How the Dollars Get Divided

In December, United Way of Story County (UWSC) announced raising over $2 million for the fifth year through the 2018 LIVE UNITED campaign. The support from Story County is appreciated, and now it’s our job to get the dollars pushed back into the community.
One way money is allocated back into the community is through ASSET (Analysis of Social Services Evaluation Team).  ASSET is a team of volunteers who review individual program budgets and outcomes. These volunteers include representatives from the five major funders of human service programs – Central Iowa Community Services, City of Ames, Iowa State University Student Government, Story County, and UWSC. Each program requesting funds falls into one of three focus areas, education, income, and health – three components that are building blocks for a good quality of life.  
Each human services agency completes an application and attends ASSET’s annual hearings in early January.  Agencies take this time to update the volunteers on their budget, explaining any significant increase or decrease, or providing any updates to programming since the budget information was submitted.  They also have the opportunity to describe the impact each program makes in peoples’ lives. UWSC, as well as other funders, provide the total amount available for funding and the volunteers make recommendations on how funds should be allotted.  Each funder then reviews these recommendations and makes the final decision for each program.  
This year’s funding recommendations total over $4.8 million to nearly 100 programs. The breakdown by funder:  UWSC (26%); Story County (30%); City of Ames (30%); Iowa State Student Government (4%); Central Iowa Community Services (10%).  
Once each funder approves the allocation for fiscal year 2019-20 they enter into a contract or agreement with that agency to purchase those services.  The process is efficient and relies a great deal on the 20 volunteers serving on the ASSET board.  This allocation process has been part of the Story County community since 1985.  
In addition to ASSET, UWSC has its own grant process, which supports local programs that meet the criteria. With your help, we are able to make a positive impact on the lives of more than 30,000 individuals in Story County. Every dollar you give is strategically invested to create true, lasting change.