United Way of Central Illinois Announces 2017 Community Investments

United Way of Central Illinois’ Board of Directors is pleased to announce the results of the 2017 Community Fund investment process. The Board of Directors unanimously approved $1,549,942 in local investments to programs addressing basic needs, education, financial stability and health in our community.

Pete Graham, board chair, said “at a time of instability in many sources of funding, United Way continues to support local services by investing in programs focused on our community’s most pressing challenges.”

35 local programs will receive Community Fund investments across United Way’s four issue areas, including:

Annual Investment
2016-2019 Basic Needs Investments

Community Fund grants for food and emergency shelter.

2016-2018 Education Investments

Community Fund grants for early childhood education, mentors, afterschool programming, summer learning programs, and teen outreach

2017-2020 Financial Stability Investments

Community Fund grants for money management programs, elder assistance, transitional and permanent supportive housing, and youth job training and job readiness

2016-2018 Health Investments

Community Fund grants for health outreach, mental health services, senior health access services, women’s health education, and counseling aftercare

Homeless Management Information System

Homeless Management Information System is utilized by multiple agencies across issue areas

American Red Cross – Disaster Services

Local disaster assistance

Total Community Investment $1,549,942

Community Fund investments account for the majority of the organization’s fundraising and does not include $508,000 in donor directed gifts made during the annual campaign. More than 6,000 individuals made an investment in United Way’s Community Fund during the 2016 campaign. 100% of every investment to the Community Fund is distributed to local initiatives.

Community Fund investment decisions are made by Vision Councils – panels of 8-12 local volunteers knowledgeable in each issue area. Vision Councils are responsible for hosting community conversations, evaluating local data, establishing community priorities and strategies, evaluating applications, and monitoring progress. Vision Council recommendations are then reviewed before final approval by the Board of Directors.

United Way’s program funding is allocated on a staggered three year funding cycle with Financial Stability programs evaluated this year. Following the initial evaluation and recommendation, subsequent funding years are contingent on quarterly reviews of program results and approval by United Way’s Board of Directors.

United Way’s community investment portfolio includes two new programs. UCP Land of Lincoln’s F.I.T. Program received $50,000 in Community Funds to provide employment support and financial literacy supports to help clients gain and maintain employment and self- sufficiency. The program was one of seven programs receiving investments during this year’s Financial Stability application process.

In addition to Community Fund investments, United Way’s Board of Directors approved $24,000 in Red Feather Grant funding to the South Central Illinois Chapter of the American Red Cross to support local disaster services. Red Feather Grants support local programs the Board of Directors has determined to be unique and necessary for the support of our local community.

“Any number of disasters can profoundly affect the financial stability of a family,” said John Kelker, president at United Way of Central Illinois. “This Red Feather Grant helps assure that disaster response services will be available when families in our community need help the most.”

Community Fund Grant Awardees

Basic Needs (2016-2019)
Catholic Charities Holy Family Food Pantry
Catholic Charities Mobile Food Pantry
Catholic Charities St. John’s Breadline
Contact Ministries and Helping Hands of Springfield (collaborative) Emergency Shelter and Support for Men, Women and Children
Mini O’Beirne Crisis Nursery Crisis Nursery Core Program
Senior Services of Central Illinois Daily Bread
Sojourn Shelter and Services Adult and Children Shelter
Youth Service Bureau Emergency Shelter for Youth
Education (2016-2018)
Big Brothers Big Sisters Comprehensive Mentoring
Boys and Girls Clubs McClernand Elem. Learning Center
Boys and Girls Clubs Project Learn
Community Connection Point Ready for Tomorrow
Compass for Kids Camp Compass
Compass for Kids Compass
Memorial Behavioral Health The Children’s MOSAIC Project
One Hope United Foster Grandparent Program
Springfield Urban League Freedom School
Springfield Urban League Teen REACH
Springfield Urban League Wee Grow
UCP Land of Lincoln Learning Without Limits Summer Camp
Financial Stability (2017-2020)
Helping Hands of Springfield Stable S.M.I.L.E.
M.E.R.C.Y. Communities Permanent Supportive Housing
M.E.R.C.Y. Communities Transitional Living Program
Memorial Behavioral Health Projects of Assistance in Transition from Homelessness
Senior Services of Central Illinois Comprehensive Elder Assistance Services Program
Springfield Urban League The Empowerment Program
United Cerebral Palsy Land of Lincoln F.I.T. Program
Health (2016-2018)
Central Counties Health Centers Community Health Connection Program
Memorial Behavioral Health Adult Psychiatric Access, Screening & Services (PASS)
Memorial Behavioral Health Springfield Children’s Center
Senior Services of Central Illinois Senior Health Access Services
Springfield Urban League I Am Woman – A Healthy New Me
The Center for Youth & Family Services Counseling Aftercare


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


For more information on the United Way, please contact Jarid Brown, Director of Communications, at 217- 836-2656 or email him at jbrown@uwcil.org.