United Way of Tarrant County announces more than $13M in funding

The United Way of Tarrant County has announced more than $13 million in funding for 2018-2019, including almost $1 million for its new Systems Change funding model, part of the organization’s new strategic plan.

“Our Systems Change funding reflects a new era for United Way of Tarrant County,” TD Smyers, president and CEO of United Way of Tarrant County, said in a news release. “As part of our new strategic plan, we will focus more on providing funding that brings together resources and coalitions to do more than just manage issues.”

The United Way said community, corporate, government and foundation donations make it possible for the organization to invest resources for the area’s most pressing issues.

Community investments include $6 million toward donor-designated gifts; $2 million for Safety Net programs, a network of services offered to the community through the United Way system of partners; and $3.7 million for Scalable Community Change, which funds programs targeted at communities rather than individuals; and Women United programs.

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Systems Change is in its inaugural year.

The program shifts a portion of funding to focus on root causes of social issues and put universal solutions into motion for ongoing problems that impact large populations, the United Way said.

Coalitions, task forces and strategic partnerships were invited to submit a proposal for funding, to support collective action resulting in systemic change.

The goal of the program, Smyers said, is to solve issues for large populations, while maintaining the same level of funding for previously existing programs.

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Initial grants awarded were:

– Workforce Enhancements in Healthy Aging and Independent Living – $151,162

This is a coalition involving the UNT Health Science Center, JPS, TCU, and United Way’s Area Agency on Aging to focus on improving health outcomes for older in Tarrant County and the surrounding rural counties.

– Stay the Course – Tarrant County – $200,000

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A new coalition led by Catholic Charities in partnership with Tarrant County College and the University of Notre Dame’s Lab for Economic Opportunity, to improve persistence and completion among low-income community college students via case management and emergency financial assistance.

– Early Learning Alliance – $60,000

More than 50 organizations have joined forces to create the Early Learning Alliance to focus on children’s learning opportunities to help children arrive at kindergarten with the skills they need to succeed.

– Healthy Tarrant County Collaboration – $205,500

Formed in 1997, the collaboration is a partnership of hospitals, public health organizations and

universities that conducts wide-area assessments to identify needs and better address health problems in coordinated, efficient and effective ways.

– Regional Superintendent Literacy Initiative – $180,000

This is a collaborative effort on the part of a number to organizations to promote grade-level reading at the third-grade level.

– Community Response to Homelessness in Early Childhood – $173,334

The Center for Transforming Lives and an array of agencies dealing with homelessness are focusing specifically on the needs of homeless children of school age.

Other allocations announced are:

– Donor-Designated Gifts: Donor-designated gifts have directed $6 million to United Way partner agencies based on designations from individual donors to the charities of their choosing. Donor-designated gifts are not subject to fees with 100 percent of the donation going to the selected agency or cause.

– Safety Net: Safety Net is a $2 million program encompassing a network of services offered to the community through the United Way of Tarrant County system of partners. This funding provides economic and life security to those temporarily in need and remains the foundation upon why the United Way of Tarrant County was formed in 1922.

– Scalable Community Change: Awarded $3.7 million, Scalable Community Change funds programs targeted at communities rather than individuals, and scaled appropriately to bring widespread, positive change to a specific social problem. This funding includes significant programmatic work done by United Way of Tarrant County agencies designed to dramatically move the needle on specific issues.

– Women’s Fund: This fund awarded more than $42,000 this year to three key projects: scholarships for young female students at the Young Women’s Leadership Academy, career development scholarships for women at the Women’s Center interested in pursuing careers in high demand fields and scholarships for women at Camp Fire First Texas who are pursuing a Child Development Associate credential.