United Way of Central Maryland
GIVE. ADVOCATE. VOLUNTEER.
Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do. -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Table of Contents
I. Background: Organization at a New Crossroads
II. Phase 1: Identifying Themes and Issues A. Community Impact and Organizational Image
B. United Wayâ€™s Role in Central Maryland C. Long-Standing Relationships and New Partners D. Revenue and Resources In and Beyond the Workplace
III. Phase 2: Choosing a Path
IV. Phase 3: The Plan
V. 2010 UWCM Strategic Planning Committee
A. B. C. D.
Mission and Value Proposition Goals Strategic Imperatives What Will Be Different
The talent of success is nothing more than doing what you can do, well. - Henry W. Longfellow
INTRODUCTION No region is immune to the Great Recession. Despite the efforts of many, poverty is on the rise in our country. Even in Maryland, one of America’s wealthiest states, declining foundation funding and reductions in government spending have undermined the ability of our health and human service community to provide basic services to the poor, the unemployed, and those with special needs. The harsh reality of diminished funding in the face of dramatically rising demand for services (as evidenced by a 50% increase in 2-1-1 calls for housing, food and healthcare between April 2009 and April 2010) paints a sobering picture. Countless interviews with agencies and other stakeholders brought us to one unequivocal conclusion: if the basic needs safety net is to be preserved, United Way of Central Maryland must act now. Our two imperatives for the next three years are: Kathleen Sabatier
Chair, Board of Directors
Focus our investments and energies to alleviate suffering by addressing the basic needs of families, children and individuals in central Maryland. Mobilize more resources for the nonprofit community by serving as a highly efficient, effective and trusted fundraiser. Meeting such a challenge exceeds the capacity or ability of any single organization. Addressing problems of such scale and complexity will require new levels of collaboration—and a degree of humility. Sometimes we will lead, but often we will take a supporting role. In every case we must engage donors, governments and nonprofit agencies to generate the thinking and implement the actions that deliver on these imperatives.
Chair, Strategic Planning
We recognize that each region and its leadership must craft responses that align directly with their communities’ needs. This requires greater flexibility on our part, which we must demonstrate by granting greater authority to our Partnership Boards. Our collective commitment is to combine available talent and knowledge with factual data, with the common goal of stabilizing and then re-building human capacity. To find the best course of action and provide the best resources to succeed, we must make our approach to the donor and service community more inclusive. Despite the economy and the diminished number of corporate headquarters in our region, we will ask every financially capable company and individual in central Maryland to help preserve the safety net. Our success as a fundraiser will depend on campaigns that are more flexible and more transparent to donors at every level—that provide a clearer context for making informed decisions about every act of charity. Donors and funders must see a direct connection between their commitment and a demonstrated outcome.
President and CEO
We are first and foremost accountable as a steward of community resources. In that capacity we must work as a more efficient and more transparent clearinghouse— responsible to donors for delivering meaningful impact for every dollar and service they provide, and responsible to the agency community for helping them create intelligent funding policies that place resources in the best hands.
