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November 18, 2016

Community Funding for Maximum Impact

United Way of Calgary and Area has announced the results of its Strong Communities Request for Proposals (RFP), allowing them to enhance the way they partner with local agencies.

“Like all organizations we have to make tough decisions, and funding decisions are never an easy one,” says Lucy Miller, President and CEO, United Way of Calgary and Area. “We have a rigorous process in place to ensure we are transparent and provide the highest quality services to Calgarians.”

United Way had an overwhelming response to this year’s Strong Communities RFP. More than 200 proposals totalling over $50 million in annual funding was requested to support programs in Calgary. This was more than double the amount of dollars available.

The Strong Communities RFP review process was set up in a fair manner, open to applications from all non-profits in Calgary. United Way provided workshops on the RFP to agencies. Final decisions were made by a review panel of community volunteers with knowledge in the sector and United Way staff. Decisions were based on alignment to the focus area of the RFP and an ability of the agency to demonstrate community impact. “These are complex social issues that require support from a number of different players in a number of different areas,” says Miller.

Regardless of funding decisions, United Way remains committed to working with all agencies to provide support, collaboration, and partnerships. In all instances, transition funding and other resources are being provided to those agencies whose programs did not meet the qualifications of the RFP.

“These agencies are doing great work for our city and we want to continue to work with them,” says Miller. “With the number of applications and the dollars available we simply could not fund them all.”

Funding dollars for all agencies and programs are provided by United Way’s annual fundraising campaign.

“With the economic downturn we know it’s crucial that we continue working together. Making this year’s campaign more important than ever,” says Miller.

United Way of Calgary and Area drives social change in three focus areas: poverty, kids and communities. United Way’s Strong Communities area prioritizes: the early intervention and prevention of mental health issues, domestic violence, and social exclusion; healing from intergenerational trauma, and helping neighbourhoods thrive. Since 1940, United Way has supported agencies that assist vulnerable Calgarians. Today, United Way invests in programs and collaborations that tackle root causes of social issues, connecting Calgarians with opportunities that help them flourish.