United Way of Central Oklahoma Volunteers Prepare to Allocate Donor Dollars: Community Investment

Community Investment volunteers review annual funding requests from Partner Agencies

United Way of Central Oklahoma has begun its annual Community Investment process with the help of over 200 donor volunteers. The process ensures that the dollars raised during the 2014 fundraising campaign are efficiently invested in health and human service programs that effectively serve our local communities.

Each year, United Way of Central Oklahoma’s 61 non-profit Partner Agencies reapply and new agencies seeking partnership apply for program funding. Community Investment volunteers help determine the most efficient funding investments through an extensive review of the programs’ performance and accountability.

“Our dedicated Community Investment Volunteers ensure United Way of Central Oklahoma continues to fund local programs that have a proven track record of providing effective health and human services to our residents,” said Marsha Ingersoll, Assistant Director of Public Information and Marketing at the City of Oklahoma City and United Way’s Community Investment Chair.

Community Investment volunteers spend approximately 5,000 hours evaluating programs and developing funding recommendations. They review partner agencies’ funding requests, meet with agency directors, and visit agency facilities to get a firsthand look at the programs, the staff and the people they serve.  Partner agencies’ financial documentation including internal financial controls, fiscal health, and audit of compliance are also reviewed and analyzed by volunteers who are State licensed Certified Public Accountants or other financial professionals.

The volunteer funding recommendations are reviewed by the Community Investment Committee that submits a final funding proposal to the United Way of Central Oklahoma’s Board of Directors, who are also donor volunteers. The Board approves the proposal and distribution of funds for partner agencies specific programs.

“The allocation process is a vital piece in creating change in the community,” said Dan Straughan, Executive Director of the Homeless Alliance, a Partner Agency. “It is like the ‘good housekeeping seal of approval’ for ethical, well-managed, community impact organizations.”