MSA United Way: Much More than a Fundrasier
Community Impact Model
For decades, Missouri Slope Areawide United Way (MSA United Way) has empowered people in need through the caring power of communities. The hungry have been fed. The homeless have received shelter. The sick have been provided care. Lives have been improved. However, problems in our community persist and new circumstances emerge surrounding economic conditions, innovations, and growth. While many of these changes serve our community and keep it moving ahead, others have led to bigger issues affecting where we live, work, and play. These are not isolated instances that only affect some individuals. They are issues that matter to us collectively.
In response, MSA United Way is evolving to meet the growing needs of our community. By adopting a Community Impact Model, a national movement across the United Way system, we move beyond the traditional role of fundraiser and into the role of a community problem solver. The new model emphasizes addressing the root causes of problems, not just treating the symptoms.
After the MSA United Way Board of Directors made the commitment to the new model, a Community Impact Committee was formed to begin exploring the most pressing needs in our community. In addition to reviewing existing assessments and data about the areas we serve, MSA United Way also partnered with the Search Institute in Minneapolis and North Dakota State University to conduct a youth needs assessment in the spring of 2012. MSA United Way is committed to using these sound data sources to develop long-term goals, or “impact initiatives,” to help improve our community.
After defining the new initiatives, MSA United Way will release a new Request for Proposal to address our community’s greatest needs. Agencies in our community will have the opportunity to submit proposals in response. Because Community Impact is about long-term, meaningful, and measurable change, we are implementing outcome-based funding in which our partner agencies must show measured progress. In addition to our new impact initiatives, we remain committed to providing a safety net for our community by supporting programs and services that meet the critical daily needs of individuals and families.
Our annual campaign is now more important than ever. MSA United Way’s new approach means more funding for programs that emphasize preventing problems in our community before they start. We are committed to working together toward the common good and creating lasting change. It’s about “LIVING UNITED.”