MCUF leader gives update

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A new year will likely bring anew direction for the Montgomery County United Fund.

In the absence of an executive director, board president Heather Shirk, issued an update on the organization’s current and future operations.

“As we wrap up 2019 and jump right into 2020, the board of the Montgomery County United Fund is working hard to keep the organization and its operations moving along. Our 2019 campaign is winding down, and our focus now shifts to the 2020 allocations for our partner agencies.

“At the same time, the board is also evaluating our current fundraising and business models. Currently, those models limit the depth and breadth of impact we can make in the community, and we want to be able to do more in a concentrated way. Some business and operations aspects we are considering include donor relations, marketing, professional development, outreach efforts, and technology improvements.

“When our executive director resigned in early 2019, we reached out to Indiana United Ways the state membership association for United Ways and United Funds in Indiana. They suggested that, with their assistance, we have more formalized discussions with United Way of Greater Lafayette to explore ways we could work differently. One of the goals of IUW is to help United Ways and United Funds work together and give mutual support to each other. We have been consulting and networking with United Way of Greater Lafayette and other United Ways around us for two plus years, both with the assistance of IUW and independent of it, so having more formal exploration discussions with United Way of Greater Lafayette — as our closest, most progressive, and successful neighbor — made sense.

While we see the benefits of and are interested in unifying under the United Way brand in some way, we simply don’t know just yet what that collaboration looks like. However, without a doubt, our end-goal is to have the ability to deepen our impact here in Montgomery County, engage in continuous improvement, and develop stronger networking relationships within the United Way network. After having conducted many preliminary due diligence checks over the past several months, we recently have learned that it is, indeed, possible to move into a more formalized discussion with our United Way neighbor.

“During the first quarter of 2020, we will hold conversations with our funded partners about their needs and how to most easily transition through potential new models of operation. After agency input, we plan to reach out to the community in an official manner to get feedback about the kind of impact issues they would really like to see us prioritizing in the community.

“We appreciate the continued support of the community helping us to improve the quality of life for citizens of Montgomery County. As soon as it is appropriate, we will issue public statements about how we are re-imagining how we work.”

Contact the MCUF at P.O. Box 247, Crawfordsville, IN 47933; 765-362-5484; or online at www.montgomeryunitedfund.org.

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