FORT WAYNE (July 30, 2022) – A lot has changed over the last two years, including the critical community needs facing our Allen County neighbors. That is why United Way of Allen County has partnered with the Community Research Institute of Purdue University Fort Wayne to gather data on critical community needs to position United Way to transition to a new strategic direction.
In the past, United Way has been an organization that has told the community what our priorities are. The goal for this strategic planning process 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 up with a distilled and clear course forward with community members’ needs at the forefront. Through 32 Community Conversations conducted by United Way staff, a statistically valid Allen County wide Community Insights Survey done by the Community Research Institute, and by gathering of data from multiple other public resources – in March 2020, a Strategic Taskforce was formed with 18 field experts in various industries in Allen County to review the data and determine the critical community needs of Allen County. These experts spent over a thousand hours combined reviewing qualitative data, community needs assessments, hearing from subject matter experts, and participated in a decision-making process with Gensyn Design. The taskforce was able to prioritize root cause issues our community is facing. The top critical community needs identified were Education, Public Health, and Mental Health.
United Way of Allen County then looked through a brand lens, gathered input from the internal team, reviewed with various United Way Volunteer Committees, and received final approval from the Board of Directors on what United Way of Allen County’s priorities should be moving forward.
United Way of Allen County’s new strategic focus has four priorities: Educational Opportunities, Food Security, Housing Stability, and Mental Health Access. Over the past six to eight months, United Way has determined strategies to address needs within these four areas. Then, they will work collaboratively with partners in the community to boldly impact these identified critical community issues.
Please note that fundraising for agency allocations will continue through the current funded partner cycle that ends on June 30, 2022. On July 1, 2022, fundraising efforts will be focused on United Way’s aforementioned four strategic priorities.