Tulsa Area United Way has nearly $900,000 in extra cash to give away
BY MIKE AVERILL World Staff Writer
Friday, January 18, 2013
1/18/13 at 7:47 AM
The Tulsa Area United Way held a record-breaking fundraising campaign last year, raising $25,575,522 and surpassing its goal by more than $675,000, the largest overage in the agency's 88-year history.
Coupled with $211,863 in recaptured allocations - funding that was earmarked for a particular agency or program that wasn't used last year - the agency has nearly $900,000 in extra funds to reinvest into the community.
The agency's board voted this week to redistribute the additional money in three areas: $500,000 will go to community collaborations, $326,000 will be allocated to address unmet needs of 15 partner agencies, and $61,385 will be added to the Venture Grant Program.
"This has been such a wonderful process," said Mark Graham, the Tulsa Area United Way's president and CEO. "We've had campaigns where we went over goal, but this is such a significant amount."
Graham said community collaborations allow multiple agencies to work together on larger systemic issues, such as eliminating homelessness in the Tulsa area.
"The community collaboration dollars and venture grant dollars really are strategic investment opportunities where our partner agency funding is blocking and tackling every day," he said.
Last year, the Tulsa Area United Way invested $500,000 in community collaborations. With this additional funding, it will have $1 million available in 2013.
Graham said 2012 community collaboration funding went to three projects: A Way Home for Tulsa - a movement to end homelessness - and redevelopment in the Kendall-Whittier and Eugene Field neighborhoods.
To determine what partner agencies would receive additional funding, the agency reviewed all the applications that were submitted for funding in 2013.
Kathy Seibold, vice president of community investment, said agencies that were not able to have their requests fully funded because the money wasn't there in the proposed campaign goal were looked at first.
Then they looked at the high performers, or agencies that meet and exceed all standards.
"We knew that they would invest the funds wisely in the community because they are investing our funds very wisely," Seibold said.
Groups that fulfill basic needs, such as emergency food, clothing and shelter, also were considered.
"They're the ones more likely to need additional funds, especially during the winter, when they have a lot of calls around the holidays and when it gets really cold," Seibold said.
Multiple venture grants are given each year to agencies wanting to initiate new and innovative approaches to either new problems or systematic problems.
"I think the collaborative and venture grants funds are interesting because they go outside of partner agencies, as well," Seibold said. "It allows the United Way to reach a little further into the community and provide dollars to other agencies and other programs that utilize services that are outside of our partner agencies."
Original Print Headline: United Way's fundraising overage is record-breaking
Mike Averill 918-581-8489