Chair, Board of Directors
Chair, Strategic Planning
President and CEO
I. BACKGROUND: ORGANIZATION AT A NEW CROSSROADS
In 2003 our Board adopted a Strategic Guide intended to transform UWCM’s operating model by moving from a focus on fundraising toward community impact. The basic idea was that we would measure success not just in terms of dollars raised, but as a direct reflection of the sustainable difference we made in people’s lives. As part of this process we convened representatives from six jurisdictions to shape a “community agenda” for which each partner could accept some responsibility. From this broader agenda, our Board identified three basic building blocks of support: Education—school readiness and youth achieving their potential; Income—basic needs such as safe, stable, affordable housing and economic self-sufficiency; and Health—family safety—keeping people free from abuse in their homes and relationships. Funding under this new model, begun in 2007, met with mixed reactions. While some donors welcomed our new focus, others were unhappy because their favorite agencies were not funded. It quickly became obvious that key structural aspects—from transactional fundraising and an outdated funding process for contractual relationships—were not aligned with the new operating model. While our intention was to be inclusive in setting a community agenda, it was naïve to think we could coordinate critical stakeholders’ thinking, timing, and resource allocation on such a large scale. Progress stagnated and success was limited. To make the situation worse, soon after we implemented the new model the country spiraled into the second-worst economic downturn in nearly a century, and we were forced to re-focus on basic and emergency needs. We found ourselves at a new crossroads with different opportunities and challenges, but the OPPORTUNITIES sparked optimism: A. Strong Philanthropic Market — Individuals in central Maryland are generous. We continue to attract many leadership and major givers, although 50% designate their gifts. B. Expertise and Tools for Data-Driven Decisions — Thanks to their proven expertise, our staff routinely engages with organizations and agencies at local and state levels. This work builds credibility for UWCM, generates interest in what we do, and proves our value as a philanthropic partner. Our new tools—the Community Issues Management System (CIM), 2-1-1 reports, and the Statewide Homelessness Management Information System (HMIS)— constitute a solid base of factual information about a range of issues. These tools enable us to deepen our base of knowledge and therefore improve our capacity to make decisions based on demonstrated need. By leveraging such knowledge UWCM can: •
identify areas of greatest need;
recognize service short-falls across the region;
assemble and institute the most effective partners and programs;
be more innovative in closing the partnership gaps among local leaders;
gather real-time evidence about results and progress; and
become a trusted “voice and advocate” for people in need.
However, our optimism was overshadowed by some considerable CHALLENGES that continued to frustrate progress: A. Alignment and Execution — The execution problems we experienced were symptomatic of underlying issues. UWCM lost credibility because our business plan did not align fully with the community-impact model. B. Decreasing Revenue — Revenue has been decreasing over the last eight years, driven by a declining donor base and lack of diversification. At the same time, average gift amounts have gone up, and we have had success outside the workplace—notably with the Tocqueville Society and the Women’s Leadership Council. The net effect has been stabilization of revenue in the short term despite continued diminution of our donor base. C. Increasing Expenses — While total revenue was decreasing, expenses rose. Our overhead rate of 20.4% in FY2010 was above the median of United Way system peers. D. Donor Engagement and Interests — Transaction-based workplace campaigns obscured meaningful connections with donors. Their expectations of realized value varied locally, as well as regionally, ranging from ending homelessness in the long term to providing shelter more immediately. 6
E. Community Agenda: Too Complex — We needed to be clearer about defining initiatives (and aligning those with resources), and then presenting initiatives in simple packages to which donors and volunteers could commit. Absent such clarity, the community agenda was just too complex: it was difficult for donors to understand our intent and perceive the results of their commitment. F. Fundraising and Funding the “Old Way” — We continued to invest heavily in the old workplace model and, consequently, we remained high-cost in a low-cost era. More effort was needed in grant development. Our application of an only slightly revised version of the old allocation model limited understanding of community impact. Our strategy was considered a failure because only allocable dollars were counted, overlooking the broader impact of our collaborations, policy advocacy, grants, volunteerism and designations. And contractual funding relationships hindered flexibility and clouded accountability, invoking the need for a different type of relationship. G. Traditional Funding Sources Diminished — On top of our own declining revenue, the mix of government, public and private funding that local service agencies had come to rely on also diminished markedly, further exacerbating an already difficult situation. H. Governance and Volunteer Engagement — Our operating structure was aligned with our old way of working, with heavy representation by contractual partners and limited representation by opinion leaders. At the hands-on level, companies wanted support with makeovers and volunteer events, yet many activities did not align with our work. As we gradually emerge from the recession, central Maryland faces growing and inter-related human service challenges. Our role now is to serve as a community partner: a place where businesses, nonprofits, governments and other institutions can leverage collective assets—and where we provide information and fill in the gaps. This reality has re-defined our strategy. Knowing who we are and understanding how we can best create and deliver value are essential.
II. PHASE 1: IDENTIFYING THEMES AND ISSUES
To develop ideas about how to move from where we are to where we should be, the Board of Directors and Strategic Planning Committee worked through a comprehensive reorientation. The subjects of this process were: our current focus vis-à-vis our priorities; our past performance and the public perception of that record; what we have actually accomplished and the cost of our operations. They studied local and national trends, reviewed best practices, and compared UWCM’s performance to that of other United Way organizations. Finally, in an effort to surface key themes and priorities, they met with corporate stakeholders and other constituents, including human-services agencies, foundations, and community leaders.
