PHILADELPHIA, May 16, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey (UWGPSNJ) announced a $14.1 million-dollar investment from its Impact Fund to fight intergenerational poverty throughout the region. UWGPSNJ's investments and partnerships with nonprofits will tackle three specific goals by the year 2030: more children reading on grade level by the end of third grade; more youth ages 15-25 reconnected to school or work; and more individuals and families living above 200 percent of the federal poverty line.
These investments are comprised of $12.1 million in Core Regional Impact Grants (general operating support and signature program funding), $1 million in Innovation Funding to scale evidence-based poverty interventions, and $1 million for the support of Local Supplemental grants to ensure continuity of service in local communities and Rapid Response grants for disaster preparedness and response. Innovation, Local Supplemental, and Rapid Response grants will be invested in the coming months.
"Poverty is the most pressing issue of our time in this region. By aligning our investments around a central cause to end intergenerational poverty, we will drive deeper impact into the evidence-based solutions and interventions where our United Way can make the biggest difference: early learning, career pathways and pipelines, and economic self-sufficiency," said Bill Golderer, president and CEO of UWGPSNJ.
The first of UWGPSNJ's Core Regional Impact investments includes $5.6 million in general operating grants to 122 partners who align with UWGPSNJ's two-generation strategy to end intergenerational poverty by supporting youth success and building family financial stability throughout the region.
"Poverty is complex, and fighting it effectively takes many partners and flexible funding. United Way uniquely supports both," said Ginger Zielinskie, President and CEO of Benefits Data Trust. "United Way provides a valued funding stream in the nonprofit community and serves as a powerful convener for important issues connected to poverty that no one organization can tackle alone."
In addition, $6.5 million will be invested in select partners to advance the goals of United Way's signature programs, which are collaborative efforts designed to fill gaps in service or address specific community needs. Through these initiatives, United Way brings more than grant-making support, including leveraged funding, volunteer mobilization, advocacy support, capacity-building and more.
"We are grateful to our Board of Directors, staff, and volunteers for the countless hours spent over the past 24 months to clarify and refine our investment framework in a way that allows us to surround intractable issues related to poverty from all sides," Golderer continued. "The partners we have selected will play a pivotal role in helping individuals and families break the cycle of poverty."
Throughout the region, UWGPSNJ invests in geographic areas of greatest need, determined by percentage of population living in poverty. Partners receiving both general operating support grants and signature program investments must demonstrate measurable results and will be evaluated each year to assess their performance and financial health.
"This is an exciting time at UWGPSNJ. We are focused on combatting poverty by addressing three specific and related causes that we believe we are well-situated to address, and we have a new leader who is experienced with and passionate about our cause," said J. Gordon Cooney, Jr., Chair, UWGPSNJ regional Board of Directors and leader of the global litigation practice at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. "The need in our region is growing, and we recognize that there are many organizations doing important, meaningful work to fight poverty in our communities. We have a responsibility to our donors to ensure that we invest their dollars in the areas of work where we have determined we can make the greatest impact," Cooney concluded.
UWGPNSJ's Regional Board of Directors, specifically the Impact Strategy Committee, drove the process to create this new investment framework, as well as the decision-making guidelines that were followed by approximately 100 community volunteers during the review of applications from 261 organizations from March 19 to April 13.
Learn more about UWGPSNJ's Impact Fund investment framework.
United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, serving communities in Pennsylvania's Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties, and New Jersey's Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May and Cumberland counties, is part of a national network of more than 1,300 locally governed organizations that work to create lasting positive changes in communities and in people's lives. United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. In Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, United Way fights for youth success and family stability because we LIVE UNITED against intergenerational poverty. For more information about United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey visit www.UnitedForImpact.org.
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SOURCE United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey