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Collective Impact in Action: United Way of Greater Chattanooga’s 2024-2025 Community Investments Partners Revealed 

by | Jun 27, 2024 | Impact, In The News, News, Press Release | 0 comments

Together, they will focus on a bold vision: ensuring every child can thrive and families can break the cycle of financial hardship. 

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (June 27, 2024) – For more than a century, the United Way of Greater Chattanooga has worked to advance a singular vision for our region: ensuring every child can thrive and families can break the cycle of financial hardship. To advance that vision in the year ahead, they are using their fundraising power to energize the nonprofit community. With a commitment of over $4 million, they’re backing 73 local nonprofits working across essential needs, early literacy, entrepreneurship, workforce development, and many other causes. See the full list of funded partners here

“This year’s grantees are exciting because they all have a focused approach,” says Abby Garrison, Vice President of Community Investments at United Way. “Community members chose this diverse group because they are not only addressing immediate needs but also laying foundations for long-term community resilience. We are eager to see the connection and meaningful impact that takes place this year.” 

Celebrating Collective Impact  

Thanks to the generosity of over 7,500 individuals who contribute through the United Way workplace giving campaign, the community investment model is making a real impact on our neighbors. A few highlights from last year:  

  • 3rd Grade Reading Level: Over 1,000 elementary students in a United Way-funded program improved their reading levels, attendance, and grades. 
  • Out-of-School Programming: More than 4,500 school-aged children participated in a United Way-funded out-of-school program that has been proven to enhance academic performance and social skills.   
  • Upward Economic Mobility: Over 500 adults completed a United Way-funded vocational training to help establish career pathways and build upward economic mobility.  

Libby O’Neal, Founder and Co-Director of East Lake Expression Engine (ELEE), speaks to the impact United Way has had on their programming: 

“Thanks to our partnership with United Way, we’ve expanded our impact. We’ve been able to provide tutoring to 60 students weekly and hire 14 students as paid interns to lead programs for over 100 children. These teen leaders evolved from program participants to peer leaders, sharing their knowledge and talents with the next generation of musicians. The skills they gain during their time at ELEE have put many on a path to pursue postsecondary education.” 

Empowering Local Nonprofits 

This funding cycle continues the inclusive process, where any 501(c)(3) organization in Hamilton, Marion, Sequatchie, Catoosa, Walker, and Dade counties can apply. All grant applications are rigorously reviewed by a diverse group of nearly100 dedicated volunteers. This year, 10 nonprofits will be receiving funding for the first time from United Way.  

Supporting nonprofits extends far beyond just funding. United Way has expanded its innovative programming to ensure more nonprofits have the tools and resources they need to build capacity and further their mission.  

Looking Ahead 

United Way of Greater Chattanooga will unveil its new Impact Agenda in August.  

“This vision will give all of our community changemakers–donors and nonprofits alike–a shared framework for even greater collaboration and accountability,” says Garrison. “It will allow us to measure our collective impact on a deeper level with our funded partners. United Way believes that together, we can ensure every child has the opportunity to thrive.” 

About United Way of Greater Chattanooga  

Since 1922, the United Way of Greater Chattanooga has worked to unite people and resources to build a stronger, heathier community. For more information, visit staging.unitedwaycha.org