United Way NSV Announces Impact Grant Programs Investments

United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley (NSV) reaffirmed its commitment to graduate more kids, lift families and individuals to financial stability and create a healthier community when its board of directors approved funding recommendations made by community volunteers for the 2018-2019 Community Impact Grant Program.

Through the Impact Grant Program, United Way will invest more than $545,000 in 41 education, income and health programs throughout the Northern Shenandoah Valley (Winchester City, Frederick County, Clarke County, Shenandoah County and Page County). Although the $545,000 available for distribution was a 11% increase in funding available through the impact grant program from the previous year, requests from local agencies were made totaling more than $1,119,000 in funding, an increase of 38% from the previous year.

United Way undertook a rigorous decision-making process to determine the grant allocations. Nearly 3,000 donors entrust their contributions to the United Way Community Impact Fund with the confidence that the United Way’s Board and staff will work with community organizations and leaders to invest in the most impactful programs.

Funding for the Impact Grant program is specifically earmarked by donors, and is only a portion of the total money raised and given out by United Way NSV. 

“Through the extensive grant vetting process, we hope to address the most pressing needs in our community that have been identified through our needs assessment, in the most efficient and effective way possible” said Kurt Beyreis, Chair of the Fund Distribution Committee.

Sixty community volunteers devoted more than 1,200 hours to determine the best programs and services our region has to offer. They read proposals, analyzed financial statements, visited agencies, and deliberated for many hours. The program grants for 41 different agencies that were announced today have been thoroughly vetted and evaluated on factors including alignment with United Way’s strategies; ability to make positive, lasting impact; transformative approach to working collaboratively; and capacity to achieve program goals.

The 2018-2019 Impact Grants are the first to reflect the new 2017 Community Needs Assessment and ALICE® findings for the Northern Shenandoah Valley. All grant program activities tie back directly to the community’s identified needs, with all agencies serving a portion on the ALICE® population.

“The requests received this year reinforce the data collected through our Community Needs Assessment” said United Way President and CEO, Nadine Pottinga “These grants are making marked impact in the critical needs identified in Frederick, Clarke, Shenandoah, and Page Counties, as well as in the City of Winchester.”

In the area of education, one of the United Way grant recipients, Winchester Day Nursery, will receive a grant investment of $15,000. This will fund provides scholarships to families who could not afford a quality preschool education. This investment aligns within United Way NSV’s community needs strategy to make sure that preschool aged children have access to affordable, high quality, early learning programs that prepare them for kindergarten.  

Additional education programs granted funding by United Way address other priority needs such as children having access to basic needs, students having access to high quality, enriching out of school programs where students have support and encouragement for educational success from engaged parents/advocates and mentors, as well as junior high and high school students have access to age-appropriate college and career preparation and graduate equipped with skills for success.

In Financial Stability (Income), United Way is investing $15,000 in housing program from Page One of Page County. The program will provide assistance to low income families with emergency financial needs, such as rent and utility bills in order to prevent homelessness for at-risk families. This new program for United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley aligns with community priority needs, specifically to help people in crisis meet their basic needs and become self-sufficient.

In Income Impact Grants, United Way also supports programs where families in our community are self-sufficient and move from financial instability to financial stability, low or no income individuals acquire the skills necessary to secure and retain self and/or family-sustaining employment, as well as programs where vulnerable seniors are able to access services that improve their quality of life and maintain independence.

In health related grants, United Way is investing $30,000 in grant dollars for programs within The Laurel Center, an intervention facility for domestic and sexual violence. Grant dollars for this specific program will provide support for the comprehensive emergency shelter program, 24-hour confidential hotline, education and supportive counseling for parents and children in shelter, and environment of wellness, advocates and support for women and families. This program will address priority needs within our community, specifically addressing the need for prevention and response to domestic violence.

Additional Health grants given by United Way NSV align within the identified priority needs to support programs where families and individuals are able to access quality and affordable health care (which includes: physical, dental, mental health, and wellness), programs where children and youth have access to emergency and ongoing mental health and counseling services as well as programs that aggressively address the substance abuse crisis in our community.

“We’re committed to creating meaningful change in the Northern Shenandoah Valley,” said United Way President and CEO Nadine Pottinga. “One way we drive change is by investing in the best local education, income and health programs to impact our community’s kids and their families.”

Please see the full list of Impact Grant Awards for 2018. Distribution of 2018-2019 year Impact Grant funds will begin July 1.