United Way for Greater Austin (UWATX) announced their 2018-2021 Community Investment Grant funded partners this week.
UWATX will award 26 agencies a total of$1.466 million under two distinct funding opportunities that address strategic needs in Austin and Travis County. The path to poverty starts at an early age, when low-income children do not have access to the same opportunities as their more advantaged peer sand continues when parents struggle to access social and economic opportunities. In Travis County, 42 percent of all children under six years of age are living in low-income families–almost 40,000 children who wake up each morning in homes where economic insecurity can force families to choose between paying their ever-rising rent or purchasing groceries, where higher education and job training can feel out of reach.
United Way brings the community together –in a united way –to fight poverty by partnering with critical community stakeholders to identify proven strategies toward a common goal and backing these efforts with partners to amplify the collective impact. Through high-quality, data-driven programs, UWATX seeks to ensure that Austin’s youngest, most vulnerable children and their families have the support and resources they need to break the cycle of poverty.
UWATX focuses funding in two priority areas:
• Success By 6 Early Childhood Development: Ninety percent of all brain development occurs before age five, and children who enter kindergarten school ready are set on a path for success tied to third-grade reading, high school graduation and future job prospects. United Way leads a community coalition aligned with the School Readiness Action Plan that seeks to ensure all in our community children are happy, health and set up for success in school and life. Success By 6 partner investments support organizations achieving outcomes in this action plan.
• 2-Gen – Wrap-Around Family Support: Many families in our community struggle to get by, and low-income families experience a complex network of challenges that hamper their ability to get ahead. 2-Gen partners address two generations in each family by supporting programs that bridge this complex network and collaborate to provide families with equitable access to economic and social opportunities. This year the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation is supporting United Way’s leadership in the creation of a 2-Gen strategic plan for Greater Austin and has committed additional funds to these partner awards.
With these two areas, UWATX amplifies community resources that can address holistic family needs and fight the root causes of poverty.
2018-2021 Community Investment Grant funded partners include:
American Youthworks • Any Baby Can of Austin • Austin Child Guidance Center • Austin Voices for Education and Youth • AVANCE-AUSTIN • BookSpring • Child Inc. • Communities In Schools of Central Texas • E3 Alliance • Foundation Communities • Goodwill Industries of Central Texas • Jeremiah Program • KLRU • LifeWorks • Literacy Coalition of Central Texas • Mainspring Schools • Mount Sinai • Open Door Preschools • Saint Louise House • St. George’s Episcopal School • Texas Association for the Education of Young Children • The SAFE Alliance • Todos Juntos Learning Center • Trinity Child Development Center • Workforce Solutions Capital Area • YMCA of Austin
Selecting and Awarding Community Investment Grants:
From January to March, a group of 40 reviewers evaluated agency proposals for alignment with United Way strategic priorities for community impact and organizational capacity. Reviewers came from diverse backgrounds with equally diverse ties to UWATX. Differing perspectives, backgrounds and ties to the community are an important aspect of the review process, ensuring that proposals are given diverse consideration. These grants are made possible by the contributions of thousands of community investors through United Way employee giving campaigns each year, and many volunteer reviewers also gave through their company campaign.