United Way of Central Ohio 2010 Program Investment Process Overview and Timelines
Through its program investment process, United Way of Central Ohio provides funding to high quality human service programs which support the achievement of nine community results. The new program investment process will begin in fall 2008 and conclude in fall 2009 with investment decisions for the three-year period beginning January 2010. The program investment system marks an exciting new effort by UWCO to mobilize and focus resources around critical community results. The 2010 program investment process will include the following features: • • • • • • • • • •
UWCO will continue to invest in programs, rather than provide general operating support for agencies Community results, strategies and performance measures will serve as the framework for all program funding; Funding will be provided through a multi-year (three year) funding cycle; Investment decisions will be based on consistent investment criteria; Emphasis will be placed on leveraging UWCO investments to achieve greater impact; UWCO will not guarantee future funding or any specific amount of funding to currently funded programs; Collaboration among non-profit organizations and service systems will be encouraged; The process will reflect UWCO’s commitment to diversity and inclusion and its emphasis on reducing racial disparities; UWCO will continue to focus on accountability to donors and the broader community for funds invested in local programs; and The amount of program funding available to invest in each community result will be determined through decisions by the Community Impact Cabinet and Impact Councils.
Eligibility The process will be open to a broad group of not-for profit organizations which meet specific eligibility requirements, including the following: • • • • • • • • •
Supports UWCO’s mission, values and strategic direction; Offers programs that support and respond directly to UWCO community results, strategies and performance measures; Has a current, complete PowerPhilanthropy portrait established with the Columbus Foundation; Qualifies as an exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; Can verify three years of organizational history through written documentation of 501(c)(3) status for a minimum of three years; Has proof of current liability insurance coverage; Has current certification of compliance with all applicable licensing, accreditation and other applicable legal requirements; Has current certification of Patriot Act compliance and completion of verification form; and Completes the UWCO Statement of Non-Discrimination for each program for which funding is requested.
All proposals must focus on services or program activities that take place in Franklin County. As a condition of program funding, agencies must agree to comply with UWCO reporting and accountability requirements and other eligibility criteria specified in UWCO Agency Membership and Program Funding Requirements and Benefits.
Framework for Investment UWCO’s strategic framework, with four areas of community impact and nine specific community results, is the foundation for the program investment process. This framework was approved by the UWCO Board of Trustees in July 2007. UWCO volunteers and staff have recently developed a set of strategies, performance measures, and measurement tools for each community result. These components provide additional focus for the program investment process. All programs submitted for consideration in the new program investment process must align with a strategy and performance measure, must agree to use a specified measurement tool, and must demonstrate a contribution to the achievement of a community result. Through the implementation of the system of strategies, performance measures, and measurement tools, UWCO is continuing its strong commitment to outcomes measurement. All programs that are successful in receiving UWCO program investment will be expected to track and measure results according to UWCO standards and timelines.
Volunteer and Staff Roles UWCO volunteers and staff will have key and complementary roles in reviewing programs and developing program investment recommendations. Volunteers will: • Provide input and oversight in the development of investment criteria and priority considerations; • Review and approve all letter of intent recommendations; • Provide input during the review of full proposals; and • Review and approve the total package of funding recommendations. UWCO staff will: • Review letters of intent and full proposals; • Coordinate follow-up and conduct site visits during the review of full proposals; • Facilitate and incorporate volunteer input and guidance into the process; and • Coordinate the final set of recommendations for approval by the UWCO Board of Trustees.
Letter of Intent (LOI) and Full Proposal Components of the Process The program investment process will include two phases: letter of intent and full proposal. Letter of Intent Through the submission of brief letters of intent, agencies will share their strongest ideas about ways to assist in achieving specific community results. Forms and instructions for the LOI phase will be posted on the UWCO website in October 2008. The deadline for LOI submission is December 1, 2008. All LOIs will be reviewed using consistent investment criteria in the following categories: Contribution to a Community Result, Program Strength, Organizational Capacity, Collaboration/Integration, and Current UWCO-Funded Program. Scores from the review process will be used to evaluate proposals against UWCO expectations and as a base of comparison among LOIs. UWCO will not establish a minimum score or “cut-off point” in the review process, (e.g., proposals that receive a score of 50 or more will move to the full proposal phase). In the LOI review, UWCO will identify applicants that will move to the full proposal phase. These programs will have been determined to have maximum potential impact on the achievement of the nine community results. The LOI process is expected to be highly competitive and some quality programs may not be asked to move forward to the full proposal phase.
For each program that moves on to the full proposal phase, United Way will identify and communicate a specific range of funding which that program may request in the full proposal. Full Proposal The full proposals will include more comprehensive programmatic and financial information. Staff and volunteers will review the proposals using consistent investment criteria which build on the criteria used in the LOI process. Forms and instructions for the full proposal phase will be posted on the UWCO website in March 2009. The deadline for submitting full proposals is May 1, 2009. Site visits will be conducted for new programs and other programs, as needed. This phase will include opportunities to pose questions and conduct follow-up contacts with program representatives. Applicants will be notified about the results of the full proposal review in fall 2009. Program funding for successful applicants will be provided on a three-year cycle beginning January, 2010 and ending December, 2012. Continuation of funding after the first year of the cycle will be based on availability of resources annually and achievement of agreed-upon performance measures.
Note: UWCO may choose not to advance or fund any applicants with known fiscal, management, reporting, programmatic or other problems that make it likely they would not be able to deliver effective services. All decisions in the LOI and full proposal phases will be made at the discretion of UWCOâ€™s Impact Councils and Board of Trustees based on recommendations from the volunteer and staff review process. Qualification under the criteria and eligibility requirements for the 2010 program investment process does not entitle an organization to receive funding. UWCO reserves the right to reject any and all proposals, in part or in whole, to negotiate with applicant(s), and to award funding to those deemed most likely to contribute to the achievement of a community result. Information, Training and Technical Assistance UWCO is committed to assisting applicants by conducting general information sessions about the new program investment process, offering specific orientation sessions for the LOI and full proposal phases, creating call-in hours for applicants to talk with UWCO staff, hosting meetings for applicants interested in specific community results, posting responses for frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the website, and answering
individual questions via email. Specific information about each of these opportunities will be posted on the website. More detailed information about eligibility requirements, the Columbus Foundation PowerPhilanthropy portrait system, letter of intent and full proposal preparation and submission, and orientation and information resources, and timelines is available on the UWCO website.
Key Activities and Dates Date August –September, 2008 October 1, 2008 October 20 – 31, 2008 October 20 – November 21, 2008 November 3, 2008 November 17, 2008
November, 2008 December 1, 2008 December, 2008 – March, 2009 March 16, 2009 Mid-late March, 2009 March – April, 2009 May 1, 2009 May – August, 2009 September, 2009 October, 2009 January 1, 2010
Activity Information sessions about the new program investment process Letter of intent released Letter of intent orientation sessions – Required for all applicants Call-in hours to talk with UWCO staff about LOI development and submission Deadline to begin new Columbus Foundation PowerPhilanthropy portraits Deadline for the completion of all new Columbus Foundation PowerPhilanthropy portraits; deadline for updating all current portraits Meetings with UWCO staff for applicants focused on a specific community result – Participation is optional Letters of Intent due at UWCO UWCO volunteer and staff review of LOIs Agencies notified about LOI decisions Full proposal orientation sessions – Required for all applicants that move forward to this phase Possible site visits – will be scheduled by UWCO staff Full proposals due at UWCO UWCO volunteer and staff review of full proposals Funding recommendations approved by Impact Councils Funding recommendations approved by UWCO Board of Trustees Funding for three-year cycle begins