COMMUNITY IMPACT

Impact

Of those served and assessed:

%

of children entered school ready to succeed

%

avoided or reduced risky behaviors

%

increased healthy behaviors

%

graduated HS on-time

%

of youth developed soft skills

%

gained employment

How Community Impact Investments Work

Heart of Missouri United Way invests in programs at nonprofit organizations in the impact areas of health and basic needs, education, and financial stability. Our investments reach individuals and families in Boone, Cooper, and Howard Counties. Through a volunteer-led decision-making process, community investments are funded in staggered three-year intervals. United Way adjusted the funding timeline and provided a six-month interim grant to provide continuity and flexibility in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Your Dollars Your Impact

July 2019-December 2021 Impact Investment total

$2,448,844: United Way Impact Investments

Total Outputs:

63,318: Number of people served by United Way funded programs

530,801: Number of service hours funded by United Way

Who We Reached

Program Participants by Age

  • Under 5 years
    10%
  • 5-19 years
    43%
  • 20-59 years
    40%
  • 60 years and over
    7%
Program Participants by Ethnicity*
  • White
    54%
  • Black or African-American
    33%
  • Multiple Races
    5%
  • Asian
    4%
  • Native American Indian or Alaskan Native
    1%
  • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander
    0%
  • Some Other Race
    3%

*Includes 5% Hispanic/Latino in combination or alone with other ethnicities listed

Participants by Poverty Status*
  • At or below 200% Federal Poverty Level
    94%
  • Over 200% Federal Poverty Level
    6%

*Federal Poverty Limit = $26,500 for family of 4
200% of Federal Poverty Limit = $53,000 for a family of 4

YOUR DOLLARS YOUR IMPACT

July 2019-December 2021 Impact Investment total

$2,448,844: United Way Impact Investments

Total Outputs:

63,318: Number of people served by United Way funded programs

530,801: Number of service hours funded by United Way

Who We Reached

Program Participants by Age

  • Under 5 years
    10%
  • 5-19 years
    43%
  • 20-59 years
    40%
  • 60 years and over
    7%

Program Participants by Ethnicity*

  • White
    54%
  • Black or African-American
    33%
  • Multiple Races
    5%
  • Asian
    4%
  • Native American Indian or Alaskan Native
    1%
  • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander
    0%
  • Some Other Race
    3%
*Includes 5% Hispanic/Latino in combination or alone with other ethnicities listed

Participants by Poverty Status*

  • At or below 200% Federal Poverty Level
    96%
  • Over 200% Federal Poverty Level
    4%
*Federal Poverty Limit = $26,500 for family of 4
200% of Federal Poverty Limit = $53,000 for a family of 4

Community Impact

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Heart of Missouri United Way remained true to the organization’s three impact areas: Health, Education, and Financial Stability.

HEALTH

United Way funds services that strengthen the health and well-being of individuals and families who are most vulnerable. The organization recognizes four programmatic areas necessary to achieve health and well-being: Basic Needs; Safe, Healthy, Affordable Housing; Mental Health care; and Medical and Dental care.

In November of 2020, Heart of Missouri United Way announced a $1,000,000 investment in health annually over the next three years. The investment commitment to Health and Basic Needs started in January of 2021 and will continue through December of 2023.

The Health Impact Investment Portfolio includes funding for programs at 19 local organizations: The Boys and Girls Club of Columbia, Central Missouri Foster Care and Adoptive Association, City of Refuge, Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture, Compass Health Network, Defense Against Diabetes, Easterseals Midwest, First Chance for Children, Great Circle, Heart of Missouri CASA, Love Columbia, Lutheran Family and Children’s Services, Mid-Missouri Legal Services, Services for Independent Living, The Food Bank of Central and Northeast Missouri, The Salvation Army, True North of Columbia, Turning Point at Wilkes Blvd, and Voluntary Action Center.

“Some of our neighbors have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic. Investing more in programs that we know improve lives in our community just makes sense,” said Executive Director of Heart of Missouri United Way Andrew Grabau about the Health Impact Awards.

People unloading food from the back of a car
People unloading food from the back of a car

EDUCATION

United Way funds services that support school readiness, literacy, and academic success for children in the community. Every year, Heart of Missouri United Way addresses the community’s education needs by targeting programs that demonstrate the following childhood outcomes: entering school ready to succeed, reading proficiently by third grade, and making a successful transition in and out of middle school. Heart of Missouri United Way’s investments in Education started in July of 2018 and will continue through December 2021.