A. Community Impact and Image
Through funding agencies, 2-1-1, individual initiatives and designations, and staff work, UWCM has pervasive impact in our area. This impact is invisible to the public, however, because we highlight only the small allocable pool of $2.6 million—in contrast to the more than $30 million we distribute annually along with our public policy and volunteer efforts. We must communicate the full effect of what we do— both on our own and in partnership with others.
This communication of the resources we marshal and their tangible results must be made clearly and compellingly. We have to tell the whole story. Donors expect openness and transparency, yet few of UWCM’s donors recalled even hearing how their gifts were used.
Donors and corporate gatekeepers expect a meritocracy in how funding decisions are made. We must rebuild trust and eliminate any perceptions of arrogance and bureaucracy.
Gathering, analyzing and maintaining data is costly, but this knowledge infrastructure is critical for effectively engaging donors and developing trust in our relationships.
Empowering volunteers and staff to be UWCM’s best spokespeople is fundamental to our success.
We must reduce overhead; competition in the philanthropy universe is fierce, and there are few opportunities to raise this issue with donors through Websites such as GuideStar and Charity Navigator.
THE JURISDICTIONS WE SERVE: • Anne Arundel County • Baltimore City • Baltimore County • Carroll County • Harford County • Howard County
B. United Way’s Role in Central Maryland •
We should focus on our strengths. We are valued for our unique, traditional role as a fundraiser and a primary source of flexible funding, but we must be more responsive to local and regional priorities.
Providing a safety net of health and human services to address basic needs is one of our greatest values. Those people least able to help themselves need our attention most. We should address urgent needs through targeted initiatives and collaborations, then through volunteerism and advocacy.
Initiatives and service innovations such as The Journey Home and 2-1-1 are important in helping change people’s lives, but we must manage such efforts carefully and remain focused on our larger mission.
Through our data tools, access, and reach, we should enhance our capacity (and become better appreciated) as an expert information resource and platform for regional cooperation.
In terms of UWCM’s “brand,” we should be publicly acknowledged as being the best at performing one specific task—even if that means we sometimes play a supporting, collaborative role.
C. Long-Standing Relationships and New Partners •
The seven contractual affiliates provide excellent services, yet we must align all of our relationships—including these valued partners—with the immediate realities of serving the community.
Organized labor likewise continues to be a valued partner in serving community needs—both inside and outside of the workplace, and with this important constituent too we must demonstrate that our strategic priorities are in alignment.
We must collaborate with governments, foundations, volunteer centers and other institutions so that each entity’s mission is accomplished better than it would have been if they had acted alone.
D. Resources and Revenue In and Beyond The Workplace •
Fundraising structures must adapt to the donor base and to diverse workplace environments—a heterogeneous sea of small- and mid-sized companies with strategic philanthropic interests. Given that 81% of our funding comes from large accounts, we believe there is potential for growth among such relatively smaller organizations.
In addition to diversifying our base of giving, we must re-seed our endowment. 9
III. PHASE 2: CHOOSING A PATH
Our Board of Directors distilled the findings from Phase 1 and considered two strategic but divergent paths: a. Follow United Way Worldwide’s national direction—intensifying our focus on and investment in the current community impact model, with emphasis on delivering systemic change and long-term outcomes in the areas of Education, Income (basic needs) and Health. . . . OR b. Mobilize, engage and fundraise—modernizing how we educate and inspire more people to give their money, time and voice to support causes they care most about, not just the ones we care most about. Knowing we were not starting from a position of strength in terms of our funding, our costs, and the public’s understanding of what we do, and that our priority through 2013 must be to stabilize our organization and position for growth, the Board agreed that path B was strategically more appropriate and offered greater probability of success. However, recognizing that being a trusted fundraiser and focusing on the most urgent needs of the community are not mutually exclusive, the Board called for an integrated model. In determining the most viable strategy—as well as the one that best serves our ideals—we were guided by three core considerations: •
We cannot exist in the short term without offering compelling value for undesignated gifts and grants, nor can we exist in the long term unless we engage significantly more donors.
