United Way of Central Carolinas
leads two initiatives to increase equity and support new partners across the region. Following civic unrest in 2016, United Way and other community partners raised funds for Unite Charlotte to provide community grants to increase access to smaller grassroots organizations. An entire grant cycle was devoted to capacity building to increase opportunities for longer-term funding as one step in recognition of the time it takes to nurture and foster strong relationships. United Way also began working to transform and revitalize neighborhoods through United Neighborhoods while using real-time feedback from community members to inform initiatives, with the aspirational goal of being 100% resident-led. They have had conversations with their traditional partners about race and equity which strengthened their business ties. These two new strategies have created more access for local grassroots organizations, capacity building, and racial equity trainings to organizations.
United Way of Central Ohio
merged two programs in 2018, focused on supporting diverse nonprofit board leadership. Project Diversity Pride Leadership is a training program with an intense six-month curriculum to prepare racial/ethnic minorities and people in the LGBTQ+ community to be effective nonprofit board members. A survey conducted by United Way of Central Ohio in 2019 confirmed central Ohio nonprofit boards are not diverse in comparison to county demographics. As a result, a goal has been set for nonprofit boards to reflect county demographics by 2025. Research has confirmed the best decisions are made when everyone has a seat at the table and can contribute diverse perspectives. Project Diversity Pride Leadership has more than 700 graduates with over 65 percent having served or currently serving on nonprofit boards. Local companies are actively involved by identifying associates to participate and represent the organization through its corporate social responsibility. United Way of Central Ohio’s Neighborhood Leadership Center also invests in the capability of its residents to lead the change in their communities. ecosystem, resulting in increased revenue and relationships. Lastly, through a partnership with Leadership Triangle, a premier leadership development organization, leaders have the opportunities to build the personal leadership abilities all leaders need to be successful.
United Way of Metropolitan Dallas (UWMD)
is exploring how to support communities that are largely served by grassroots organizations. These organizations, with tremendous historical and community knowledge, lacked access to the philanthropic sector due to structural barriers such as audited financials, insurance, or basic marketing. By partnering with the University of North Texas at Dallas and the State Fair of Texas, UWMD convened a 6-month, 40-hour course that culminated in a Pitch Day for capacity-building grants. 90% of the organizations were minority-led, 90% of the organizations were women-led, and funding allowed agencies to invest in financial audits and marketing materials. This capacity-building work is making a difference in ensuring equitable opportunity and access to grassroots organizations, many of which are women and minority-owned and operated. The current and anticipated results are inclusive of putting organizations in a position where they can effectively apply for and secure funding from larger entities to expand their organizational scope and impact capacity. We learned that executive directors of small nonprofits generally don’t have the time or capacity to attend trainings, and this opportunity provided them with space and time to think strategically about their work. Through the utilization of resources such as collective partnership impact, organizational capacity building, and leveraging relationships, United Way Metropolitan Dallas was reminded of the importance that creating equitable spaces for grassroots organizations in ensuring an inclusive landscape within the nonprofit sector.
United Way of Greater St. Louis (UWGSL)
knows how crucial it is to have equitable practices and understanding in a system. The death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO became a symbol for the racial strife and inequality that exists throughout the United States. Missouri’s Governor asked a group of regional leaders — The Ferguson Commission — to study the situation and prove a path toward change. UWGSL has worked closely with The Ferguson Commission to help inform their own priorities and build their internal capacity. UWGSL recently received a grant to develop a ‘racial equity indicator dashboard’ in response to The Ferguson Commission's call for a racial equity benchmarking process. The Equity Indicators Dashboard will be regionally launched with key partners and will serve as a road map for "the work" toward an equitable region, highlighting continued racial disparities and facilitating accountability in alignment with the Ferguson Commission's regional calls to action. UWGSL will use this dashboard as a guide for their Impact agenda. Additionally, grant funding supported the execution of intentional learning opportunities for the UWGSL’s core management team as identified in their Path to Racial Equity Framework adopted in November 2017.
United Way Washtenaw County (UWWC)
is building the capacity of local nonprofits to develop their own DEI agenda and elevating community conversations about DEI. 30+ local nonprofits participated in a series of DEI workshops UWWC funded and co-developed on how to develop an agency specific equity lens in governance and operational practices with Nonprofit Enterprise at Work (NEW), a local management support organization. Funding the development and implementation by NEW of The Leaders of Color Fellowship an intensive 6-month cohort-based program that seeks to change the face of leadership in Washtenaw County by investing in local leaders of color from the nonprofit, public, private and municipal sectors.