The United Way of Natrona County kicked off the 2021 Workplace Campaign on Monday, August 17th and while much has changed this year, the importance of the funds raised from United Way of Natrona County’s annual Workplace Campaign has not. The grants generated by the fundraising efforts of small and large businesses have far-reaching impacts on our local nonprofits, perhaps this year more than ever.
Here are four ways your fundraising efforts, through UWNC’s Workplace Campaign, impacts our partner agencies.
1. Matching Funds
Many of our organizations receive funds from entities that require a match from another source. A specific example is Federal Grants that require what they refer to as a “community match”. Our local Meals on Wheels, for example, receives these federal funds to use toward the purchase of food items but must receive a minimum of 10% of matching funds from their community to be eligible. UWNC is able to provide that much needed match through the grants generated from the Workplace Campaign.
Jamie Loveall with Natrona County Meals on Wheels says that the funds from UWNC help to secure their state match required through their federal grant. “The state matches some of our federal grants, but we must rely on local donors for the local match and UWNC fulfills that need. However, the United Way of Natrona County offers more than just money to us. They also act as an extension of our team. The partner agencies involved with UWNC allow us to find other resources for the people that use our services.”
2. Training & Education
As with any profession, training and education are important, though often expensive. UWNC grants are often used to cover professional development expenses for nonprofit staff. Living in a rural state like Wyoming means nonprofit professionals often have to travel outside of the state to receive high-level training and education to better equip them to execute their mission and/or provide their services. An organizations ability to train and educate staff is also proven to result in lower turnover for organizations which leads to more skilled and consistent care for clients and in many cases creates opportunity for higher wages and growth opportunity for staff. In 2020, iReach 2, with the help of a UWNC grant, implemented a DSP credentialing program that allows for 25% of their staff each year to complete a 15 badge certification over a number of core competency areas in exchange for the potential to increase hourly wages with completion.
If you’re unfamiliar with the nonprofit sector, you may not know that grants that cover operations are very limited. Many funding sources require specific programs or areas of service in order to apply for a grant. UWNC has no such requirements. Nonprofits are able to apply for and utilize our grant funds to cover important operational expenses that are imperative for nonprofits to remain functional, such as payroll, rent, office supplies and equipment, etc. Several of our partners count on the grant to cover such expenses so they can focus on doing what they do best. CASA’s grant supports their program manager’s position, Casper Family Connections uses theirs to employ a part time visitation specialist. In the cases of Community Action Partnership, funding assists with their mission through marketing and community education, while agencies like Reach 4A Star rely on grants like ours to cover utilities and facility needs.
4. Gap Filling
Like the theme of this year’s campaign, our grants help fill the gap for many nonprofits that federal dollars or donor funds are not able to fill. Due to COVID-19, nonprofits are likely to experience more financial gaps than ever before. This is one of the biggest advantages of the UWNC grants; they cover whatever a nonprofit might need that they aren’t able to acquire funding for elsewhere. To illustrate, our partner agency, Central Wyoming Senior Services provides meals and little to no cost daily to our senior community. Federal dollars provide approximately $3 per meal, the actual cost of food for that meal is $5 and when you add in the overhead such as prepping and serving that meal the cost can exceed $10. There is a $7 gap between federal funding and actual cost and United Way is helping direct funds raised by our generous donors to fill those gaps.
United Way’s Workplace Campaign is an annual challenge to local businesses to organize workplace fundraising to help address Natrona County’s greatest needs. This year’s Workplace Campaign theme is “filling the gap,” which highlights the gaps in financial support received by local nonprofits and how UWNC grants serve to fill them. Last year’s campaign in Natrona County generated $550,000, which was granted to 31 local organizations.
Learn more about initiating a Workplace Campaign and consider becoming a Campaign Coordinator. Whether you’re a large corporation or a small business, we are here to support your business’s way of fundraising and answer any questions you have! Contact us today!