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United Way thanks Nashville for standout year of givingJuly 19, 2012
$55 million invested in community
United Way of Metropolitan Nashville this week recognizes our many partners who made possible a unique and unprecedented milestone: a $55.1 million investment in the community to make an impact on education, financial stability of families and health.
Many of us remember the days when United Way was synonymous with the large thermometer located in a conspicuous place in every community, displaying progress toward a fundraising goal that was established each year. Although that image is memorable, it only captured part of the story.
Today, the fundraising thermometer has been replaced by a graph that shows ever-increasing quantifiable return on investment. Over the most recent year, measurable and quantifiable return on United Way investment here in Nashville grew from slightly under $50 million to $55.1 million.
Here are just a few of the highlights:
• United Way’s 2-1-1 Helpline exceeded the 1.2 million-call milestone, representing efficient connection of individuals in need with organizations, programs and individuals who are able to help them.
• United Way’s network of 18 Family Resource Centers in sites all across the community served more than 30,000 individuals with services that ranged from tutoring to job skills development, primary health care to utilities assistance, and a myriad of other deliverables that further their ability to lead productive lives and emerge from poverty.
• United Way made Outcomes Based Investments totaling $7.4 million in 148 programs operated by 63 partner agencies. Additionally, United Way’s investments helped these partners leverage an additional $16.1 million from other funding sources, magnifying United Way’s impact even further.
• In another extraordinary year, United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program helped over 10,000 low-income working families access more than $17.1 million in tax credits and refunds. These dollars were returned to our community and used by hard-working Nashvillians to pay rent, put food on the tables, educate their children, or just buy gas so they could get to work.
• Through an innovative prescription health-benefit program, United Way made approximately $302,000 in prescription drug savings possible for working Nashville families.
• Through United Way’s Days of Action, volunteers from the community invested 4,374 hours and more than $100,000 of in-kind products in community-changing initiatives.
• United Way attracted another $6.9 million in foundation and government grants designed to address specific education, financial stability and health objectives.
• United Way’s Read to Succeed program raised the bar to combine social achievement with literacy in preparation of more than 1,200 low-income and at-risk preschoolers for kindergarten and beyond. Since the program began, the percentage of children who are prepared to learn when they enter kindergarten has increased from 30 percent to more than 90 percent.
These highlights reflect examples of high-return investment that can be quantified and measured. We celebrate a remarkable year of value and impact made possible by companies, organizations and individuals who partner with United Way in many different ways.
We hope you will join us this next year as we aspire to grow our impact to ever greater heights.
Bob Dennis is campaign chairman of United Way of Metropolitan Nashville and chairman, president and CEO of Genesco Inc.