United Way Announces 2019-22 Grant Recipients, $52M In Generated Community Impact

NEW ORLEANS – United Way of Southeast Louisiana announced Tuesday its 2019-22 grantees under the second three-year cycle of Blueprint for Prosperity funding. The 62 nonprofit recipients include seven more than the previous cycle with 23 new programs, 13 of which are first-time UWSELA grant recipients.

“Thanks to the support of our generous donors and corporate partners, United Way’s grants fund vital services that strengthen the fabric of our community,” said Michael Williamson, UWSELA president and CEO. “And as a modern United Way, we continue to evolve the way we’re allocating funding and bringing together new partners that are creating change in areas that people care most about.”

For the first time, UWSELA included a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in its application process. Applicants were encouraged to complete a free Beloved Community equity audit to assess internal DEI. Bonus points were awarded to those organizations which completed the audit.

UWSELA embraced a rigorous approval process for its programmatic grants led by volunteer community experts and UWSELA’s Community Impact team. Eligible nonprofits included those offering health and human services offerings in the areas of health, education, and financial stability, which strike at the core of UWSELA’s mission – eradicating poverty.

The final 62 nonprofits selected will receive funding for three years to support 77 programs throughout UWSELA’s seven-parish service area, which includes Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington parishes.

All approved grantees must adhere to UWSELA’s stringent reporting guidelines, which includes site visits and program outcome evaluations, throughout the cycle to ensure accountability for dollars received.

A full list of UWSELA programmatic grantees is available online here.

United Way’s collective impact model generates over $52M in community impact

With the help of community partners, collaboratives, advocates, coalitions, volunteers, and donors, UWSELA generated over $52 million in community impact in 2018-19 and beyond. The impact includes external grants, internal initiatives, legislative wins, and community savings.

“United Way’s collective impact model allows us to generate over four dollars in community impact from every single dollar raised,” said Gary Lorio, UWSELA Board of Trustees Chair. “We’re providing community members with an opportunity to maximize their charitable giving in a way that is unmatched in Southeast Louisiana, and it is my hope that new businesses and donors will come to the table to support our work so that we may expand our community funding and create more impact for those who need it most.”

Much of the impact can be credited to UWSELA’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, a partnership with Entergy Corporation and the Asset Building Coalition, which refunded over $13 million in tax returns to Southeast Louisiana residents. VITA is offered free to the public thanks to IRS grants, Entergy’s support, and expert volunteer tax preparers.

Additional dollars were generated through UWSELA’s robust advocacy work, which scales impact at a rate incomparable to the traditional direct-service model. As a leading member of the Ready LA coalition, UWSELA Public Policy team and advocates secured $11.2M in new state funding to increase access to affordable, high-quality early learning opportunities for Louisiana three-year-olds.

Volunteer hours, Individual Development Account investments, FamilyWize prescription savings, and community grants combined for the remaining impact in 2018-19.

“We strive to be an exceptional partner at United Way, and that’s why we recognize that none of this impact would be possible without the collaborative efforts of countless individuals and organizations throughout our region,” said Mary Ambrose, UWSELA Chief Impact Officer. “When we are all United for impact, we can move the needle on poverty – our community’s greatest threat – and strengthen ALICE households, but it will take all of us to build a better, stronger Southeast Louisiana.”

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