We remain steadfastly a community-impact organization, but one that measures impact more broadly in dollars, volunteerism and advocacy—and engages local experts in weighing jurisdictional needs against existing assets so that we may leverage donor dollars by filling gaps. We must communicate the full spectrum of our accomplishments, including what we raise for others—not just the comparatively small amounts of funding we are allowed to direct.
We must have a compelling proposition for the 2010 annual campaign and beyond. In other words, what we “sell” in 2010 is the first stage of execution for the three-year plan.
Components of Our Integrated Model A. Undesignated Giving: Define a simpler and more compelling value proposition for undesignated gifts and grants to make them an attractive alternative to a designated gift. We need to leverage our strengths/expertise to demonstrate tangible and immediate human impact—with full accountability. B. Donor Engagement: Create a unique donor experience through an individual engagement platform that welcomes people both within and outside the workplace, accommodating the desire to give across every scenario. We recognize that donors have a choice; we will provide context and information about causes of interest to them, making it easy to give, advocate and volunteer locally and regionally. Supporting factors that shaped the strategic plan included our need to:
quickly re-build trust and confidence so that we are positioned to grow donors and funding;
increase the transparency of what we do so donors see a direct connection between their commitment and tangible results;
leverage our knowledge base, technologies and relationships to spur philanthropy;
significantly drive down overhead and the cost of internal programs;
support the evolution of our affiliate relationships; and
focus on health and human services and make our impact visible across central Maryland.
IV. PHASE 3: THE PLAN PHASE 3: THE PLAN UWCM Mission and Value Proposition Our analysis and planning confirmed our belief that while our mission was solid, its expression needed simplifying. Our revised mission statement reflects this, as well as our desire to make our work more inclusive:
“Mobilize the community to improve people’s lives” To more effectively engage donors (and address the best use of undesignated gifts) we structured our declaration of value around four inter-related axioms:
Value Proposition We understand the community’s needs
…based on rich data and information—our own and from our partners
We help those who are most vulnerable
…”basic needs” are where the data lead us; this is our traditional strength
We understand what works
…programmatically, through best practices, and individually, through the guidance of volunteers who are issues experts
We help donors and the community make informed choices
What Can We Do Best To Execute Our Mission? To answer this question we reviewed our primary customers and our own strengths and weaknesses—as well as the expectations of donors, funders, and the agencies with which we work. This led to two major goals.
Goal 1: Address a Continuum of Basic Needs with Undesignated Gifts and Grants Why “Basic Needs” as the Focus Here? A. It’s What the Data Tell Us: Focus on Basic Needs (Crisis and Chronic) - Data from 2-1-1 calls, CIM reports for central Maryland’s six jurisdictions, and reports from funded agencies indicate a continuing need to stabilize families, children and individuals. Though we are emerging from the recession, its effects are far from over. Analysis of donor designations also reflects a penchant for providing the basics during a crisis and keeping people out of crisis. Review of recent successes in securing local, state and federal grants likewise emphasizes basic needs. B. We Are Associated With Helping Those Who Are Suffering and Most in Need - A sampling of grants, programs, activities and initiatives in recent years reinforces the fact that UWCM serves as a “community safety net”: •
Emergency Response Fund
The Journey Home (Baltimore City’s 10-year plan to end homelessness)
Statewide Homeless Management Information System (HMIS)
2-1-1 Maryland & H1N1 Hotline
Fiscal Manager - $9.5M Homeless Management Rapid Re-Housing Grant
Baltimore Cash Campaign/Earned Income Tax Credit
Given our data, collaborations, and regional perspective, we are positioned to identify and fill basic needs as resources permit. If we heed the data, acknowledge grant directives, and follow donor-giving patterns, we should focus undesignated dollars on basic needs; but we must do so in a simpler, more equitable way that engages a broader range of donors, partners and agencies. We must be flexible and nimble, adjusting funding as needs change. Our aim is to keep abreast of trends and emerging needs by mining the wealth of data from CIM, 2-1-1, HMIS and our partners; then we must leverage our relationships, such as those with our Partnership Boards, to become the trusted clearinghouse that informs, collaborates, and recommends solutions that work.
