A room full of United Way of Weld County Community Impact Partners participated in a training on an overview of collective impact and the Thriving Weld IMG 7342Dashboard at Zoe’s Café in Greeley on Wednesday morning and at the Family Resource Center in Fort Lupton in the afternoon.


A Community Impact Partner is an organization, typically nonprofit, governmental or faith-based, that expends efforts and offers programming in Education, Income or Health, and aligns with the mission, vision and intent of United Way of Weld County for bringing social change by working together toward community wide goals with other Weld County organizations.


UWWC President and CEO Jeannine Truswell talked about the benefits and expectations of being a Community Impact Fund investee during the 2015-18 CIF investment cycle. UWWC announced in June that its 2015-16 program year investments were furthering community and collective impact throughout Weld County. The value of its 2015-16 commitment is $3,501,213. Trained and dedicated community volunteers were at the center of all resource investment decision making. An all-volunteer board of directors provides oversight to all aspects of the organization, including setting funding priorities and ultimately determining in what programs investments are made.


IMG 7317“To have many of you here that are going to be a part of this three-year commitment is very exciting for us and we are honored. We believe you’re the best of the best. A lot of hard work on your part got you here today, and our volunteers had some very difficult decisions to make,” said Truswell, who has been leading UWWC for more than 29 years. “There are always less resources available than the need request. This was the most difficult year that I’ve experienced.” Truswell said the Community Impact volunteers were asked: What if you had more money?


The gap, or requests from agencies, was close to $2 million more than what UWWC had available to distribute.


“We said (to the Community Impact volunteers) to take a look at your scoring, take a look at the investments and if you had more money what would you really want to put into those organizations?” Truswell asked. “$733,000 more than what we had. That’s going to be our message. We need to ask for an increase because these are the best of the organizations in this community, and if we could we would give them $733,000 more. When we get that more money, because I’m convinced that we will, we already know how we’re going to give it out. We’re not going to wait until we have $733,000. We get $200,000 more; we’re going to give it out. That is kind of what we call the dream investment.”


Understanding the Thriving Weld Dashboard was another part of the training. The Thriving Weld Dashboard is Weld County’s tool for shared measurement, one of the five key components of the collective impact process with the others being common agenda, mutually reinforcing activities, continuous communication and backbone support.