It is apparent now more than ever that we all need to work together as a UNITED front to combat the biggest issues in Horry County and to create a long-lasting, positive impact in the community.
United Way of Horry County (UWHC) will be transitioning from a Community Chest (investment) Model to a new Community Impact Framework (CIF), which will be implemented by the 2023 UWHC grant cycle (mid-year 2022). The CIF will allow UWHC to identify the most pressing needs in Horry County and the partners to collaborate with to address them, while being be able to show the true impact we are all making in the community with donor dollars.
We have created some Frequently Asked Questions to help our agencies and donors better understand our transition:
What will the new Community Impact Framework (CIF) look like?
The CIF will allow us to: (1) improve people’s lives by providing better access to services and coordinated supports for individuals and families most at risk, (2) explore new partnerships with agencies, donors, others to leverage resources and share ideas that will improve the system of care for people in our community, (3) initiate innovation and working together to solve social problems, and (4) shift the overall mix of community investments to focus on large-scale initiatives that have the power to build for the future and deepen community impact.
The CIF will also allow us to incorporate more Collective Impact strategies. Collective Impact is based upon the understanding that no single policy, government entity, or organization can tackle or solve deep-rooted social problems alone. Moving beyond a partnership or collaboration, Collective Impact calls for a longstanding commitment between multiple organizations all working toward a common goal.
There are five key elements to Collective Impact: (1) a common agenda, (2) a shared measurement system, (3) a coordinated plan of strategies and activities, (4) continuous communication, and (5) backbone support.
How is UWHC going to implement the Community Impact Framework?
- Step one: Compose a Community Impact Task Force, composed of issue area experts and Horry County community members, to help UWHC lead this transition (January 2021).
- Step two: Hold community conversations, conduct community needs assessment surveys, and secondary data research to find the true needs in Horry County (February – June 2021).
- Step three: Gather data and let everyone (the public, donors, agencies, etc.) know what we learned (July 2021).
- Step four: Identify the partners we can work with to address the gaps in our community, narrow down our focus areas (Health, Education, Financial Stability, and Basic Needs) to concentrate on specific issues under each pillar, and implement the Results Based Accountability logic model to measure impact (July-December 2021).
- Step five: Have new CIF in place by the 2023 UWHC grant cycle (mid-year 2022).
Who will UWHC be funding?
UWHC will be funding agency programs that are working towards the issues identified, as well as creating and/or strengthening our own internal programs/initiatives. Multiple agencies will still be funded under each pillar. Agencies are eligible to receive funding for multiple programs under multiple pillars if qualified.
How will impact be measured?
UWHC will be creating shared measurements, otherwise known as an “outcomes menu,” where grantee agencies will have to select the outputs from the options provided they are able to achieve during the grant cycle. The shared measurements will be modeled after the Results Based Accountability Logic Model (RBA). The RBA asks three simple questions:
- How much did we do? (# of customers served/services provided)
- How well did we do it? (% of services/activities performed well)
- Is anyone better off? (# / % with improvement in skills, attitudes, behaviors, circumstances)
If my agency cannot report the RBA shared measurements, does this mean my agency is not going to get funding?
The RBA is a shared measurement model that is used by not only 50+ United Ways across the country, but by several other grant funders. The RBA will not only show if UWHC’s grant money is making an impact, but your agency will also be able to use this data to acquire other funding as well. UWHC staff will be working with agencies and the Community Impact Task Force to determine what the shared measurements will be, and once we determine them, we will be working with funded agencies diligently to make it a smooth transition. Therefore, yes, any agency applying for UWHC grant funding will be required to report achievable RBA outputs from the outcomes menu provided. If you are not able to do this, your agency is not eligible for funding.
If my agency is currently being funded, does this mean we are not going to receive funding anymore?
We cannot make that determination at this point. The Community Impact Task Force will identity the issues UWHC is going to be focusing on under each pillar, and if your program mission does not align with them, we may not be able to fund your program. However, this does not mean that we can’t partner in other ways (i.e. Horry County Alliance, 211, Charity Tracker, community events, volunteer recruitment, etc.).
If my agency doesn’t have a program that aligns with the new focus areas, does this mean I should create a new program to get funding?
NO. We do not want you to create a new program just to receive UWHC funding. We are going to be working diligently with different partners all over Horry County to see how we can work together to combat the most pressing needs, whether it be (for example) through a collaborative grant, requiring a specific referral system, having open communication, etc.
If an agency I support is currently being funded, does this mean they are not going to receive funding anymore?
We cannot make that determination at this point. The Community Impact Task Force will identify the issues UWHC is going to be focusing on under each pillar, and if the agency program mission does not align with them, we may not be able to fund the program. However, this does not mean that we can’t partner with them in other ways (i.e. Horry County Alliance, 211, Charity Tracker, community events, volunteer recruitment, etc.).
How do I know that my donation is truly making an impact in the community?
Making a gift to United Way is the most effective way to help our whole community. United Way takes the guesswork out of giving and makes sure your dollars will be directed to local agency programs and community initiatives that attack the root causes of community problems. With the implementation of the CIF, UWHC will be able to tell you exactly how YOUR money made a long-lasting, positive impact in the community.
How do I know that my dollars are being spent most effectively when I give to UWHC?
When you give to UWHC, you can be assured that your gift is:
- staying local to support local needs
- addressing the most pressing needs in our community
- being used to support families and individuals with multiple needs
- funding programs with proven results that will make the greatest impact
For more information and a timeline about this transition, view our Community Impact Transition presentation:
If you have any questions not addressed in this FAQ, please reach out to Katie, Community Impact Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org.