Goal 2: Serve as an Effective, Efficient and Trusted Fundraiser Are We Still Valued as an Intermediary? Key customers and stakeholders view fundraising as an intrinsic component of “community impact”; they say this is part of what we do best and what they expect from us. According to a 2007 study by the Sage Policy Group, we saved agencies an average of 18.9% in overhead costs they would have incurred if they had raised the funds on their own. Donors see us as a source of information about issues and services of which they otherwise might have been ignorant. And despite competition, UWCM has unique access, scale and reach that allow us to engage and inspire donors better than any other single organization—inside and outside the workplace, through government and affinity partnerships, and via small, as well as large gifts.
Strategic Imperatives Supporting these two major goals (and often relating to both of them) are six strategic imperatives:
Strategy A: Define Basic Needs & Funding Framework
DEFINE BASIC NEEDS & FUNDING FRAMEWORK
When they assess our strengths vis-à-vis the region’s needs, stakeholders tend to agree that what we do best is address “basic needs.” Our credibility here is built on UWCM’s track record for identifying and analyzing such needs, and then actively filling in the gaps. For example, between April 2009 and April 2010, 2-1-1 calls for housing, food, and healthcare showed a 50% increase, from 3,506 to 5,266. Working with the Strategic Planning Committee and our key stakeholders, we created the following hierarchy to illustrate how we will organize our work and invest undesignated dollars through 2013. We believe this approach is simpler and more flexible, and will result in better accountability—especially in terms of how decisions will be made and by whom.
Basic Needs Service Hierarchy
Note: The three funding approaches are illustrative and may be employed across program & service levels as warranted.
Programs & Services As the hierarchy above depicts, UWCM will pursue a “Continuum of Basic Needs” that consists of three main levels: Level 1: Sustenance — Overcome the Crisis at Hand Poverty should not become a death sentence. The first level includes the basic necessities of life: shelter (emergency, transitional and, in some cases, permanent), food, and access to healthcare. Examples of services to address these needs may include purchase of shelter “bednights” (the cost to shelter one person for one night), eviction prevention, utility assistance, prescription assistance, and food programs. One such activity might be as simple as funding transportation to services. Another example could be providing funds so people can store medications (if someone is diabetic and homeless, something as basic as refrigerating insulin is a problem). Likewise, if someone cannot see well but can’t afford eyeglasses, filling out a Medicaid application is an almost overwhelming challenge. Level 2: Stabilization — Prevent the Next Crisis The second level of the Continuum comprises services that stabilize people and keep them out of crisis. These services address a host of individual needs. In contrast to Sustenance services, it is unlikely that everyone will need every available service, but individuals will benefit from a menu of options based on their situations. Support in areas that improve a family’s income—whether directly, through employment, or indirectly—is often what makes the difference between an eviction and homelessness and may determine a family’s ability to become and remain stable. Services may include case management (linkage to benefits and other resources); childcare vouchers and after-school programs so that working-poor parents may earn a living; employment assistance so individuals may secure jobs to bring home income, etc. Without such critical services, many people are likely to remain in or revert to a crisis situation. Level 3: Self-Sufficiency — Help People Achieve a Higher Quality of Life The third level of the Continuum is designed to address issues at a more in-depth, systemic level that has to do with quality of life after Stabilization. It is primarily initiative-based and funded through grants and partnerships created for a specific purpose. Examples of such initiatives include: The Journey Home, Financial Literacy, Promise Neighborhood, and Childhood Obesity. Although crisis services are critical, our real mission is to address root causes.
