Focus on donor, not agency

Apr 09, 2019

Staff Reports -

The United Way of Miami County Board of Directors approved a new strategic framework to guide the organization’s work as it begins its second century of improving lives in Miami County. The framework will enable United Way of Miami County to align the significant needs of its citizens living in Miami County with the donors’ goals, interests, and passions in a modern way.

United Way’s strategic framework is tied to their new journey linking today’s employers with tomorrow’s workforce ‘Inspire Miami County’. Our goal is aligning our investments with four Community Impact pillars: Education, Income, Basic Needs, and Mental Health. We are focusing on the top community needs to define focus areas under each pillar. Our new journey ‘Inspire Miami County’ will fund sustained programs, strategic community impact/initiatives, and special responses (basic needs).

For more than 62 years, United Way of Miami County has been fighting for the education, financial stability, health and basic needs of everyone in the Miami County community, with a special focus on people and families who are living in or are one step away from poverty. Historically, the organization’s fundraising and programs have been organized around these four important, yet distinct pillars.

This decision to shift to funding Community Impact and not funding Isolated Impact (agency allocations) didn’t come lightly. The Board and staff knew that to realize this vision they needed to turn outward to understand the pulse of the community – what concerned business leaders, other charitable organizations, current donors, and potential donors (in and outside of the workplace). This would require Indiana United Ways (IUW) to explore the relevance and effectiveness of our own organization. While IUW was conducting their initial investigation, the Board and staff analyzed the data collected to set community goals and metrics to track progress on addressing the priorities around our new pillars.

“As we travel down this new journey, we are confident that by connecting the significant needs of our community to the goals, interests, and passions of Miami County donors, we can tackle the touchiest issues that face our citizens,” stated Director Wallick. “It’s not United Way’s job to just fund agencies but to improve the quality of life in the community,” Wallick said. “None of them (partner agencies) depend entirely on United Way for support. The new shift, ‘Inspire Miami County’ will provide a variety of funding/program resources and engagement opportunities to the donor,” said Executive Director Debi Wallick.

Community Solutions

United Way of Miami County fights for community solutions improving underlying community conditions and specific place-based initiatives to assist in areas of concentrated disadvantaged

Impact Initiatives

Align set of programs and services to increase efficiency and effectiveness

Program Solutions

Direct services for individuals and families with measurable results

The following programs/agencies were closely evaluated by the Community Investment Committee and also met the responses from the needs assessment from last year’s pledge forms and approved by the United Way Board of Trustees.

“Allocations are based upon the application and selection process. Agencies’ preliminary share of the campaign will be a share of total funding basis percentage of the funds that become available for allocation,” stated Community Investment Co-Chair, Diane Skillen. Each agency’s final share will be influenced by the cooperation with and assistance to the United Way’s efforts over the course of the year and during the campaign.

Agencies will be expected to attend periodic meetings with the United Way Executive Director. They will be asked to participate in the campaign and other special events to help promote and ensure the success of this year’s campaign. The success of the campaign directly correlates with the United Way’s ability to provide volunteer opportunities to maximize our support with each agency. “And, as mentioned above, it will also be influenced by their cooperation and assistance throughout the campaign,” stated Diane Skillen.

Basic Needs(Partner Agencies)

American Red Cross

Family Service Association, Domestic Violence

Mental Health America

The Salvation Army

YMCA - Health

YMCA Transit


Health Infestation – bed bugs

Imagination Library

Weekend Meal Deal (buddy bags)

PROGRAMS (Donor Volunteer Engagement)

4-H Fair

Camps for Boy Scouts & Girl Scouts

Community of Character Scholarship

Day of Caring Event

Early education

Fight against opioids

Financial stability

Food Mobile Drives

Get Connected Volunteers


Imagination Library

Inter-Agency Fair

Junior AchievementMental Health

My Free Taxes

Paths to QUALITY

Preschool Scholarships

Scholastic K-6

Senior Day Event

Stamp Out Hunger Day

United Way Board of Directors

United Way Campaign Cabinet

United Way Kick Off Event

VITA Taxes

Weekend Meal Deal (buddy bags)

"United Way officials are looking forward to maintaining a good relationship with all of the agencies/initiatives in helping them provide the best possible programs and services to the community,” said Executive Director Wallick. “These programs and services extend to all ages and income levels, addressing a wide variety of needs in youth development, family wellness, and crisis and emergency services.”

“As the needs of Miami County continue to grow, our goal is to reach out and help as many people as we can. Everyone’s continued support has a direct effect on the success of our campaign and the number of Miami County residents we can help,” according to Wallick.

The United Way of Miami County is also pleased to announce their goal for the 2019 campaign is $190,000.  The United Way is looking for volunteers to help with this year’s campaign. The United Way of Miami County is a volunteer-driven organization that serves over 30,000 Miami County residents each year through its own programs and services and those of its partner agencies. The United Way’s mission is to provide direction and accountability to promote education, health, and financial independence. If you are interested, please contact this year’s campaign chair Amy Million or the United Way office.

To give, to advocate, or to volunteer with the United Way, please visit the United Way of Miami County website at or call (765) 473-4240.