Under the leadership of its board of directors, the Montgomery County United Fund is re-imagining it’s future. Since 1970, MCUF has been raising critical dollars to support local agencies and community needs and during this transition period it makes sense to strategically think through how best to proceed.
In recent months, MCUF leadership has reached out to Indiana United Ways, Indiana’s professional membership association for United Ways and United Funds, to explore future options that will continue to allow local resources/donations to be invested in Montgomery County. Together, they are exploring scenarios that will lead to streamlined operations and stronger focus on making long-term impact, and are thinking through how best to partner with neighboring United Ways. During this exploratory period, MCUF is conducting business as usual: the annual campaign season, led by local board members, is under way; funding disbursements to area nonprofits are planned per the standard processes; and, the board is thoughtfully taking stock of its resources, partnerships, challenges and possibilities.
“While it may seem unusual to delay hiring an executive, we care passionately about making the right decision for our community and want to make the best decision possible,” said Heather Shirk, board president. “Montgomery County United Fund has been raising money and supporting organizations for nearly 50 years, and we are proud of our results. Taking the time to assess our organization’s how and why makes good business sense. Our first step is to assess internal strengths and opportunities and then we want to hear from our community regarding other points of views. We’ll definitely reach out to gain feedback from the public about their wants and needs.”
According to IUW President/CEO Maureen Noe, today’s United Ways and United Funds are working collaboratively to raise the critical resources (people’s money, time and voice) to positively impact local community’s needs. The needs are becoming more and more complicated and the way people want to invest their time and money is also changing.
United Ways and United Funds are finding that they need to re-invent themselves to make sure that they are engaging donors and investing to create a lasting impact in people’s lives. This is new work for our network, and MCUF is transitioning right along with many other United Ways and United Funds across the state and country to remain viable and impactful.
“To really respond to the current giving climate, organizations in our network are innovating around economies of scale that push more resources into local relationships,” Noe said. “Our members are leaning in to each other to problem solve around the complex community issues. Montgomery County, for example has a childcare gap — what should Montgomery County United Fund do in partnership with the other community leaders? These are the right conversations and MCUF is re-imagining how they can play a more active role in solving complex community issues. What heartens me is that the board members leading these change efforts are your friends, your neighbors, your relatives. They work, play and raise families where change happens, they’re personally invested in getting the best results for the people around them. I applaud their commitment and for taking the time to re-imagine.”