WHY UNITED WAY
What is The Value Add That United Ways Bring To Out-of-School Time Action Planning?
Your United Way, like others, has capacities that can be leveraged to support the development of an out-of-school action agenda - committed partners, volunteers, established business and donor relationships, public engagement capacity, and visibility within the community based on working on issues of common concern.
United Ways that regularly engage and work closely with community stakeholders to develop strategies and focus actions (key elements of the United Way business model) will be well-positioned to lead or facilitate the development of action planning processes so that out-of-school time efforts are:
- Articulated as a high-level strategy for supporting shared community goals focused on children and youth (e.g., on-time high school graduation, college or career by 21). Your United Way can be part of setting a big picture vision for children and youth.
- Included as part of comprehensive wrap-around supports that young people need as they move up the education "pipeline", from early childhood to college or career by age 21 (e.g., mental and physical health services, mentoring, tutoring). Perhaps your United Way already has significant experiences developing specific strategies to support outcomes.
- Aligned and integrated with new and existing efforts, whether led by United Ways or other community stakeholders, to support youth. As investors in other community strategies and programs, your United Way might be well-positioned to advance alignment and coordination.
- Developed collaboratively, involving diverse stakeholders—businesses, municipal leaders, the philanthropic community, schools, and community-based organizations. Perhaps your United Way is already working closely with these types of stakeholders.
- Authentically engaging young people, their families and other community residents. Your United Way can lead efforts to engage community stakeholders in conversations, use surveys, interviews and focus group data to inform the development of an out-of-school action agenda.