Citizen Review 2017
Dedicated citizen review volunteers help the United Way Board of Directors determine the distribution of community donations to 40 local health and human service organizations. Funding that will be distributed over the next year was raised during the 2016 Annual United Way Charitable Giving Campaign thanks to the generosity of thousands of community members and local businesses. See last year’s allocation amounts below:
How Citizen Review Works
Each spring the staff, board and volunteers of the United Way undertake the daunting task of deciding which of the dozens of vital, hard working organizations in the community to give funding to and how much to give to each. We call this Citizen Review.
While trying to divide funding between organizations like God’s Love and the Good Samaritan is incredibly difficult, the allocations process is integral to the service the United Way provides to the community. It holds organizations accountable for the sometimes substantial sums given out by United Way. It ensures that when donors give dollars to United Way, they can do it knowing that the money is going to stay in the community and be well spent. The allocation process also helps the United Way see if organizations are duplicating services or if certain needs in the community are going unmet. In short, the allocations process helps the United Way achieve our mission to increase the organized capacity of people to care for one another in our community.
The Citizen Review process begins when non profit organizations from Lewis and Clark, Jefferson and Broadwater counties submit a funding request. This application tells us who they are, what they do, how much money they need in the coming year and why the United Way should give it to them. We then engage panels of local volunteers to review each agency.
A “Citizen Review Facilitator” leads these volunteers in reviewing applications. After reading through the application, the volunteers spend some time at each agency’s headquarters. The volunteers can ask questions, meet the staff, see the facilities and possibly even meet some of the people who are helped by that agency.
Volunteers then make a funding recommendation. They basically recommend to United Way how much money each organization should receive. This figure takes into account things like how much the organization received from United Way in the past, how much money donors designated specifically to that organization when giving to the United Way, whether the organization has any new programs or major improvements that need funding and more.
Each agency is required to reapply for funding and partnership every year.