United Way of North Central Florida (UWNCFL) has announced its Community Investment Fund funding decisions for the 19-20 fiscal year. All investments align with UWNCFL’s core focus areas of health, education, financial stability and immediate needs. Funding decisions total nearly $850,000.
Earlier this year, more than 50 programs operated by 30 local nonprofit agencies responded to UWNCFL’s call for outstanding initiatives to be funded through the local Community Investment Fund.
“With this funding cycle, we saw tremendous need in our community,” said UWNCFL President & CEO Mona Gil de Gibaja. “There were nearly $3 million in requests through the RFP process. The Community Investment Council and United Way staff visited, vetted and reviewed all applications received and are pleased to announce 33 funded local programs, including eight new programs.”
The entire process of receiving, reviewing and visiting programs in-person is handled by the agency’s volunteer arm, the Community Investment Council (CIC). The Council is comprised of local agency volunteers from a variety of backgrounds, some of whom have been helping to steer funding recommendations in North Central Florida for nearly a decade.
“This funding cycle, the Community Investment Council was focused on funding new and innovative programs that could make the greatest impact on the community,” said CIC Chair and UWNCFL Board Vice Chair Monica McMillen. “We saw lots of competition for which agency’s program could do the most good with the funds provided.”
In contrast to prior years, this cycle’s funding will only be for one year. UWNCFL’s Board of Directors are currently in a strategic planning process and must ensure that all funded programs are aligned with the agency’s strategic focus, explained Gil de Gibaja.
Here are some key highlights in the FY 19 funding cycle:
- Health, specifically mental health, made a significant impact on the Council’s funding decisions. In prior years, education was the biggest impact area.
- Collaboration was encouraged among partners, which resulted in Girls Place, Kids Count and Gainesville Area Community Tennis Association (GACTA) collaborating on a mental health counseling program.
- A new program offered by Project YouthBuild will focus on credit retrieval to help students get their high school diploma or GED.