New Community Impact Agenda Drives United Way - Focus targets youth and poverty

COLUMBIA, MO (January 25, 2012) - The Heart of Missouri United Way (HMUW) Board of Directors unanimously voted today to adopt and implement a new strategy, called Community Impact, which beginning in 2013 will focus its work on supporting strategies that help at-risk mid-Missouri youth to succeed in school and life.

The move to Community Impact has been a two-year effort, with countless hours of primary and secondary research, study of best practices, community conversations and deliberations by more than 150 mid-Missouri citizens and 70 community volunteers. With this shift, Heart of Missouri United Way will focus on measuring, altering and preventing the fundamental conditions in people’s lives that create cycles of need. Conditions will be grouped into three primary impact areas:  Education, Income and Health. Each impact area will have individual focuses, goals and key performance indicators that will guide resource distribution and provide benchmarks for measurement of progress. HMUW will also continue to support safety net services for individuals and families with immediate needs.

“Community Impact will enable us to focus our efforts and move from not only helping those in need, but to creating lasting and permanent change in their lives,” said Cathy Scroggs, President of the Heart of Missouri United Way Board of Directors and Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs at the University of Missouri. Scott Ward, Chair of the Community Impact Committee and President-Elect, says, “Focusing HMUW resources on a specific goal, as distilled from the data and input from our community, will give us the best opportunity to make real and sustainable changes in the lives of children most at risk within our community and, as a result, benefit our entire community.”

“Community Impact, while a significant shift, is an evolution,” said Tim Rich, Executive Director, “HMUW has always been focused on helping those with the greatest needs. To really move the needle, we must examine and address the root causes of poverty, not just treat the symptoms. Our shift is about long-term, meaningful and measurable change.”

Funding for current partner agencies will continue through 2012; Community Impact funding allocations will be implemented in 2013. Community Impact funding opportunities will be announced on February 21st; details of the public meeting are forthcoming.

For the complete Community Impact Report and Executive Summary, click

For more information, contact Tim Rich, Executive Director at 573.443.4523 or via
email, or Scott Ward, Community Impact Committee Chair & President-Elect at 573.443.7050 or via email.