The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation - Building Community Philanthropy
In May 2012 our United Way was one of twenty philanthropic partners in the Pacific Northwest selected to receive money from the Gates Foundation to be used to support its goals of reducing intergenerational poverty.
The $700,000 four year grant is being used to build capacity and to support programs that are working on community defined strategies that provide education supports for children and youth, assist families in becoming self-sufficient and support other strategies that build stronger communities.
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Raikes Foundation - In the spring of 2012 United Way entered into a new partnership with this Seattle-based foundation to support and expand the use of the Youth Program Quality Assessment (YPQA) in Spokane County. This research-validated and field-tested tool is designed to evaluate the quality of youth programs and support continuous improvement practices.
Department of Commerce – The Washington State Department of Commerce provides funds to United Way to support the asset development work of the CASH Coalition including Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and free tax preparation; Bank-On; and financial education.
Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) - United Way manages the local process to allocate federal funds to Spokane County social service agencies through the Emergency Food and Shelter Program. These federal funds are used to meet the needs of hungry and homeless people in our community, as well as those at risk of becoming homeless due to an emergency or economic downturn.
The EFSP Board is made up of volunteers who represent local agencies, the faith community, people who were formerly homeless and the ethnic diversity of Spokane.
Educating Youth on Finances
FINRA Investor Education Foundation
The $150,000 grant is being used to provide financial education and coaching to youth ages 16-24, in partnership with the Next Generation Zone, an affiliate of Work Source Spokane. This program serves youth who are newly employed, preparing to work or have been recently placed in an internship. Youth served are typically low income, with nearly 44% not having a GED or a high school diploma. During the two-year project the Next Generation Zone will fully integrate financial education and coaching into its core services with 288 youth expected to complete the training.
Increasing Community Capacity - Ready by 21 / United Way Worldwide
This $50,000 grant is being used to expand our capacity to support community partners working together on middle school success. It also supports the data sharing capacity of Spokane Public Schools and its early warning system. As one of only 10 local United Ways selected, we will receive training and tools to help us build diverse coalitions, engage in effective planning, support identify critical data needs and design strategies to address areas of need.
Cradle to Career network continued
This effort highlights specific research-based competencies and experiences, as well as key transition points where we must ensure students are on target developmentally. If they are not at these critical points, we know the potential for long-term success is greatly inhibited.
During this past year of development , Spokane C2C has been able to engage a large number of key stakeholders in a variety of areas: K-12 schools districts, local government, the higher education system, GSI, the Workforce Development Council, faith-based and community-based organizations and the local medical system. In January 2013, Spokane was chosen by the Strive, United Way Worldwide and the Target Corporation as one of 12 cities that would receive direct consultation about how to develop a local Cradle-to-Career initiative using their “Theory of Action.”
With the help of a one-year planning grant from the Gates Foundation which supports the continued development of this collective impact model, we have adopted this framework as a guide for building our Cradle-to-Career civic infrastructure. With this grant we have been able to hire a project director, contract with the Spokane Regional Health District for data management services and continue to expand our planning process. Most recently, we were selected as one of the 6 cities from the original cohort to be a part of the Strive Network/United Way Worldwide/Target Mobilization Learning Cohort which will allow us to receive 12 more months of direct consultation and guidance with their team. During this time not only will we be the recipients of the collective knowledge of these three education attainment stakeholders, but we will also provide feedback to other cities regarding the process of establishing collective impact partnerships, thus hopefully spreading lessons learned along the way.
Cradle-to-Career wants to support the community’s efforts to measure what matters, identify and spread effective practices and align community resources to improve educational outcomes with the hope of improving Spokane’s economic development by increasing our skilled workforce pool.