How Can United Ways And Coalitions Strengthen Program Outcomes?

  • Get informed — Click here to read up on elements of quality programs
  • Invest in quality programs at scale in communities (i.e. no more islands of excellent programs) — Click here to see How United Ways can Strengthen Out-of-School Time Program Quality
  • on dosage and duration — Evaluations make clear that the greatest benefits occur when students participate in programs frequently and over an extended period of time. United Ways can fund and advocate for programs to offer programming 3-5 days per week and throughout the year.
  • Increase access — Evaluations suggests that students, who need out-of-school time programs the most, also derive the greatest benefit from them. United Ways can use data (attendance, grades, behavior) to target students who could benefit most from participation in programs designed to support their academic and developmental needs.
  • Remove barriers to participation — Students (particularly from low-income families) can only benefit from programs if they participate - program fees, location, and transportation costs are most frequently cited reasons why they do not. United Ways can partner with schools, city leaders, and other out-of-school time stakeholders to address these challenges to participation at a community or neighborhood level.
  • Strengthen program content — Programs that are intentionally designed around specific goals and well-implemented will have better results than those that are not. United Ways can work with the agencies they fund and with out-of-school time partners to ensure that programs are focused on meeting the needs of participants and providing engaging, enriching content that complements - but does not repeat - school day instruction.