United Way of Escambia County
RSVP Grant Executive Summary:
The mission of the United Way of Escambia County is to create opportunities for a better life by uniting and mobilizing resources. Started in 1924 as a community chest that funded all the operating expenses for local non-profits, we have evolved into an organization that is intent on mobilizing the resources and individuals in an effort to positively improve lives and the fabric of our community. We are the linkage between individuals and the community they need and love.
Seven local citizens started the Community Chest of Escambia County in 1924. Except for a brief closure during Depression years, this community service has operated uninterrupted into the 21st century, becoming the United Fund in 1957, and United Way of Escambia County in 1972. We have a long history and proven track record of sustainable and meaningful support of our community.
Over the decades, the local campaign has partnered with other charitable entities. In 1943, still known as the Community Chest, the United Way partnered with the War Fund Drive, creating the first link between the local organization and federal employees. Today, a structured campaign works cooperatively with corporate workplaces, school district employees and the Combined Federal Campaign locally.
The United Way of Escambia County continues to expand its service to our community. We currently have a 32 person volunteer board of directors, and an 18 person staff that run an annual giving campaign, a resource and referral call center known as 2-1-1, a volunteer program, an annual voluntary income tax assistance program, annual school supply and holiday supply drives and a very trusted funds allocation process. Once thought of as strictly a fundraising organization, the United Way of Escambia County is now a trusted leader of change that mobilizes community resources to improve lives. We provide highly evaluated and measured impacts and investments of funds and volunteer hours are based on positive outcomes in three core impact areas of health, financial stability and education.
In 2011, we revised our vision to revitalize our focus on engagement. We committed to increasing volunteer engagement in our community by 5% a year in an effort to provide purposeful service opportunities to all Escambia County citizens. We are strongly committed to enabling citizens to create a better community by engaging in volunteer service with area non-profits, schools, and volunteer programs meant to challenge our citizens to create sustainable solutions to our most pressing community needs. The RSVP program enables us to purposefully reach out to area seniors to match them with opportunities to inspire them to passionate service that improves their quality of life.
United Way brings people and organizations together to improve our community by strategically investing time and resources in quality programs. We build strong partnerships, advocate for better policies, engage people in volunteer and non-profit opportunities and leverage resources. We measure success not by dollars raised, but by lives improved and changed. Too often people think of United Way as the ultimate middleman. They see us only as an organization that fundraises in the Fall, but in truth, we work at improving lives by mobilizing the caring power of the community 365 days a year. Our expertise in matching resources with focused impacts performed allows us to make the most positive difference in meeting needs in education, financial stability and health. We take the guesswork out of philanthropy and donors and volunteers who invest in United Way can be confident they will see a positive definable return. Ultimately, we want donors to know that their time, talents and gifts are the most powerful leveraged contribution they could ever make.
In 2012, we leveraged the generous contributions of 1,799 volunteers who donated close to 30,000 hours to make our community stronger.