SOUTHWEST WYOMING — Workplace giving is the single largest area of support to the annual United Way of Southwest Wyoming campaign. Whether employees choose the payroll giving option, a one-time gift option, or the billing option, employees giving through the workplace make up over 62 percent of the campaign, donating $921,671 last year. When combined with corporate and small business gifts, the campaign totaled over $1.4 million.
Nearly 60 companies and organizations in Sweetwater, Uinta, Sublette and Lincoln counties run a workplace giving campaign and many of them also offer a corporate gift or a corporate match.
“Companies of all sizes run workplace campaigns, and we are in need of more. Things change and companies are not always able to do what they’ve done in the past. And of course, the economy has an impact. To meet the needs in our community, we need to expand the workplace campaign. We need more businesses that are willing to give this option to their employees. The number one reason people don’t give is because they’re not asked. In this case, size doesn’t matter. When the community pulls together we make a big impact,” said Kelly Frink, UWSW Executive Co-director. Companies with 900 employees to an organization with 5 employees offer the employee giving campaign throughout southwest Wyoming.
Individuals who would like to donate, but an employee giving campaign is not offered to them, can donate online at swunitedway.org, by mailing a check to 404 N Street, Ste. 301, Rock Springs, or call the United Way office for additional options at 307-362-5003.
To entice donors, United Way, with the help of Rocky Mountain Powersports, is giving away a 2015 Can-Am Commander 800. Donors automatically receive one entry for each $100 that they pledge to their county. Three finalists will be contacted before the Celebration Event in March 2016. Each finalist will be given a key; the key that starts the Commander is the contest winner. Contact United Way for a complete list of rules.
Funds raised in each county stay in that community and are awarded through grants. Organizations with programs that have measurable outcomes and align with United Way’s strategic plan are invited to apply.
United Way’s strategic plan has three initiatives; education, health and basic needs.
Under education, United Way builds and participates in collaborations that will increase kindergarten readiness, third grade reading scores and high school graduation rates.
For health, United Way’s goal is to improve access to and the availability of healthcare.
The basic needs initiative focuses on helping individuals meet their basic needs in the areas of food, shelter, safety, transportation and financial stability.
Once submitted, the Community Solutions Team, reviews the grants. This team is made up of volunteers from various sectors of the community. There is a community solutions team in each county. This review includes agency budgets, goals, and outcomes. Grants are then awarded to the strongest application. The number of clients served, community need, management of the program and best business practices are all considered by the committee. They then make their recommendations to the United Way Board of Directors who has final approval.
In July 2015, agencies were award two year grants.
Once awarded, the agencies provide outcome reports to United Way throughout the course of the grant.
Sweetwater County funded community partners are: Boys & Girls Club of Sweetwater County, Eden Valley Telehealth, Food Bank of Sweetwater County, Life RU Ready?, Sweetwater County Child Developmental Center’s Social Emotional Program, Sweetwater Family Resource Center’s Family Visitation and Family Independence programs, Western Wyoming Family Health, Young at Heart Early Learning Center, Young at Heart’s Special Diet Meals and Caregiver Program, Youth Home Inc., YWCA Big Brothers Big Sisters, YWCA Family Justice Center and Support and Safe House.
Lincoln County Community Partners are: Lincoln County Library Foundation, Lincoln County Self-Reliance, Lincoln Uinta Child Development Association, and Thayne Senior Center’s meal program.
Sublette County funded community partners are: Sexual Assault and Family Violence Task Force (SAFV), and Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Uinta County funded community partners are: Boys & Girls Club of Evanston, Evanston Child Development Center, Lincoln Self Reliance – Uinta County Branch, Lincoln Uinta Child Development Association, Sexual Assault and Family Violence (SAFV), Youth Alternative Home Association, Western Wyoming Health, and Uinta Senior Citizens.