The United Way of Fayette County (UWFC) is working with Indiana United Ways (IUW) and United Way of Madison County (UWMC) to better serve the region. Under a service agreement, UWMC received a grant from IUW to assist organizations in Fayette and Rush Counties in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, and is working with the local board to manage other United Way work.

After much deliberation about how best to invest resources into the Fayette County community and serve residents with minimal overhead, the board voted in August to sell the building at 428 Water Street, Connersville. “We believe the community will be better served by using the proceeds from the sale for community support,” said board treasurer Mike Schnelle.

“United Way of Fayette County has been working with IUW over the past several years to develop the capacity to serve our residents,” said James Fraley, volunteer CEO for UWFC. The all-volunteer organization has been unable to raise sufficient funds to support a grant cycle and has not had the capacity to manage grant opportunities such as the Economic Relief Initiative (ERI) and Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP). The ERI Grant for Fayette and Rush Counties provides $225,000 to expend over 18 months, with $65,000 awarded to seven local organizations this month. EFSP, a FEMA relief program, provided $20,000 for essential services this year. Both funding processes are managed by UWMC.

“The strength of United Way is the network. Collectively, United Way Worldwide is the largest charitable organization in the world,” said Nancy Vaughan, president of UWMC. “Significant shifts in our economy, driven by technology, have changed the business model for United Ways. We are a global brand that is hyper local; however, local doesn’t mean we need backroom services and governance in every county.”

UWMC has been working collaboratively with United Way of Delaware County to serve Henry County, and the organizations continue to think about other partnership opportunities. UWMC is known for developing and supporting the Thrive Network, a collaboration of organizations that provide employment, financial, and family coaching with connection to basic income supports through both in-person and virtual options. The Thrive Network outreach offices are located in Anderson, Alexandria, Elwood, Muncie, and New Castle. UWMC looks forward to talking with Fayette County leadership about the value in bringing the program to Fayette County.

IUW, the State Association for United Ways in Indiana, supports the membership through capacity building, shared services, and partnering with a focus on helping local United Ways fight for the education, financial stability and health of Hoosiers throughout Indiana.

About UWMC and IUW

United Way of Madison County has been a member in good standing of United Way Worldwide since 1973. For more information, contact Nancy Vaughan, President at n.vaughan@unitedwaymadisonco.org.

Indiana United Ways is the state association for United Ways in Indiana. For more information, contact Maureen Noe, President / CEO at Maureen.noe@iuw.org.

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