Bright future for United Way

Posted 9/3/19

The United Way can look forward to a bright future. There’s several reasons. First, the United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area’s Board of Directors has approved its 2019-2020 funding …

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Bright future for United Way

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The United Way can look forward to a bright future.

There’s several reasons.

First, the United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area’s Board of Directors has approved its 2019-2020 funding allocations – investing $1,087,000 in programs in Herkimer and Oneida counties.. 

A committee of professional community volunteers selects which programs are funded by several important criteria such as outcomes and effectiveness.

This year, 46 programs operated by 29 agencies received funding from the United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area. These programs support a range of economic and geographic sectors, with particular emphasis on helping low-income, at-risk families and individuals, the United Way announced.

“Our strategic investment committee and team is charged with investing the funds entrusted to United Way by thousands of local donors,” said Erin Matt, the chapter’s executive director. “It is our job to ensure the money we raise gets invested in outcome-driven programs that positively impact our community. We are pleased to announce ...grants to programs for the period of July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020.”

Secondly, another reason is that the United Way of Rome and Western Oneida County’s operations have been assumed by the United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area as the Rome-based chapter heads toward being dissolved. The move will save money in operating costs.

Paperwork for the formal dissolution process is expected to be submitted to the state in the next couple of weeks, and approval ultimately is anticipated, Rome chapter President Gene Blackburn said.

“We have moved all our operations to the Utica office” for the United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area, and “we closed the Rome office,” said Blackburn. The staff in the Utica-area United Way office is handling the operations, he added.

The Rome chapter already has provided funding for the 2019 cycle to the area agencies and programs its has supported, Blackburn noted. The process for the next cycle in 2020 will be fully integrated into the Utica-area United Way fundraising process, he said, adding that no significant change is anticipated for the agencies that receive support and should continue to receive it going forward. Among programs that have been funded through both the Rome chapter and the United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area, added Blackburn, are Catholic Charities, CFLR, Legal Aid, and Salvation Army.

In a separate step, Blackburn said a substantial amount of the Rome chapter’s endowment will be donated to the Rome Community Foundation for allocations to Rome and western Oneida County agencies, independent of the United Way process. The amount is over $400,000, he said.

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