Monday, June 11, 2007

United Way invests excess dollars in community programs

This spring Marshfield Area United Way is able to fill existing funding gaps in seven United Way programs to help them better serve the community. This additional funding of $14,840 is available because funds raised by Marshfield Area United Way’s annual campaign results exceeded its total allocation budget for 2007.

Each spring, programs put together a packet detailing their program’s missions and goals, financials, how they help people and ways they are improving our community.

Volunteers from all walks of life review these packets, speak with program representatives and make recommendations to the Board of Directors to decide what funding the applicants receive. At the end of the process, there are programs each Review Panel recommends for additional funding, if United Way has the financial ability to do so.

Last year Marshfield Area United Way Board of Directors sought to address the growing needs of the community and Partner Programs by increasing the goal 4.5 percent over funds raised in 2005, to raise more than one million dollars. When this amount was met, the Community Impact Committee (CIC) went back to the recommendations made in 2006.

This supplemental program funding is directed to programs addressing the community’s most critical needs as outlined in Community & Basic Needs, Families & Seniors and Youth Initiatives Impact Areas. Funding will invest in many resources focusing on improving program outcomes and services such as more staff hours for outreach programs, gas vouchers for patients seeking dental care, in addition to vouchers for fresh produce and milk for food pantry participants.

“Because of the generosity of our community in the past two years, we have money to invest back into programs. In addition to our supplemental funding, United Way has approved several grants awarded earlier this month,” said Kim Baltus, executive director.

Evaluating community needs and working towards solutions is a year-round process. Programs submit progress reports with numbers served and any obstacles they are facing. Human service programs and community leaders meet throughout the year to share ideas and discuss community needs and solutions through Vision Councils.

“Serving our community is an ongoing process, and we need to remain aware of the changing needs of our area. We’re fortunate this year to have extra funding available and the CIC plans to meet monthly evaluating needs and making funding recommendations to continue investing in Marshfield area’s success,” said Sarah Krenn, community impact coordinator.

Marshfield Area United Way serves people living and working in the Marshfield area (northern Wood County, areas in Clark County, Spencer and Stratford). To learn more about United Way, get involved or volunteer during the impact process, call 384-9992 or visit