INVESTING IN OUR COMMUNITY

2017 - 2018 Annual Report

At Heart of West Michigan United Way, we unite community resources to invest in solutions that reduce poverty in West Michigan. Our staff, volunteers, donors, and agency partners are committed to creating lasting, sustainable changes that transform lives and build a thriving community for us all.

Last year, our Community Grant Fund supported 46 programs at 51 organizations and collaborations.

18,348
TOTAL DONORS


$8,987,742
TOTAL COMMUNITY INVESTMENT

There are stories that are shared about specific people who have been helped through United Way, but the overwhelming majority will remain nameless and faceless. I am not present when my contribution feeds others or provides training for employment, nor do I bear witness when assistance is provided to victims of domestic abuse or homeless youth. But because of what I know about United Way and its over 100 years of impact in our community, I know that my contribution is doing all those things and doing them in the most effective way possible.
— Janet Veldhouse, Chair, Board of Directors

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FAMILY STABILITY:
HOUSING

GOAL: STABLE, AFFORDABLE, AND SAFE HOUSING.

$1,270,000 INVESTED

Crisis

  • Emergency Shelter

  • Homelessness Prevention Assistance

  • Legal Assistance

Stability

  • Permanent Supportive Housing Supports

  • Affordable Housing Solutions

  • Asset Development

11,156 individuals or households

82% kept or gained stable, affordable, and safe housing

90% provided with housing solutions maintained stable/permanent housing for 12+ months

12,358 stays in emergency shelter

29 new homeowners


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FAMILY STABILITY:
FOOD SECURITY

GOAL: SUFFICIENT, EQUITABLE ACCESS TO SAFE, AFFORDABLE, AND NUTRITIOUSLY DIVERSE FOOD.

$550,000 INVESTED

Crisis

  • Congregate Meals

  • Meals for Homebound Seniors

Stability

  • Pantry Markets that Utilize Local Food Sources

  • Low-Cost Grocery Store Membership Models

  • Education on Gardening and Food Preservation

28,417 people

1,041,880 pounds of food

659,778 meals

25+ local farms provided fresh produce

88% increase in access to fresh produce through low-cost grocery memberships


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FAMILY STABILITY:
FAMILY CRISIS

GOAL: ACCESS TO SERVICES ADDRESSING FAMILY VIOLENCE.

$795,000 INVESTED

Crisis

  • Medical Services for Victims

  • Legal Services

  • Diversion, Intervention, and Prevention of Abuse and Neglect

Stability

  • Outreach to Vulnerable Populations

  • Family Counseling, Advocacy, and Education

  • Adoptive Family Support Services

7,683 people

8,403 therapy sessions for survivors of abuse

4,907 hours supporting children in the court system

50 foster children found stable homes

61 children received medical exams after being sexually abused
13 were under the age of six


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FAMILY STABILITY:
MENTAL/BEHAVIORAL HEALTH

GOAL: INCREASED ACCESS TO QUALITY MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES.

$385,000 INVESTED

Crisis

  • Intervention for At-Risk Youth

  • Low-Cost, Direct Service Targeting the Uninsured

Stability

  • Expanding Access to Mental Health Services

10,326 people

247 received help from a mental/behavioral health coach

87% of youth assessed showed an improvement in well-being

1,459 counseling sessions for at-risk youth and their families

82 people trained in opioid prevention


Educate yourself. Find out what the organization stands for – volunteer and experience that. What drew me to United Way is that it builds a community and benefits everyone around us, instead of just fixing problems for a day.
— Dana VanDiggelen, Young Leaders Society

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FINANCIAL SECURITY

GOAL: OPPORTUNITIES FOR GREATER ECONOMIC STABILITY.

$1,300,000 INVESTED

Crisis

  • Transportation to Employment

  • Tax Preparation and Financial Literacy

Stability

  • Soft Skills (resume preparations, interviewing skills, etc.)

  • Training and Credentialing

  • GED and Job-Skills Development

5,872 people

94% seeking employment got a new job

101 worked toward a health care credential

36 earned their GED

224 maintained their employment through transportation services. 13% were third-shift workers.


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YOUTH EDUCATION

GOAL: IMPROVE SEVENTH GRADE SCIENCE AND EIGHTH GRADE MATH SCORES.

$589,000 INVESTED

Crisis

  • Academic Intervention

  • After-School Enrichment

  • Summer STEM Programming

Stability

  • Teacher-Training/Professional Development in STEM subjects

55 teachers and educational staff

2,016 middle school students

76% improved their grades in STEM subjects

96% increased their self-confidence in STEM subjects

89% learned new math skills through in-school enrichment


The gifts and talents that we have are not given to us for us to hang on to. They’re for us to be able to be a blessing to someone else. It’s a joy to be able to see the change that we can make if we come together, united.
— Lisa Knight, Women United
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WOMEN UNITED

Women United brings together women philanthropists who are dedicated to reducing poverty in West Michigan and empowering the lives of women and girls of color by equipping them with confidence, resources, and skills to achieve their goals. In doing so, Women United is making an impact in our community by strengthening the leadership, power, and voices of women of color in Grand Rapids.

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YOUNG LEADERS SOCIETY

Young Leaders Society (YLS) is changing the story in West Michigan. Through YLS, young professionals of all backgrounds unite to take on the most pressing issues in our community. YLS is an opportunity to volunteer, build relationships, and invest in West Michigan. This group is open to any young professional who wants to give back and help build a thriving community for all.


FINANCIAL STEWARDSHIP

We are committed to ensuring that your gift is invested in the most effective way possible.

Our operating budget is audited by an independent accounting firm and is carefully reviewed by the members of the United Way Finance and Audit Committee and Board of Directors.

Revenue Sources

Expenses


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I feel comfortable that when I donate to United Way, it’s going to the right place and the funds are going to be used appropriately. There are a thousand stories where you can see your dollars at work.
— Eddie Tadlock, Leadership Circle

LEADERSHIP CIRCLE

Leadership Circle donors have a deep commitment to helping people. The collective giving of Leadership Circle donors makes for a stronger nonprofit community, that in turn, is better able to serve people in Kent County. A Leadership gift of $1,000 or more given annually to Heart of West Michigan United Way connects members with other community-minded individuals who are working together to create lasting change.

LEADERSHIP CIRCLE MEMBERSHIP LEVELS

Bronze: $1,000-$2,999
Silver: $3,000-$4,999
Gold: $5,000-$9,999

1,229 donors
$2,099,160 total giving


I’ve seen the change. It’s important to me to see the success of individuals and that people who need help get help. I think you’re able to help many more people through United Way, because your funds don’t just go to a single entity. They go to a vision.
— Jeff Gurney, Tocqueville Society

TOCQUEVILLE SOCIETY

Tocqueville Society members are local philanthropic leaders who generously commit to gifts of $10,000 or more annually. They have proven to be highly effective and highly esteemed United Way partners who play a critical role in our important work. We are fortunate to have 97 individuals and couples in West Michigan who demonstrate their commitment to our community in such a profound way. Last year, their gifts provided a solid foundation for United Way fundraising campaigns, leading the way in gift-giving and influencing others to give as well.

 
 

97 donors
$2,062,272 total giving