Funding Approaches (Levels 1, 2 and 3) We will remain flexible to address gaps according to local and regional needs. It may be that the need for shelter beds and utility assistance is greater in one jurisdiction, while a spectrum of stabilization services is more acutely required in another. The issue of food security may be considered pervasive and thus regional in nature. We must be open to discussions and negotiations to ensure we are truly providing the resources to fill gaps and address basic needs in our local communities. Accordingly, we will change the composition and structure of our Partnership Boards, enabling them to be the primary local decision-makers—subject to approval by UWCM’s Board of Directors, which has final authority over funding decisions. • Directed funding for uniquely qualified providers will be effected primarily through negotiated purchase of services. Because the number of Sustenance providers is often limited, funds may be directed to these organizations as the most efficient way of delivering specific services. This would allow us to pinpoint effective geographical coverage without forcing an unnecessarily competitive process. Grant terms would be 12-24 months, with renewal clauses based on performance, need, etc. Reporting would be simple outputs such as how many people were served. Such funding and selection decisions will be informed by the Continuums of Care (CoC) and other local experts in each of central Maryland’s jurisdictions, and then vetted by our Regional Council (RC) before Board approval. (The CoC is the federally designated entity in each jurisdiction responsible for coordination of homeless and basic-needs services. It may comprise nonprofit and/or government partners—all of whom are aware of local needs and assets. The RC is our volunteer committee of issues experts and leaders who represent all six jurisdictions.) Local volunteers would review quarterly reports from funded agencies in their jurisdictions and identify discrepancies. • Competitive funding for services where there are multiple providers will use an approach similar to the successful 2009 Emergency Response Fund (ERF) model, employing a simple, electronic application. Reviews and recommendations will be made by each of the Community Partnership Boards, with a sixth Partnership Board established for Baltimore City. The Partnerships will include local Continuum of Care representatives, issues experts, business leaders, board members, foundations, etc. Grant terms will be one year, with renewal clauses based on performance, need, etc. Reporting will entail a modified Results Accountability model that answers the questions: How many?, How well?, and Is anyone better off? Again, local volunteers will review reports from funded agencies based in their jurisdictions and identify any discrepancies, which the Regional Council will address. • Special initiatives will be funded primarily through partnerships and collaborations with others, such as foundations, government, and mega-donors. Under all funding approaches, we may or may not elect to require the recipient to match our grants, which may be used for direct service and/or operational support. UWCM volunteers, serving on Partnership Boards and/or the Regional Council, and supported by UWCM’s Standards & Outcomes Committee, will monitor agency-tracking reports on a regular basis. County Discretionary and Special-Purpose Funds: County Discretionary Funds will be available for our six Partnership Boards to distribute quarterly in small amounts, as needs arise. Nonprofits may submit a simple letter of request at any time, and applications will be reviewed using predetermined criteria. The discretionary grant work by the Partnership Boards will be in addition to their responsibility to distribute and monitor the larger Basic Needs grants outlined above. A small Special Purpose Fund may also be available for one-off requests from any jurisdiction.
Other Key Supports 2-1-1 at UWCM: Our call center will remain a core instrument to serve those in need 24/7, participating in special initiatives and campaigns (e.g., H1N1) and providing timely information about callers’ needs and gaps in services. This will inform our decision-making and inspire donors to take actions that are more appropriate and effective.
REFRAME RELATIONSHIPS WITH AFFILIATES
DRIVE DOWN COSTS & “GET MORE $$ THROUGH”
REINVENT THE WORKPLACE PARADIGM
Strategy B: Re-frame Relationships with Affiliates To best serve the community we must align all of our relationships with current-day realities. The seven contractual affiliates are valued providers; we will seek to improve our relationship with them by adopting a model that is more transparent to donors, yields greater accountability, and creates a more level playing field for all funded agencies. The volunteer and professional leaders of these seven partners and UWCM began working together in the summer of 2010 to address this imperative.
Strategy C: Drive Down Costs and Get More $$ Through We will work to decrease our operating expense ratio to 15% by 2013, targeting the median of United Way system peers. Good financial stewardship, however, requires limiting internal program spending, as well as reducing overhead. To “get more dollars through” we must focus our efforts and eliminate every activity that is not 100% consistent with our mission. This means we have to: increase automation/standardization wherever possible; move to a leaner and flatter organizational structure; exit or outsource non-core activities; move 2-1-1 to self-sufficiency; sub-lease office space; and better leverage volunteers and committees. We will also review our minimum designation amount from time to time to ensure we are covering our costs. Given our fixed-cost structure and current obligations, cost reduction will not happen overnight, but we consider this an active and long-term component of our overall strategy.
