The United Way of Highway 55 announced which nonprofit organizations would be named funding partners for this year. According to Executive Director Jennifer Neel, 16 organizations in Coffee, Moore and Warren counties were selected as partners, including five based in Tullahoma.

The United Way of Highway 55 recently announced the nonprofit agencies it would help financially this year.

Sixteen nonprofit agencies from three counties will receive funding assistance from the United Way this year, including five based in Tullahoma.

According to United Way of Highway 55, the 16 funding partners for the upcoming cycle are Child Development Center, Coffee County Schools Family Resource Center, Community Development Center - Families, Coffee County Children’s Advocacy Center, Partners for Healing, Shepherd’s House, Coffee County Imagination Library, Haven of Hope, CASA Works Inc., Warren County Meals on Wheels, Good Samaritan of Tullahoma, Life Choices Pregnancy Support Center, Coffee County Humane Society, STARS, FCA and Hospice of the Highland Rim.

Each of these organizations will receive funding from the United Way during the course of the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

Last year’s partners received $40,000 in funding allocations, marking a 66% increase in funding over the past two years, according to Executive Director Jennifer Neel.

“I’m so grateful for the businesses and individuals who support our nonprofit partners every year,” Neel said. “We’re able to support so many agencies because of the help of our community.”

Each nonprofit submitted an application to the United Way earlier this year for consideration.

Those applications were then reviewed by the United Way allocations team. According to United Way, this year’s allocations team was made up of a representative from United Way of Highway 55 and other local community members, including Mike Belzil of National Aerospace Solutions, Michelle Simmons of Resource MFG and Kelley Taylor of EXIT Realty.

According to Neel, each organization was required to meet certain criteria to be considered a funding partner.

All organizations must be an established 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization for at least one year to be eligible, she said, and they must provide their services in Coffee, Moore or Warren counties. All organizations must also be in good financial standing and be able to provide United Way with a budget as part of their applications.

“The program for which the nonprofit is requesting funds must recognize a need in the community in one of more of the following areas: education, health, financial stability [or] basic essentials,” Neel said.

Additionally, the nonprofit must provide “a non-duplicative service or collaborative effort with other community resource organizations,” Neel said.

Neel said the 16 organizations chosen for this year’s funding cycle were able to show the allocations committee their efficacy in the community.

“They were able to provide outcomes from the past year and also share clear goals for the future,” she said.


How are they funded?

According to Neel, each of these 16 nonprofits will receive a percentage of funds based on their scores during the application and interview process.

The allocations committee is tasked with analyzing each organization’s score and disbursing the proportionate amount of funds.

“Each quarter we look at the amount of donations that we received and disburse the funds to each nonprofit partner based on that percentage,” Neel said. “Last year we set a total base amount of $24,000 and were able to disburse $40,000.”

The primary funding mechanism of United Way, Neel said, is company payroll deductions.

Currently, Neel said, National Aerospace Solutions and Tullahoma Utilities Authority are some of the two largest donors through payroll deductions.

Additionally, United Way also holds fundraisers throughout the year, such as the first ever “Power of the Purse” event in April.

Through that event alone, United Way received $11,000, Neel said.


About United Way of Highway 55

United Way of Highway 55 works in the community to build access to financial stability, education, health services and basic essentials in Coffee, Moore and Warren Counties. In addition to United Way’s nonprofit partnership United Way hosts numerous other programs for giving, literacy, STEM partnership and volunteer management, among others. United Way of Highway 55 also funds and supports FamilyWize, 2-1-1 Hotline, a school attendance campaign and local school supply drives. For more information about United Way of Highway 55, visit www.highway55unitedway.org or call 455-5678.

Erin McCullough may be reached at emccullough@tullahomanews.com.

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