May 23, 2023
Bob Dylan sang in 1964 about “The Times They Are a-Changin’.” Nearly 60 years later, the United Way, with a new name and a new mission, is still singing that song.
Tuesday’s presentation was offered by United Way Director of Neighborhood Initiatives Jamese Ivy and Chief Impact Officer Kathryn Firmin-Sellers.
The United Way officials’ presentation was focused on upcoming deadlines for submitting grant applications, and on the staff’s work routinely under way to raise awareness among nonprofit groups addressing neighborhood needs. The deadline dates are listed in the slides below the video.
Forum participants seemed more focused on the barriers that neighborhood leaders face when applying for support. Many groups operating in neighborhoods do not have 501(c)(3) nonprofit status; they do not know much about grantwriting; many older residents can’t or won’t do all such work online; there seemed to be suggestions that some leaders cannot even figure out what kinds of information United Way wants when it asks questions on grant forms. There were answers offered to all of these issues, but United Way staff acknowledged that today’s United Way does not have the staff it did before the Great Recession, and will struggle to address all demands for assistance, both in terms of help with applying and in terms of grants awarded.
Indeed, for longtime residents who assume that the United Way is still capitalized via workplace fund drives, has lots of money and chiefly bankrolls old-line Charlotte nonprofits like the symphony, museums and big family service agencies, listen to Chief Impact Officer Kathryn Firmin-Sellers describe the New Way. United Way raises half of what it used to; she said all the old-line recipients have been cut loose, and the organization’s entire focus has turned to neighborhood supports. Her comments are in the video below from minute 58:20 to 1:01:03.
The morning’s Forum was slightly disrupted by technical issues that could not be resolved on the fly.
Presenters and facilitators adjusted as the main camera serving the livestream audience was unavailable. The video below contains a full audio record of the meeting, but does not include about the first six minutes of video. During that period, the video below shows the slides from the morning’s presentation.
The slide presentation may be downloaded as a PDF here. The individual slides are below the video.