Eloise Stephens reacts after scoring the first bingo of the afternoon at a Friday luncheon hosted by the Routt County Council on Aging. The council was among the agencies allocated funds from the Routt County United Way.

Photo by Tom Ross

Eloise Stephens reacts after scoring the first bingo of the afternoon at a Friday luncheon hosted by the Routt County Council on Aging. The council was among the agencies allocated funds from the Routt County United Way.

United Way allocation system shifts focus to programs


2010 United Way program allocations

Member agency allocations (organizations may receive allocations in any amount):

■ Advocates Building Peaceful Communities (outreach programming): $22,000

■ Boys & Girls Club of Steamboat Springs (homework help): $10,000

■ Comunidad Integrada/Integrated Community (resource and referral program): $10,000

■ Family Development Center (Newborn Network): $4,000

■ First Impressions of Routt County (child care tuition assistance): $100,000

■ Girl Scouts of Colorado (troop programming and leader training): $1,000

■ Grand Futures (John Underwood follow-up training): $9,000

■ Humble Ranch Education and Therapy Center (hippotherapy program): $3,000

■ Independent Life (independent living skills training program): $15,000

■ LIFT-UP of Routt County (emergency assistance and food bank program): $13,000

■ Northwest Colorado Dental Coalition (educational): $2,000

■ Northwest Colorado Dental Coalition (direct dental care): $16,000

■ Northwest Colorado Legal Services (attorney assistance program): $5,000

■ Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association (hospice): $607

■ Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association (home health): $29,393

■ Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association (immunization): $10,000

■ The Haven (adult day services program): $9,000

■ Partners in Routt County (one-to-one mentoring): $8,000

■ Partners in Routt County (school-based mentoring): $8,000

■ Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (family planning for teens and adults): $14,000

■ Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (community education): $2,000

■ Rocky Mountain Youth Corps (Yampa Valley Science School): $2,000

■ Rocky Mountain Youth Corps (Service Institute of Routt County): $4,000

■ Rocky Mountain Youth Corps (Routt County Youth Service Coalition): $2,000

■ Routt County Council on Aging (congregated meals): $13,000

■ Routt County Council on Aging (home-delivered meals): $5,000

■ South Routt Community Center (general — utilities and building maintenance): $7,500

■ Steamboat Mental Health Center (emergency services program): $23,000

■ Totally Kids Inc. (tuition scholarships for after school and summer camp): $13,500

■ Yampa Valley Autism Program (social thinking/cognition): $5,000

■ Yampa Valley Autism Program (Community Cultivation): $2,000

Total member agency allocations: $368,000

Program agencies (nonmember agencies may receive allocations up to $1,000)

■ Heeling Friends: $300

■ SOS Outreach: $500

■ YVMC diabetes education program: $700

Total program agency allocations: $1,500

Non-United Way designations (donors designated funds for these organizations, which United Way passed on)

■ American Red Cross: $60

■ Boy Scout Troop 194: $120

■ Grandkids Child Care Center: $312

■ Habitat for Humanity: $805

■ Hayden (C.A.N.): $110

■ Hayden 4-H: $471

■ Hayden Youth Basketball: $260

■ Hayden Girl Scouts: $120

■ Horizons: $300

■ Love Inc.: $300

■ Moffat County United Way: $290

■ Oak Creek Hockey Association: $150

■ Young Life: $480

Total non-United Way agency designations: $3,778

Total 2010 United Way allocations: $373,278

Total requested allocation funds: $517,753

— A new allocation system for Routt County United Way asks health and human services agencies to focus on the potential impact of their programs.

For its 2010 allocation cycle, United Way shifted focus to requests for specific programs with measurable outcomes, as opposed to requests for general operating funds for member agencies.

The change is meant to encourage health and human services providers to “demonstrate how (the funds) are specifically going to be used and how specifically they’re going to change the community that we live in,” said Avrom Feinberg, Routt County United Way allocations committee chairman.

By asking agencies to identify programs that will benefit from United Way allocations, the allocations committee can ask what kind of impact those dollars will have on the community and “push them to define their programs with measurable outcomes,” Feinberg said.

For example, instead of allocating money to First Impressions of Routt County, United Way gave money specifically for the organization’s efforts in child care tuition assistance.

“What we would expect to see is that First Impressions has provided X number of scholarships … and that has allowed X number of families to remain in the work force,” Feinberg said, giving work force availability as one of many possible outcomes of day care assistance.

The move to program-based funding is the next step in a process United Way has been undergoing for several years, said Kelly Stanford, executive director of Routt County United Way.

United Way moved to an outcomes-based funding model three years ago, Stanford said. That model asks agencies to define what the intended outcome of a program is for the community, she said.

“The outcome is really the impact on the lives of the people they’re trying to serve,” Stanford said.

By moving away from general operating funding, United Way hopes to align the intended impact of a program with the effect of United Way funding on that impact, Stanford said.

Routt County Council on Aging measures the impact of its meal programs for older residents with satisfaction surveys of its clients, acting Director Peggy Dunning said. The nonprofit group serves affordable, hot meals in Steamboat Springs, Hayden and South Routt County as many as four times a week. For 2010, United Way allocated $13,000 in funding for on-site meals and $5,000 for the council’s home-delivery meal program.

“With money being tight from everywhere, it really helps us in making our expenses to keep our program going strong,” Dunning said about the allocations.

In the next year, Dunning said the organization hopes to use United Way and other grant funding “to be able to serve more people and get people to realize we are here to help all our seniors in getting a hot, balanced meal once a day at least four days a week.” In January, the council provided 1,044 meals at its three sites across the county, Dunning said.

As the program- and outcome-based allocation system becomes familiar, the change could allow United Way to present tangible outcomes to those who donate to the umbrella organization, Feinberg said.

United Way gave $373,278 in allocations funding for 2010. Member agencies requested $517,753. An additional $5,522 will be available for health and human services special needs requests throughout the year. As of Thursday, United Way’s funding campaign for 2010 was about $20,000 down from 2009, Stanford said. The allocations for 2009 totaled $350,043.


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