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United Way of Franklin and Hampshire County Explore Closer Relationship

March 3, 2020

United Way of Franklin County (UWFC) and United Way of Hampshire County (UWHC) are exploring how to more effectively serve the two counties through collaboration.

Why are we doing this?
Community impact surveys show that our two counties have overlapping needs, such as housing and food insecurity. As a result, many social service agencies serve both counties and are funded by both UWFC and UWHC. Regional social service needs don’t stop at county lines.

That is why the boards of each organization are engaging in a community-focused process to study the benefits of different collaboration options. As part of this process, UWFC and UWHC will meet with partner agencies (those we fund), community leaders, and donors to ensure that any potential change provides a strong net benefit to the communities and agencies we serve.

Long and Successful Regional Histories
The two United Ways have long histories of supporting local communities in the social services. Our shared success has been grounded in the philosophy that United Ways must continuously look for ways to have the greatest, positive impact. We have remained viable and important for so long because we make continuous efforts to respond to community and market needs in a timely and relevant manner. Specifically, this means assessing ways that we can be more strategic, effective, and have greater impact.

Why now?
Both United Ways have coordinated their efforts for years. Relations have never been closer between the two United Ways. Last year both United Ways signed a contract to share and manage a grants database. Our proactive exploration is a natural extension of our close working relationship. We were already talking about deeper potential collaborations when the Executive Director of UWFC departed in December 2019, providing the opportunity for the UWFC board to hire an experienced interim director to assess the best next steps for the organization.

Both United Ways are financially sound. Ensuring that we stay that way for the next century is central to our exploration. New tools and systems offer new opportunities. We owe it to those who invest in us to be as efficient as possible.

We will not compromise on our core mission to improve the quality of the life for everybody in our two counties through the mobilization of people and resources to strengthen our communities and advance the common good. This means maintaining a working and visible presence in both counties, in order to keep in touch with and address local needs.

Contacts

United Way of Franklin County

United Way of Hampshire County

Timberly Grout, Board Chair

Timberly.Grout@peoples.com

413-735-6717

Kate Glynn, Board Chair

kfjglynn@gmail.com

617-645-3340

Sarah Tanner, Executive Director

stanner@uw-fc.org

413-772-2168

John D. Bidwell, Executive Director

john@uwhampshire.org

413-584-3962