How the Community Impact Fund is Changing Lives

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At the heart of the United Way of Northern Arizona’s annual campaign is the Community Impact Fund, a volunteer-driven process that invests your donations into the proven programs, partnerships and initiatives that are changing lives in Coconino, Navajo and Apache counties every day.

Volunteers with the committee make a year-long commitment to investigate, evaluate and report on programs from more than 50 area organizations, according to Stacey Brechler-Knaggs, who co-chairs the committee.

The group breaks into teams and reviews applications for funding from organizations. Partner agencies that apply demonstrate the need in the community for the program and how they would address it. Volunteers look at the organization’s program plan, capacity and financial information.

The initial review of written applications is followed by a site visit.

“It’s a good process because at the site visits, organization’s can go a little deeper or clarify their application,” Brechler-Knaggs said. “It’s hands-on and we can actually see a class or a service or an outcome.”

Throughout the process, the committee ensures that the program aligns with the three interconnected overarching goals of UWNA: educational success, financial self-sufficiency and thriving communities.

But the recommendations are just the first step of the process. Proposed community investments are reviewed by the UWNA Finance Committee, with the final funding decisions made by the full Board of Directors.

The Community Impact committee is currently looking for volunteers. If you are interested, you can complete our volunteer form or call 928.773.9813.