make this change for our great Saginaw County community!