United Way of Central Iowa
For more than a century, United Way of Central Iowa has played a unique role in the community by bringing together people from every part of the community – donors, volunteers, advocates, nonprofit organizations, community leaders, elected officials, and people with lived experience. Together, they look at the big picture when it comes to the future of our community to identify gaps and best leverage points to create sustainable impact.
Inclusive and Equitable Philanthropy
They are UNITED in taking on some of the community's toughest challenges, addressing them at their roots through investments and strong partnerships. In addition, they identify specific barriers limiting the community's ability to provide equitable opportunities to EVERY central Iowan.
As United Way of Central Iowa looks to the future, their work in the community is evolving to reflect and respond to the changing needs of central Iowa. In 2021, they introduced a new strategic imperative – United to Thrive. The United to Thrive framework is a means for the organization to establish standards, set goals, measure progress across the community, and preserve accountability for results. Results that lead to a Thriving Community – one that is equitable, engaged, and empowered.
United Way of Central Iowa’s process began with a commitment to addressing the greatest disparities and inequities in the community. United Way of Central Iowa identified priorities through data and listening to the community and the people they serve collectively. United Way of Central Iowa created space for internal dialogues, authentic community conversations with partners, coalitions, and their clients. This collection of stakeholder insight helped United Way of Central Iowa lay out the path forward through United to Thrive.
United to Thrive is comprised of five elements including essential needs, early childhood success, education success, economic opportunity, and health and well-being. Interwoven in all of the strategies is the intentional prioritization of utilizing an equity lens to inform strategy and resource investment. These five elements of a thriving community are interconnected areas of focus that United Way of Central Iowa uses to create strategies and set goals to improve the lives of every person in our community.
Progress and impact of interdependent strategies will be measured and tracked through multiple community metrics. All strategies and initiatives place specific emphasis on equity and reducing or eliminating barriers so every central Iowan has the opportunity to not just survive, but more importantly to thrive.