Collaboration secures United Way funding

When nonprofits work together to address social issues they have in common, the United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley is more likely to support them financially.

This year more than half of the $830,000 in grants awarded to agencies by the United Way has gone to projects involving several nonprofits working together. This development is front-page news in the Statesman Journal Tuesday, July 19.

The article by reporter Saerom Yoo features a partnership involving the Mid-Valley Women’s Crisis Center, St. Francis Shelter and Helping Hands Resources in providing ongoing support for victims of domestic and sexual violence.

“I believe this collaboration can make such a huge difference, instead of doing our own little piece and none of that continuity,” said Jayne Downing, executive director of the Women’s Crisis Center. “I’ve become a fan.”

“We just keep having worse and worse issues in the community,” said Denise Swanson, resource development director for the United Way. “No one organization can solve any one issue.”

Catholic Community Services of the Willamette Valley also has succeeded in attracting financial support for its Fostering Hope project, which brings together several nonprofits to help reduce the need of foster care in the community. CCSWV and its partners, including Family Building Blocks, Salem Leadership Foundation and Mano a Mano, have received several grants for Fostering Hope.

Jim Seymour, CCSWV executive director, said, “In today’s environment, having a good collaboration is a threshold. (For) an organization that can’t demonstrate it has the capacity to participate in and manage a collaboration, it’s hard to get the large grants.”

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