Valley of the Sun United Way announced more than $9.3 million in strategic investments of programs and services provided by 101 nonprofit organizations and schools throughout Maricopa County. In partnership with First Things First and other government support, Valley of the Sun United Way also provides nearly $80 million to support families with affordable quality child care and strengthening literacy capacity, serving over 10,000 children statewide.
“We’re proud to support and partner with so many incredible nonprofits and schools that are doing amazing and impactful work throughout our community,” says Carla Vargas Jasa, president and CEO of Valley of the Sun United Way. “These partners are a fundamental and a critical component aligned to reach the bold goals of our community-driven, five-year plan for Mighty Change by 2026, which has prioritized improving outcomes in health, housing and homelessness, education and workforce development.”
The community investments include Valley of the Sun United Way’s recent competitive grant funding process in which $5.8 million has been awarded to support 90 programs and services led by 67 community organizations, and additional investments in the nonprofit’s Grassroots Funding initiative that supports nonprofits with annual budgets under $250,000, as well as multi-year and transformational grants that support long-term programs like Mighty Families and Pathways to Economic Opportunity. Grant amounts had a $10,000 minimum and were capped at $200,000 each.
“Forty-three organizations either received increased or new funding through our competitive grant process and more than 95,000 people throughout Maricopa County will benefit from these funded programs and services,” adds Vargas Jasa. “Our largest investments went to support key strategies addressing the housing and homelessness crisis, in addition to strategic supports in the areas of health, education, and workforce development initiatives.”
The organization’s competitive grant process was open to all nonprofit organizations and schools throughout Maricopa County that submitted funding proposals aligned to Valley of the Sun United Way’s impact agenda and strategies for Mighty Change, also known as MC2026. More than 230 funding applications were then reviewed by a Grant Review Panel comprised of 36 community members, subject-matter experts, Valley of the Sun United Way board members, staff, and other community leaders who ensured greatest alignment, impact, and viability for achieving Might Change. Recommendations of the Grant Review Panel were then considered and approved for funding by the Valley of the Sun United Way Board of Directors.
Recognizing that funding is just one component of addressing the needs of the community, Valley of the Sun United Way also manages a robust Gift-in-Kind Program that distributes more than $350,000 worth of supplies to dozens of nonprofits throughout Maricopa County. The organization has also built and convenes several MC2026 Coalitions and Action Teams focused on the five-year initiative’s key impact areas and other strategic initiatives. These coalitions work to align the collective, public-private efforts of companies, nonprofits, foundations, government entities, and others. Community-based organizations that are interested in joining one of the MC2026 Coalitions and Actions Teams should contact Eileana Gudiño at [email protected].
To learn more about Valley of the Sun United Way, its impact and journey to Mighty Change 2026, or to get involved, visit vsuw.org.