United Way announces $2.3 million in community investments

United Way of Central Illinois is pleased to announce $2,320,749 of community investments including $1,656,493 in Community Fund investments to local health and human service initiatives. United Way’s 2015 community investments also included $591,840 in donor-directed funds and more than $72,000 to fund other services including: 2-1-1, Get Connected, and United Way’s Venture Fund.

United Way’s Community Fund, which invests in 38 local programs, accounts for the majority of the organization’s 2015 investment. This was made possible by the generosity of more than 7,000 individuals who made an investment in United Way’s Community Fund during the 2014 campaign. 100% of every investment to the Community Fund is distributed to local initiatives.

The $1,656,493 in Community Fund investments represents a 1.4% increase over 2014. As a result, currently funded programs will see a 1.4% increase over last year’s allocation.

“This year’s increase is welcome news and demonstrates what we can achieve when we are all working together’” said John Kelker, president at United Way of Central Illinois. “United Way’s strength is our ability to bring everyone to the table to identify, assess and address our community’s health and human service needs.”

This year’s community investments include $33,276 to fund 2-1-1 services in Sangamon and Menard Counties. 2-1-1 is a toll free hotline that connects individuals with resources in our community including: utility assistance, food, housing, child care, after school programs, elder care, crisis intervention and more. Individuals dialing 2-1-1 will reach a highly-trained call specialist who will assess their needs and provide referrals to community resources. 2-1-1 is available 24-hours a day.

$5,000 of the community investment included sponsored-funding from U.S. Bank to provide Get Connected, United Way’s volunteer website and platform.

Finally, the organization set-aside $33,806 in venture funds to provide one-time funding to support new local programs or assist in the expansion of current programs.

Community investment breakdown:

$1,656,827 – Community Fund
$ 591,840 – Donor-Directed Funds
$ 33,806 – 2-1-1 Services
$ 33,276 – Venture Funds
$ 5,000 – Get Connected

$2,320,749 – Total Investment

“The Becker family’s fundraising goal last year was to reverse the trend and our community responded” said Kelker. “The increase in United Way’s 2015 community investments is a testament to the generosity of our community.”

United Way’s focus is on protecting services vital to the immediate basic needs of the most vulnerable members of our community, while making long term investments in education, financial stability and health – the building blocks for a good quality of life.

United Way of Central Illinois is currently engaged in a long term strategic planning process by which it is working with community partners to determine how United Way resources are best invested to achieve the greatest outcomes. One result of this process was the unanimous decision United Way’s Board of Directors to expand Community Fund eligibility to any local nonprofit program aligned with United Way’s four focus areas: Basic Needs, Education, Financial Stability and Health. Expanded eligibility will begin with the 2016 Community Fund Application Process.

For a complete list of program funding, please visit http://springfieldunitedway.org/our-work/community-fund/funded-programs/