Thursday, June 8, 2023

United Way of Denton County allocates $2.4 million throughout community

The United Way of Denton County Board of Directors last month approved the organization’s 2019-2020 operating budget with over $2.4 million allocated to continuing the dual strategy of leading Collective Impact Initiatives and supporting partner agencies to serve vulnerable populations in a growing Denton County.

“The investment from individuals and businesses drives the United Way engine creating transformative change in Denton County,” said Lyle Dresher, out-going UWDC Board Chair. “But, the demand for philanthropic giving in this county has never been greater.”

The approved budget includes over $1 million granted to partner agencies in donor designations and the proposed allocation from the Community Investment Committee. Each year, trained volunteers evaluate partner agency funding relationships to assure a return on investment for UWDC donors in funding critical areas of need in our community as identified by key findings in the most recent Community Needs Assessment, according to a UWDC news release. Upholding the highest standards, the review process also evaluates each partner agency in the areas of efficiency, strategic goal setting and implementation, fiscal management, fundraising strategy, and board oversight/governance.

“This group of volunteers dedicated countless hours to this process,” said Debbie Smatresk, Community Investment Committee Chair. “Their thorough evaluation of each agency challenges these organizations to grow and develop to better serve our community.”

Being a UWDC Partner Agency does not only involve funds, but they also actively engage in collaborative initiatives with UWDC. UWDC and its network of nonprofits work together to eliminate duplication, increase efficiencies and expand capacities, according to UWDC.

In addition to partner agency grants, the UWDC volunteer governing board designated significant funding to continue the fight against complex socioeconomic problems throughout Denton County as identified in the Community Needs Assessment. UWDC continues to serve as the backbone organization spearheading Collective Impact Initiatives to positively impact children and families, Veterans, housing stability/homelessness, and overall health/mental health.

Despite the generosity of the community, a gap still exists in funding. Available resources for United Way’s Partner Agencies fell 40% below the total funds requested to meet the need of the growing region.

UWDC’s Needs Assessment speaks to these escalating needs affecting children, families, veterans, homelessness and overall mental health in Denton County. The number of students experiencing homelessness increases each year. Economically disadvantaged 3rd graders reading at grade level continues to fall. The Denton County jail remains the single largest in-patient facility for behavioral health services.

“We have some disturbing trends moving in the wrong direction,” said Gary Henderson, President and CEO of United Way of Denton County. “To turn this around will take a greater influx of dollars employed into our community.”

Funding for UWDC comes from a confluence of corporate gifts and employee giving campaigns, special events, state and federal grants, and individual donations. Click here for more information.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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