Your Opinion Matters

September 27, 2002

Dear United Way Stakeholder:

As the new chief professional officer of the United Way of the Greater Dayton Area, my first priority has been to gain input from all segments of our community – including business, labor, and government leaders, nonprofit agencies, and United Way volunteers, donors, and staff.   As I talk to you and others in the community, my goal is to identify the organization’s strengths and areas needing improvement, and to gather suggestions as to what the United Way should do in the future.   Everyone has been very welcoming and willing to share candid thoughts and ideas.   As I continue to meet with people, the feedback is being assessed for short-term action and long-term strategy.

The vast comments I’ve heard have been very positive, recognizing the long history and past legacy of good that this United Way has accomplished.   Together we can build and improve upon these strengths.   And we want to expand on our partnerships and relationships to ensure that a diversity of talents, perspectives, and ideas are increasingly a part of the way our community works together to address community issues.   Having reached the milestone of 60 days on the job, I want to make the first of what will become ongoing periodic reports to you about your local United Way.

The following actions were part of a preliminary report to the United Way Board of Directors based on my initial conversations with community stakeholders such as you.   The Board approved these changes to respond to the input and strengthen United Way’s position as a human services leader.

Growth in Allocable Dollars – to support the network of agencies and services

Any increase in allocable funds from this year’s campaign will be spread among all United Way Outcome Partners, our member organizations.   My hope is to create a “win-win” situation to stimulate giving through the United Way Community Solutions Fund.   When you pledge your support, please give through the Community Solutions Fund to maintain the vital network of health and human services that improves lives and strengthens our community.

2002 Campaign Goal – reaching for $200,000 more than last year

The 2002 Campaign goal is $14.6 million, a $200,000 increase over the same base in 2001.   Last year United Way of the Greater Dayton Area raised a combined total of $17.7 million in the community-wide campaign.   That included approximately $250,000 in donations to the September 11 th Fund as well as more than $3 million raised by the area’s federal employees through the Combined Federal Campaign and by a few corporate partners that have their own separate fund raising effort and fund distribution process.   United Way is continuing to partner with these organizations and celebrate their efforts.   To help clarify what happens in the fall fundraising efforts and what happens with the dollars available to United Way, h owever, we set the goal and will measure our success based on the dollars United Way can influence – when people give through the United Way.   Attaining $14.6 million will be a gain of $200,000 for United Way’s network of services.

Boy Scouts, Miami Valley Council – long-term partnership will continue

Earlier this month United Way and the Boy Scouts jointly announced an agreement to fund the In-school Learning for Life program in 2003.   As a result of a communication breakdown earlier this year, the Miami Valley Boy Scouts initially were not on the recommended fund distribution list.   Recognizing our mutual commitment to serving our area’s youth, we are moving forward.   I feel it is in the best interests of both organizations to focus our energies on serving youth, not technicalities, and to work together for a successful United Way Campaign.

Allocations Task Force – ensure good stewardship that is fair, simple and accountable

An Allocations Task Force will be formed in September with the work to be completed within six months so that the recommendations can impact the fund distribution decisions for 2004.   The purpose will be to identify allocations principles, evaluate our current process using those principles, and consider changes needed to strengthen the process using models identified in other communities and reflecting what our community wants.   It will also include the work planned to examine our investment strategy with an assessment of the community outcomes and impacts addressed by the United Way funded programs.   A broad based group of volunteers will be recruited and the process will be inclusive – seeking input from current and past United Way volunteers, Outcome Partners and System Partners, community stakeholders, and United Way constituents.

Other actions to date include temporary staff realignment to increase resources to the annual campaign and forming committees to expand the United Way Board and revise its bylaws.   A long- term strategic position with resource realignments will be drafted by October with approval planned for November or December.   My second report to you will correspond with this action.   In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact me at 225-3014 or .   I look forward to continuing to communicate our progress as we work together now and in the future.

This is your United Way .   We need your involvement and commitment now more than ever to make it stronger … and to maintain the vital network of services that help our neighbors in need while improving the community for all of us.   Together, we can do so much more than we can alone.   Your willingness to be a champion for our community and your working in a United Way will make a difference.


Marc R. Levy


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