Community Level Data

Historically, United Way has been an organization that has told the community what our priorities are.

With a steady decline in revenue and the risk of becoming irrelevant, we knew this strategic planning process had to be much different than it was in past years. The goal was to listen to the people in our community, gather data, share data with county-wide experts, gain subject matter experts’ input, consider lived experience, and end with community needs prioritized with integrity built-in throughout.

The Process

In partnership with the Purdue Fort Wayne Community Research Institute, United Way of Allen County was able to include community needs assessments with Community Conversations, donor conversations, and the Community Insights Survey. After the data was gathered, we organized a taskforce of leaders from the business community, nonprofit organizations, healthcare, economic development, government officials, organized labor, local school districts, finance, and higher education. Over two months, Rachel Blakeman, Director of the PFW Community Research Institute, walked the taskforce through all available data relating to the themes we heard in community conversations. Once all information was presented, Gensyn Design, LLC led the taskforce through a decision-making process using MURAL software in which they found enablers, inhibitors, and causes to the major themes we heard in our community. Through a weighted evaluation process, each need was given a score and placed in a tier of prioritization.

Those priorities were then presented to the United Way Community Impact Committee (CIC) to view through a United Way lens and align with United Way Worldwide’s (UWW) Global Results Framework. These are the measurables that United Way of Allen County is responsible for reporting back to UWW annually. After using the list of community needs to lead the decision-making process, United Way of Allen County will strategically and intentionally address Educational Opportunities, Food Security, Housing Stability, and Mental Health Access.

We have listened to the community, allowed experts to give input, and heard from those with lived experience. We trusted the process to work, and now our direction is set. On the following pages you will find the data that supports our priorities. And in the following years, you will see the broad goals, strategies, measurements, and collaborations that will move the needle by addressing what is most important to those living in Allen County.

United Way Of Allen County Priorities

After allowing the prioritized list of community needs to drive the decision-making process, United Way of Allen County will strategically and intentionally address educational opportunities, food security, housing stability, and mental health access.

The Data 

Community Conversations Report

United Way of Allen County Priorities Summary Report

Purdue Fort Wayne Community Research Institute Census Data Full Report

This report includes the following information:

Community Conversation Themes: Child Care, Community Activities, Connection to Others, Education, Employment, Environment, Housing, Internet Access, Mental Health, Public Health, and Transportation.

Census Topics: Population, Age, Sex, Race/Ethnicity, Household Income, Educational attainment, Household/Family Structure, Housing, Workforce/Wage data, Disability, Vehicle availability, Internet access, Poverty, Crime, Foreign-born and language spoke at home, Living wages, Health measures, School data, and Voter Participation.

Purdue Fort Wayne Community Research Institute Community Insights Full Data Report

Community Insights Topics: Jobs and employment, Monthly costs, Student loans, Transportation, Mental Health, Economic disparities, Strong Neighborhoods, Diversity and inclusion, Civic and volunteer engagement, and Philanthropic engagement.

Gensyn Design, LLC Report

 

What is Next?

In the following years, you will see the broad goals, strategies, measurements, and collaborations that will move the needle addressing what is most important to those living in Allen County. United Way of Allen County exists to boldly impact critical community issues. The community has identified these issues. Now we will work to address them. Over the next six to eight months, United Way will determine strategies to address needs within these four areas. Then, they will work collaboratively with partners in the community to boldly impact critical community issues.

Continue to check this webpage for further updates and follow along as decisions are made.