United Way Funding: ASSET Process
Meaghan Szpak, marketing intern
In December, United Way of Story County (UWSC) announced a record-breaking fundraising effort, with $2,165,524 raised through the 2016 LIVE UNITED campaign. These numbers demonstrate that Story County is a very supportive community and many are familiar with UWSC’s annual campaign. But what people may not be as familiar with is how UWSC works to invest the funds in effective programming to meet needs in the community.
One way money is allocated back in to the community is through ASSET (Analysis of Social Services Evaluation Team). ASSET is a team of volunteers who review individual budgets and outcomes of programs. These volunteers include representatives from the five major funders of human service programs – Central Iowa Community Services, City of Ames, Iowa State University Government of the Student Body, Story County and United Way of Story County. The focus of these volunteers when allocating money is on the areas of 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 hearing in January. Here the agencies advocate for their programs and describe the impact they are making 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.
In 2017, over 100 programs have requested funding through the ASSET process. Of those 100, seven new programs have requested funding from UWSC. Overall, $4,458,881was requested from ASSET, with $1,224,743 specifically requested from UWSC.
UWSC was able to approve an average of 97% of the requests, which is a 10% increase in UWSC funding from the current fiscal year. Of this funding, 45% will be directed toward education programs, 32% will be directed toward income related programs, and 23% will be directed to health programs.
In addition to ASSET, UWSC has its own grant process, which supports local programs that meet the criteria. Over the next few months, we will discuss that process and how grant funds are making a difference in the areas of education, income and health for our community. With your help, we are able to make a positive impact on the lives of more than 30,000 individuals in Story County.
UWSC is a strategic leader in building countywide partnerships to identify needs and to develop, support and evaluate effective human services, especially in the areas of education, income and health for our diverse community.