Over the past ten years, Monadnock United Way’s (MUW) annual campaign has been declining, from a height of over $2 million to just $1.3 million this year. Nationally, the median workplace gift has declined ten percent since 2016. At the same time, our region is facing growing needs.
In response to this trend, MUW launched a strategic plan in 2016 aimed at addressing areas of need for the long-term stability of our region: child welfare, educational attainment and financial stability. Community Impact (CI) was chosen as the foundation of our model. CI brings programs together to work toward shared goals and activities. It minimizes duplication of services and maximizes outcomes for the people being served.
In tandem with our partners we embarked on a multi-year transition process that provided training and transition funds to our partners. During this time, we increased our fundraising efforts - both within the workplace campaign and by seeking new philanthropic streams of support.
The new funding streams are showing promise and steady growth with $160,000 raised in 2019 from sources outside of the campaign.
However, we had anticipated that community support through an enhanced workplace campaign would regain strength and return to its former height of $2 million annually. Unfortunately, that has not occurred.
Yet, the issues facing our community remain. The latest data show the following:
- Our region has the third highest rate of child abuse and neglect in the state
- Children in this region score lower than the rest of the state in English and math
- The poverty rate in Cheshire County is 1 in 4. In the rest of NH the rate is 1 in 5.
MUW must realign itself to a size that is sustainable, yet still be able to be impactful.
Therefore, beginning this month, MUW will invest $900,000 in a highly targeted group of partnerships and activities that support the overall well-being of children and families in the following areas:
- Emergency housing and access to food, which is foundational to success in daily life,
- Early childhood success through supports including quality childcare, early learning and development of social-emotional skills, and
- Family resources including access to services, parent education and wrap-around supports.
Stabilizing families is proven to have a tangible impact on the success of children and on today’s workforce. When families receive the supports they need, household stress is reduced, children thrive and parents stay employed.
MUW will be working in a collaborative CI model with the following programs and activities:
- Cheshire County Emergency Housing Collaborative
- Monadnock Food Pantries Collective
- Monadnock Home Visiting Alliance
- Monadnock Region Afterschool Collective
- Monadnock Parent Education Collective
- Financial Assistance for 6 Early Childhood Centers
- WIC Dental Program
- Impact Monadnock Pyramid Model Initiative
- Impact Monadnock Business Ambassadors
All other partners will be transitioned away from MUW funding. This decision was difficult for MUW and our board to make. Every one of our partners plays an essential role in the health of this community. Our board and staff are reaching out to all our partners today. Transitioning partners will receive funding through April 30, 2020, and we will provide guidance as they seek out new sources of funds.
Finally, MUW will re-size our staffing levels to six key positions with re-aligned roles and responsibilities.
Although the workplace campaign is declining, our promise to the community remains the same: We will collaborate with our partners to support their success – and that of the individuals they serve. We will advocate and aggressively fundraise for the benefit of this community. Finally, we will invest in solutions that strengthen the fabric of our community for today and tomorrow.
Please click here for a detailed FAQ and descriptions of our funded partners. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603.350.4209 x26. Your opinion matters and I welcome your call.
Liz LaRose, APR
President, Monadnock United Way