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Community Spotlight: United Way of Manatee County Invests nearly $2 million into the Community


BRADENTON – In June, the United Way of Manatee County’s (UWMC) Board of Directors approved investing nearly $2 million in program and services funding in an effort to make a measurable difference in the lives of those who live in Manatee County. This funding includes the support of 51 programs and initiatives through 36 of UWMC’s partner agencies and other collaborating organizations.

For the past decade, United Ways across the country have been transitioning from funding partner agencies to investing in results based programs. Now, partnering agencies are required to produce measurable outcomes and show that they are impacting our community in a significant way. This transition emphasizes long-term results and creates the lasting, meaningful change that we as a whole want in our community.

UWMC funded programs fall into three categories: Education, Income and Health. Programs were evaluated by community volunteers and area experts based on their ability to meet community needs and their alignment with UWMC criteria in those three areas. More than 35 UWMC volunteers and staff members worked on 10 teams to determine whether a program produced quantifiable results and/or proved a substantial need for a service. Some increases in funding were given to programs that showed the greatest impact for the dollars spent, or for those that provided a needed service to an underserved population. Final approval of the recommendations was made by the UWMC Board of Directors.

“We have a great responsibility to make sure the community’s contributions are invested carefully in programs that work,” Bronwyn Beightol, vice president, community impact, United Way of Manatee County. “We have a careful and thorough investment process that maximizes every dollar a donor entrusts to us.”

This investment represents assistance to the community in the form of guided reading tutors for kindergartners, budgeting classes, parenting education, a safe haven and counseling for victims of abuse and domestic violence, food and care for our most vulnerable senior citizens, therapy for the physically challenged, emergency financial assistance a well as other social services needs for members in our community. Agencies began receiving their funding this month.

In an effort to initiate the next fundraising Campaign, the United Way will host its Kick-off Breakfast in conjunction with the Manate e Chamber of Commerce Coffee Club. The event will take place on Thursday, July 25th at 7:30am at Renaissance on 9th. For more information on United Way of Manatee County, partner agencies and community impact initiatives, visit www.UWMC.net.


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