United Way Changes Standards For Determining Funding
By Shannon Pettypiece
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The United Way of Miami-Dade is changing the way it allocates funds, which will affect more than 60 charities and could send some United Way aid to businesses.
Beginning in July 2004, the agency will no longer look at how much a charity gives to determine its funding but instead will monitor the group’s impact in the community, said Harve Mogul, United Way president.
"We are really a service about making change in the community – not just helping people one person at a time," Mr. Mogul said. "Most people want to see the basis of a community change the way it treats those who are vulnerable."
He said the new program, for instance, could fund the Salvation Army based on how many people it employed or helped find housing rather than meals served or cots provided.
"We’ve asked for how many people you’ve fed or housed, but that doesn’t talk about anything changing," Mr. Mogul said.
United Way of Miami-Dade chairman Cesar L. Alvarez said he will consider funding for-profit groups that make significant community impact.
"The label is not as critical as what they are doing for the community," Mr. Alvarez said. "My interest is in how we help those who need help in the community and how we can do that in the most efficient way possible."
Betty Quintairos, executive director of Dade Marine Institute, a program for juvenile offenders that gets significant help from United Way, said she fears the funding change will cause more administrative work. "I don’t think it is really going to affect our organization if they are going to hold organizations more accountable. But now there will probably be another audit we have to meet, which is kind of hard."
United Way chapters in Denver and Portland have similar systems, Mr. Mogul said. Completing the change, he said, could take three years.