The Education Impact Investment Portfolio includes programs at 11 local organizations:

Harrisburg Early Learning Center, First Chance for Children, Mary Lee Johnston Community Learning Center, Boonslick YMCA, Community Playground of Columbia AKA Fun City, United Community Builders, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Missouri, Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture, Grade A Plus, Inc., Jabberwocky Studios

Financial Stability

In 2020, Heart of Missouri United Way continued funding services strengthening the financial stability and economic mobility of financially vulnerable individuals and families. United Way addresses the community’s financial stability needs by investing in programs demonstrating the following client and/or community outcomes: gains in skills and/or credentials needed for employment and/or increased wages, gain and sustain employment and/or increase income, increase disposable income by increasing financial literacy and/or reducing costs and/or accessing benefits. United Way’s current investment in Financial Stability began in July of 2019 and will continue through December of 2022.

The Financial Stability Impact Investment Portfolio includes programs at 7 organizations:

City of Refuge, Job Point, Love Columbia, Mid-Missouri Legal Services, Rock the Community, Services for Independent Living, United Community Builders

african american man in a denim jacket smiling
People unloading food from the back of a car

Community Engagement

To keep the community engaged despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Heart of Missouri United Way launched a Day of Caring and Virtual Campaign Kickoff. The half-day event invited community members to learn more about the work of United Way and engaged the caring nature of people to improve the community. Volunteers for the Day of Caring operated in small, safely-distanced groups to compile LIVE UNITED Care Kits for Adults, which included an assortment of self-care and hygiene items, and Read Across Columbia Literacy Kits for Children, which contained five inclusive book titles and a free book coupon from Daniel Boone Regional Library, an application for a library card, bookmarks to encourage reading, and a pencil. The Care Kits for Adults were distributed through United Way Partner Agencies to individuals in need. The Literacy Kits were delivered to more than 600 children in five elementary schools with the highest poverty rates and lowest levels of third grade reading proficiency.

Read Across Columbia

Heart of Missouri United Way believes every child can learn how to read. To maintain grade-level reading, kids need 10 grade-level books in their home. We also know that children are most interested in reading when they can relate to the characters in books.

Heart of Missouri United Way removes this barrier to literacy by getting kids their very own books. Read Across Columbia puts inclusive book titles into the hands of all first and second grade students at our five elementary schools with the lowest reading proficiency scores and highest free-and-reduced lunch rates. These same schools are also the most diverse in our district. Each Fall and Spring, United Way volunteers pack bookbags with at least 4 books plus one coupon for a free book from Daniel Boone Regional Library, for approximately 650 kids. By reaching kids that most need support, we are advancing equity in education.

african american man in a denim jacket smiling

Building Equity

United Way’s Equity Definition

“Equity is the intentional inclusion of everyone in society. Equity is achieved when systemic, institutional, and historical barriers based on race, gender, sexual orientation, and other identities are dismantled and no longer predict socioeconomic, education, and health outcomes.”

Heart of Missouri United Way’s Equity Vision

We recognize structural racism and other forms of oppression that have contributed to persistent disparities that United Way seeks to dismantle. Our United Way network strives to engage community members, especially those whose voices have traditionally been marginalized. We work with residents and public and private partners to co-create solutions that ensures everyone has the resources, support, opportunities, and networks they need to thrive. We commit to leveraging all of our assets (convening, strategic investments, awareness building, advocacy) to create more equitable communities.

african american man in a denim jacket smiling

Collaborating with Boone County, City of Columbia, Community Foundation of Central Missouri, and Veterans United, United Way led CoMoHelps’ effort to provide community aid to meet needs resulting from the pandemic. By the first week of April, United Way delivered on its promise and allocated $83,335 to six local non-profits serving emergent community needs: Turning Point, Phoenix Programs, Food Bank of Central and Northeast Missouri, Voluntary Action Center, and Boys and Girls Club. This first round of donations prioritize access to basic needs such as food and hygiene items and set a precedence for quickly disbursing funds where they are most needed.

In the second round of COVID-19 grants, United Way awarded over $48,0000 to Mary Lee Johnston Community Learning Center and Columbia Homeless Outreach Team. By addressing the need for early childhood education while still maintaining the importance of providing access to basic needs, United Way proved that it would continue to serve the community’s diverse range of needs. As the third round of grants were awarded to the Salvation Army and Missouri Rural Crisis at the beginning of May, the total amount of awards reached $160,946. As businesses began to struggle at all levels of operation and unemployment continued to rise, United Way’s investments assisted The Salvation Army’s efforts to provide rental assistance and support in long-term housing solutions. The grants also ensured that the Crisis Center continued its partnership with producers, processors, storage facilities, and restaurants and grocery stores to market sustainably raised pork throughout mid-Missouri. This push for food security was reinforced with a $75,000 award to Columbia Public School Foundation to continue providing meals to children in need through the end of July.

By the end of 2020, the Heart of Missouri United Way invested $325,430.50

from the COVID-19 Fund. As the pandemic lingers, United Way will continue to deliver on our promise to the community to forge unlikely partnerships, find new solutions to old problems by mobilizing the best resources and inspiring individuals to join the fight against our community’s most daunting crises.

People unloading food from the back of a car