Last week, United Way of Greater Chattanooga (UWGC) finalized their most innovative round of Community Investments to date. The purpose of UWGC’s Community Investments is to drive transformational change in our community by directing resources towards data-driven efforts that deliver results as measured by education, stability, and health & well-being.
This is the first year of the new Community Investment funding model. This year’s funding model is built on the same principles and values as years prior but is now open to any 501(c)(3) organization in the region.
Three separate streams of funding comprise the Community Investment funding model. The Impact Fund invests in local nonprofits through competitive grants for collaborative and transformational work to find solutions to systemic issues in our community. The Catalyst Fund is broken down into two streams: Innovation and Capacity Building. For Innovation, the goal is to accelerate impact by investing in innovative ideas. The goal for Capacity Building is to accelerate impact by investing in nonprofit capacity.
There were 102 organizations who applied for funding, with 140 total applications received. Together, these applications requested $12.2 million dollars in funding. In the six counties that requested funding, 117 requests were from Hamilton County, eight from Marion and Sequatchie counties, and 15 from Catoosa, Dade, and Walker counties. Of those, $4.4 million dollars are to be invested in 83 applications across 62 different agencies, 37 of which are considered newly invested partners.
A diverse group of nearly 100 community volunteers reviewed applications and determined which organizations and programs received funding. Investment decisions were determined using a few different points of criteria, including average review score, dollars requested versus recommended by volunteer reviewers, organization’s commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) and community need, among others.