Strategy D: Reinvent the Workplace Paradigm As government support of basic needs changes, so too must our focus on privatesector revenue and how we pursue it. We will establish compacts with top companies, implementing direct and indirect communications to educate, inspire, and thank employees year-round, as well as to collect individual contact information so that we may build relationships beyond the workplace. (See Strategies E and F, below.) We will expand the use of our internal sales center for small businesses and increase the use of tools and tactics such as multi-year giving, approaching new hires, electronic pledging, and integrating the participation of affinity groups (such as Emerging Leaders United and WINGS) in our campaigns. Approximately 64% of private-sector donors give an undesignated gift. To retain and increase such gifts, we will enhance the donor experience with an option to address basic needs region-wide or in a specific jurisdiction. This provides the donor with more control, while still allowing local volunteers to align services with needs and make sure invested dollars are leveraged wisely against existing assets. We will also simplify the designation process by incorporating a drop-down menu of health and human-service choices. This will help eliminate extra work caused by illegible writing and change the perception that we are hard to do business with. And when we reach out to business prospects for whom our conventional workplace model does not work, we will offer a portfolio of alternative solutions—mini-campaigns, events, competitions, sponsorships, etc.
SERVE AS A NEXUS FOR INFORMATION & SERVICES
PERSONALIZE THE DONOR EXPERIENCE
Strategy E: Serve as a Nexus for Information and Services See Detail for Strategy E under Strategy F below. Both are incorporated.
Strategy F: Personalize the Donor Experience Beyond changing the mechanics of the old paradigm, two new strategies will enhance the perception of UWCM and give the public concrete reasons to believe that we are truly different. By demonstrating that we are a reliable source of information and an efficient broker of services, we will encourage people to see us as the premier vehicle for addressing the health and human services needs they care about. Through a comprehensive Web portal we will collect and organize data—such as that from CIM and 2-1-1 and agency reports—in formats that make sense and point toward urgently relevant action. This sort of presentation is what donors expect today and what they need to make intelligent decisions. And we believe that by providing context we will inspire action— manifested in giving, volunteerism, and advocacy. But this involves more than just putting up yet another Web site. We have to make better use of existing technologies, such as ANDAR, our information management system, and make our Web portal an indispensable resource, available 24/7, so that interventions are timelier and better targeted. Whether we are serving self-directed donors or the volunteers who act as their proxies, we have to be available whenever we are needed. Donors must be able to engage on their own terms; our site must be rich in content but easy to navigate; the user experience has to show that we know the most important issues and how to do something about them. The Website should also be truly interactive, allowing and encouraging donors to communicate with us and follow up on the results their individual commitment has achieved—in the form of success stories, videos, and reports and evaluations of specific campaigns and initiatives. (Our Online Engagement Strategy Team has already begun to shape the tactics that will cost-effectively fulfill this vision.) By improving our marketing and communications in this way we will be better positioned to manage customer relationships, leveraging expert volunteers and technical assistance, as well as dollars.
