Sunday, October 7, 2007

Agenda for Change / Update!

Agencies seize opportunity to pitch new plans

For the first time in 10 years, United Way is opening up the funding process and encouraging area agencies to consider ways to better partner with the organization to make a stronger long-term impact on lives across the tri-county area.

The newly established process for 2008-2011 agency applications will allow unaffiliated organizations the opportunity to become United Way partners. This is part of United Way's overall effort to direct community resources in areas of the greatest need.

The new multi-year funding process will focus on programs, services, strategies and collaborations that will address short and long-term goals in three specific areas - educational preparedness, financial stability and basic needs, as outlined in the organization's Agenda for Change.

Current member agencies and those looking to form United Way partnerships based on programs that align with one or more of the priority areas were invited to complete a letter of intent in September. The review of those LOIs will conclude Oct. 5. Applicants will be notified during the week of Oct. 8 if their submissions made it to the next phase, during which they are asked to respond to a request for proposal.

Those current partners not selected for the RFP phase will be directed to the transitional funding process.

While United Way will continue to significantly invest in a wide array of agency programs and services, funding will primarily be focused on achieving Agenda outcomes. The funding system further supports the Agenda for Change, which serves as the United Way blueprint for creating sustained community change that measurably improves people's lives.

"The decision to realign our funding process was driven by our region's growing socioeconomic and human service needs," said Michael J. Brennan, President and CEO of United Way for Southeastern Michigan. "We know that today's issues are far too complex for any individual, group, or institution to tackle alone. We must work together and bring new groups into the fold. It is only through community building and regional collaboration that we will effect lasting change."

For more information about the LOI/Agenda for Change process (including guidelines, technical assistance sessions, and application deadlines), visit

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