How the Community Investment Process Works
Beginning with the funding year April 1, 2022, unless otherwise stated, all United Way of Sarnia-Lambton agency funding will be for one year terms. However, one year extensions can be approved based need, on successful United Way campaigns, and Funded Agency compliance with ALL aspects of the United Way funding contract including units of serivces provided; obtaining agreed upon program measures, and other contractual committments.
Requests for funding from the United Way is made by the Funded Agency for programs identifying a specific community need. The Agency may apply for funding of one or more programs.
The Funded Agency must submit a "Letter of Intent", (LOT), to demonstrate how the program will meet a specific community need and the impact the program will have on our community. The LOI's are then reviewed by the Community Investment Committee to determine if the program moves on to the full budget submission step. It is the responsibility of each Funded Agency to educate the Panel Members, (Volunteers from our Community), about its programs and operations so that the Panel Members can make recommendations that meet the United Way Sarnia-Lambton mandate as well as satisfy the financial needs of the Agency.
Three Step Volunteer Review Process
Step 1: Community Investment Panel
Volunteer Review Panels review the agency(s') proposed program or service in detail including its budget, target client group and program objectives to evaluate the program(s) based on criteria of NEED, EFFECTIVENESS, EFFICIENCY, COMMUNITY SUPPORT and FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT. The RFP is also evaluated based on the United Way of Sarnia-Lambton funding priorities and other values.
Step 2: Community Investment Committee
This sub-committee of the United Way Board of Directors reviews the recommendations of the Panels and recommends to the Board the level of funding to Agencies.
In future years, requests by Funded Agencies for a one year extension must be made by December 1, of each year. Agencies have the option to request the extention be made with no changes to the current contract; slight changes; or with major changes. The United Way of Sarnia-Lambton may elect to have the agency go through the initial process, or may, with Board approval grant the extention at its January Board Meeting. The United Way Board may also decide to deny the extension.
There is no limit as to the number of one year extentions granted.
Step 3: The Board of Directors
The Board of Directors of the United Way make all final decisions with regard to investment/allocation levels for each of the programs, including granting one year extentions as indicated above. The Board acts on advice from the Community Investment Committee, which in turn is advised by the Community Investment Panel.
It is interesting to note that the United Way of Sarnia-Lambton does not provide or directly run community programs or services. The United Way focuses its resources on the annual Campaign and the Community Investment Process. If an important community need arises, the United Way will not provide the program, but will fund the program should an agency apply to address the need. The United Way of Sarnia-Lambton does from time to time offer training and other programs to community agencies, plus its annual Day of Caring that provides light, general maintence to both non-profit organiations, and the homes of individuals in need in Sarnia-Lambton.
In some cases, the United Way of Sarnia-Lambton has tendered a program needed in the Sarnia-Lambton Community and provides a portion of the funds to support the program. For example: Two neighborhood resource houses were issued a tender to provide family support programs.