2023-2025 Community Impact Grant Applications are now closed
United Way of South Mississippi is dedicated to improving the quality of life in South Mississippi by focusing on creating measurable outcomes in the areas of Education, Health and Financial Stability. Our goal is to give children and families the tools and support they need to thrive in our community while creating collaborations with complimentary agencies and programs.
The UWSM goals, strategies and required measures are listed below.
Goal 1 – Education
Children 0-5 meet developmental milestones entering kindergarten and are on track to be reading on grade level by the end of 3rd grade.
- Support evidence-based early care and learning programs that measure and enhance developmental and academic success.
- Support quality school based and after school tutoring for at-risk children, measuring the children’s progress toward grade level reading.
- Establish summer learning programs that last a minimum of three weeks to prepare children to enter kindergarten and/or prevent summer learning loss in reading skills.
- # & % of children whose developmental levels are assessed within 1 month of entering the program
- # & % of children that meet all age appropriate developmental milestones at the end of the academic year
- # & % of children who progress in their readiness for kindergarten or the next level of pre-k education as measured by an identified assessment tool
- # & % of children participating in the program that read on grade level by the end of the school year and are promoted to the next grade (By grade – 1st graders, 2nd grades, 3rd graders)
- # & % of children in summer learning programs who do not lose ground in their reading level
Goal 2 – Health
Educate community members on the importance of good health and raise awareness of basic health and human services.
- Support established programs that increase access to healthcare and healthy living initiatives.
- Support programs that raise awareness regarding health topics such as prevention, management and treatment of health conditions.
- Decrease the number of families living with food insecurity.
- # & % of program participants receiving healthcare services at the beginning of the program
- # & % of program participants receiving healthcare services at the end of the program
- # & % of children whose BMI, grades and attendance are assessed within 1 month of entering the program
- # & % of children whose BMI decreased, and grades and attendance increased at the end of the program
- # & % of families receiving access to food and healthy living resources at the beginning and end of academic year
Goal 3 – Financial Stability
To empower community members to gain stable financial ground by providing them with the necessary tools and resources towards a path of financial empowerment and freedom.
- Support programs that provide access to career pathways through job training and employment readiness services.
- Support programs hosting financial literacy opportunities and teaching self sufficiency through positive money management and credit counseling.
- Decrease the number of families living in homelessness by supporting agencies that provide affordable housing options.
- # & % of individuals seeking employment at beginning of program
- # & % of individuals successfully employed at the end of the program
- # & % of individuals served through financial literacy programs
- # & % of individuals seeking permanent housing at beginning of program
- # & % of participants residing in permanent/semi permanent housing at the end of program
Goal 4 – Family Stability and Support Goal
Using two generation collaboration, families will be stable and have the support needed to improve learning success for their children 0-8.
- The developmental and academic progress of the families’ children is measured and, through consultation among collaborative partners, the impact on both generations served is tracked.
- # & % children whose developmental or academic levels are assessed within 1 month of entering the program.
- # & % of children that meet all age appropriate developmental or academic milestones on entering the program
- #/% of children referred for additional developmental screening or tutoring
- # & % of children that meet all age appropriate developmental or academic milestones at the end of the academic year.
- # & % children who progress in their readiness for kindergarten or the next level of pre-k or elementary education as measured by an identified assessment tool.
- Parents are engaged to assess family needs and develops goals/plans to meet them, including parenting education
- # & % of parents meeting the program criteria (including CPS removing children from the home) who agree to participate in a structure program to increase family stability.
- # & % of parents that demonstrate at least 33% progress toward their service plan goals within nine months of enrollment.
- # & % of parents who are reunified with their children and the family stability is measurably increased.
Program Evaluation Area
United Way of South Mississippi provides program funding to investment partners to support programs that directly address one of the focus impact areas of education, health and financial stability.
Programs will be evaluated using criteria outlined below. Volunteers will use these investment criteria to evaluate all proposals. The Investment Criteria listed below are grouped into four key categories:
Linkage to the Community Impact Agenda and United Way’s Priority Focus Areas and Strategies for Funding
- Program aligns with one or more of the Community Impact Agenda goals and strategies and United Way funding priorities.
- Organization and program can demonstrate the ability and experience to directly benefit the local community by serving the identified community needs.
- Community conditions are clearly stated and well documented.
- Program summary describes goals and key components of the program.
- Program is mission-driven and based on best practices of the industry that achieve results and meet the needs of the community.
- Fiscally Sound and Responsible: Demonstrates a history of being a fiscally sound organization, maximizing available resources; has a clear and understandable accounting system that meets current accounting industry standards.
- Accountable, Effective and Efficient:
- Demonstrates stable and effective management (effective system oversight and governance).
- Has accounting procedures, budgets and financial audits that meet acceptable criteria.
- Supported by the Community: Has a history of community, volunteer, and client support demonstrated by program revenue and volunteer involvement.
Collaboration, Innovation, and Best Practices
- Minimum: Program integrates its goals and services with community organizations and groups to address critical community needs.
- Best practice: Program engages in collaborative activities in which multiple organizations or groups identify a common mission and work to achieve that mission through shared resources and shared accountability.
Commitment to Measuring Outcomes and Providing Results
- Program aligns with UWSM outcomes that represent positive change for program participants.
- Appropriate evaluation/data collection plans and procedures are in place.
- Program achieves demonstrable results that link to one or more specific impact strategies for action as prioritized by the United Way.