Housing First

Did you know something as basic as safe housing is critical to stabilizing a person’s life?

Child Care Opportunities

Montana has more young children than slots for daycare by 25%.  Creating safe, affordable opportunities needs to be a priority to help Montana families.

Feeding Bodies and Minds

Did you know that feeling connection to your community and volunteerism are proven to improve physical and mental health?

Early Starts, Bright Futures

Early intervention is critical in helping children overcome trauma or developmental problems.  Together, we are ensuring kids have the best chance in overcoming these challenges!

Free Tax Help Refunds Nearly $1 Million

Making the most of tax refunds in our community has never been so easy.

Summer Literacy Academy

Reading doesn’t just help kids do well in school.  It sets them up for success in life!

Healthy Options Now Available

Living on a fixed income isn’t easy, but you made it possible for local seniors to have healthy options in their diets!

Mentors Matter

In Lewis and Clark County, 23% of high school and 18% of middle school students reportedly considered suicide over the last year.  That’s why our community is providing mentors to give them positive role models and help them navigate life in a positive way!

Reading for the Future

Book Pals are helping kids improve their reading skills year-round, giving them bright futures!

A Summer Building Social Skills

Sometimes, kids with developmental disabilities need a little help developing their social skills.  Thanks to you, they have the opportunity to participate in the Summer Social Skills program to prepare them for school and life!

Building up Broadwater County Kids

Risky behavior can impact kids for a lifetime.  With your support, our partners are educating kids and families to reduce risky behavior and help youth make good decision to have bright futures.

Financial Stability

Goal: Empower individuals to increase their financial stability.

Health

Goal: Improve community mental health.

Education

Goal: Ensure children are school-ready.

 

Basic Needs

Goal: Make homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring.

Establishing Criteria for Funding

Over the last three years, our community gave United Way of the Lewis and Clark Area feedback about what our community’s strengths and weaknesses are.   Our team used all the feedback received to create a Visioning Document that condenses all the information, and we’ve used it to create goals to guide our work and strengthen our community.

The visioning process identified resilience as a challenge for our community.  With community input, we defined resilience as our neighbors being empowered to have the knowledge, skills and abilities to overcome obstacles to lead their best lives.  Our team then consulted the Visioning Document to set goals to improve community mental health, ensure children are school-ready, empower individuals to increase their financial stability, and make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring.

In addition to creating new focus for our work, we also recognized gaps exist between programs and services for our community.  Impacting a greater number of lives and ensuring our community’s efforts are focused and effective meant we needed to increase partnerships and collaboration for the projects we funded.  More collaboration means that our neighbors are more likely to get the help they need from our community and it saves money by ensuring programs aren’t duplicated.

Funding Applications

When donations to United Way aren’t designated to a specific cause or organization, they are directed into the Community Impact Fund.  Nonprofits that have formal partnerships with United Way apply for support from that fund to support their work.

With the shift in our goals and focus, applicants must demonstrate how their project is collaborative and supports our goals of improving community mental health, ensuring children are school-ready, empowering individuals to increase their financial stability, and making homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring.  They are supplied a copy of the scoring matrix and focus areas established by the community to help build their funding applications.

Last year was a competitive funding process and the end decisions were very difficult because so many wonderful programs and services exist in our community. A team of community volunteers reviewed applications, discussed each project, and determined what the biggest priorities were based on the scoring matrix and goals our community created.  After the decision was reached by these volunteers, our board of directors reviewed the funding recommendations and approved them.

Funding Results

With your partnership, we’ve been able to fund great, collaborative projects that will make a big impact in our community.  Your generosity last year made it possible to…

  • impact 6,780 lives by providing access to affordable, quality childcare,
  • increase social opportunities for 487 disabled or homebound people in our area to improve mental health,
  • provide 464 children with early childhood education programming for the year,
  • ensure 2,500 commodities boxes were distributed every six months and feed 551 meals to local seniors daily,
  • support summer reading programs as well as in-school reading programs to improve literacy for local students,
  • refunded almost $1 million in tax returns to the community through Free Tax Help,
  • and more!

Thanks to you, our community is becoming more resilient.  We are able to support efforts that will build resilience in our neighbors and provide them with the skills, knowledge and ability to overcome challenges in their lives.

Click on the links above to learn more about each funded project from 2017!