What Will Be Different? While these strategies will restore donor confidence in UWCM, we also want to build healthier relationships with funders and agencies. We want to once again hold the moral high ground that says we have the subject-matter authority, the dedication, and the wherewithal to unite and mobilize stakeholders and drive social change. Over time these strategies will mature to optimize resources in the communities that need them most. But starting now, here’s a synopsis of exactly what will change:
How We Determine What To Fund
FROM: Education, Income (basic needs) and Health TO: Basic Needs—helping people get and stay out of crisis, and achieve a higher quality of life FROM: Data-focused, primarily from a regional perspective TO: Highly data-driven, with information from many resources not previously at our disposal, and using partnerships with local, regional and state issues experts to fill in the gaps FROM: Competitive (RFP-based) for most agencies, and contractual for seven affiliates
Type of Funding
TO: A tiered strategy: directed funding (purchase of service), competitive funding, initiative grants, and discretionary funds available to all qualified agencies FROM: Cyclical (1-3 years)
Frequency of Funding
TO: Flexible and frequent, with one-year grants plus quarterly discretionary funding and other special-funding opportunities FROM: Limited jurisdictional engagement
Who Makes Decisions
Choices for Donors
TO: Six* Partnership Boards reviewing and recommending competitive and discretionary grants, and playing roles in directed grants. Issues experts (Continuums of Care and others) will be engaged in local and regional decisions *Partnership Board to be added for Baltimore City. FROM: Undesignated gifts—Education, Income and Health—and designations to health and human-services agencies TO: An undesignated gift—Basic Needs—that can be directed to a jurisdiction, or directed region-wide, with designations to health and human-services agencies simplified through a drop-down menu FROM: Complicated monitoring reports
What is Measured
What is Communicated
TO: Simple ones: “How Much?, How Well?, Is Anyone Better Off?” plus straightforward evaluations and success stories and additional monitoring from our Community Partnership Boards FROM: Only $$ we allocate TO: All of the impact our work and funding delivers FROM: Contractual and closed TO: Open and inclusive, with “win-win” in mind
V. UWCM 2010 STRATEGIC PLANNING COMMITTEE
John H. Cammack (Chair) Cammack Associates, LLC
Betsy Nelson The Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers
James M. Bannantine Atlantic Capital Group
Jason T. Pett (Finance Committee Liaison) PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP
Richard P. Barth University of Maryland School of Social Work
Henry B. Reiff (Regional Liaison) McDaniel College
Adrian Bordone Social Solutions, Inc.
Stacey L. Rodgers Maryland Department of Human Resources
Alison G. Brown (Marketing Committee Liaison) University of Maryland Medical System
Kathleen H. Sabatier Franklin Square Hospital Center
Patricia M. C. Brown (Vice-Chair) Johns Hopkins HealthCare, LLC
Jonathan W. Thayer Constellation Energy
Anna Burns Homelessness Expert and Consultant
Fred Wolf, III Ballard Spahr, LLP
Bradley S. Chambers Union Memorial Hospital Bernard A. Cook Cook & DiFranco, LLC James M. Dickinson (Community Impact Liaison) Business Volunteers Unlimited Maryland
UWCM Staff: Mark Furst Martina Martin Sandy Monck Jacqueline Anderson Gary Foss, Consultant Elise Lee, Observer
Hugh Evans T. Rowe Price Taylor L. Foss (Womenâ€™s Leadership Council Liaison) LifeBridge Health Raymond F. Frederick (Regional Liaison) University of Baltimore, Merrick School of Business Paul Gleichauf (Regional Liaison) Howard County General Hospital Warren A. Green LifeBridge Health Brian L. King (2-1-1 at UWCM Committee Liaison) Community Volunteer
For more information ab out this Strategic Guide, please call 410.895.14 76.
GIVE. ADVOCATE. VOLUNTEE
Serving central Maryland since 1925 United Way of Central Maryland (Main Office) 100 South Charles Street Fifth Floor, P.O. Box 1576 Baltimore, Maryland 21203-1576 P 410.547.8000 F 410.547.8289 www.uwcm.org Community Partnership of Anne Arundel County 10480 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 900 Columbia, MD 21044-3524 P 410.379.1319 F 410.510.1776 www.uwcm.org/annearundel Community Partnership of Baltimore County P.O. Box 1576 Baltimore, Maryland 21203-1576 P 410.895.1510 F 410.547.5640 www.uwcm.org/baltimore Community Partnership of Carroll County P.O. Box 2047 Westminster, Maryland 21158 P 410.840.2837 F 410.848.2436 www.uwcm.org/carroll Community Partnership of Harford County 108 South Bond Street, P.O. Box 1011 Bel Air, Maryland 21014-7011 P 410.879.6453 F 410.420.1461 www.uwcm.org/harford Community Partnership of Howard County 10480 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 900 Columbia, MD 21044-3524 P 410.379.1319 F 410.510.1776 www.uwcm.org/howard
* Annual audit by independent firm of Ellin & Tucker, Chartered
United Way of Central Maryland supports environmental responsibility by utilizing FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified papers, limiting the volume of printed information and recycling remaining inventory.
This plan outlines the strategic direction for United Way of Central Maryland for 2010-2013.