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March Newsletter

Women United

Here is something you may not know. If you want your philanthropic resources to have the greatest impact give them to organizations that benefit women and girls. "Research shows that's one of the most effective ways to change the world," according to Gillian R. Howell, National Philanthropic Solutions Executive of US Trust. "Improving the life of a female creates benefits and opportunities for her extended family, future generations, and even the larger community in which she lives. That, almost by definition, is high-impact philanthropy."
There are several reasons that giving to projects that support women has disproportionate impact. One is that women and girls today generally suffer more deprivations than men do, so even a small amount of aid can have an outsize benefit. Another reason is women's traditional role as primary caregivers. "Research by the World Bank shows that women reinvest an average of 90% of their available resources in food, education and healthcare for their families, while the reinvestment rate for men is 35% to 40%. In this way, women can help create a permanent path out of poverty," says Howell.
In Thurston County, a group of women has been paying attention to this information and is taking action to dig into the inequity that exists in their own backyard. United Way of Thurston County's Women United (previously known as Women's Leadership Council) formed in 2009 and now has over 100 active members who are leading the charge and inspiring change in our community. The local chapter is part of a powerful, global network of women leaders in more than 165 communities in six countries.
"We empower each other to leverage our passions, ideas, expertise and resources to transform the very conditions our neighbors live in," notes Women United Chair Martha Engle Wagner.
Over the past seven years, Women United has given out over $200,000 grants to nonprofits focused on women and girls in Thurston County. Last year, grantees included CIELO's Fabric of Our Lives program, Family Education and Support Services' program Parents to Parents, Sound Parent to Parent's Effective Communication Workshops, South Puget Sound Community College Foundation, YWCA's Summer Girls Institute for Greatness.
Currently, Women United is accepting proposals for the 2016-2017 funding cycle. The awards will be announced on April 28 at Power of the Purse, an evening event celebrating women in philanthropy. If national trends apply, this group of powerful women is just getting started making impacts that will be felt throughout the community and for generations to come.
Women and Philanthropy
Women and Philanthropy

United Way Advocacy Update from Olympia

On Thursday, February 23, United Way of Thurston County participated in the United Ways of the Pacific Northwest's 2017 Lobby Day. Board members and staff met with legislators from Thurston County and advocated for increased funding for 211, passage of Breakfast After the Bell, and housing and homeless services. It was a spirited event with United Way colleagues from all across the state.


United Way Advocacy Update from Washington D.C.

Jim Cooper from United Ways of the Pacific Northwest just returned from Washington, D.C. We caught up with him for an update on United Way Worldwide's agenda for the 115th Congress.
What are the key pillars of the United Way's platform for the 115th Congress?
In tumultuous political times, our values won't change. United Way's Policy Agenda for the 115th Congress helps fulfill our obligation to assist policy-makers in crafting the best possible governmental policies in the areas of education, financial stability and health, while also tackling important policies that strengthen communities at-large. More details can be found here.
I understand that United Way is part of a coalition of nonprofits working to preserve the charitable deduction. Can you explain the deduction and share a little about the coalition?
Charitable giving allows Americans to create, fund, and operate the institutions that are the fabric of our civil society. It supports nearly every facet of life in our communities: education, research, health services, housing and shelter, job training, arts, culture, environmental protection, historic preservation, civil rights, civic engagement and more. 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the charitable tax deduction. In 2015, Americans contributed almost $265 billion to charities- vital organizations that continue to face tremendous demand for their services.
United Way Worldwide is a proud member of the Charitable Giving Coalition, an unique, unified voice representing a broad cross-section of more than 175 nonprofit organizations from across the country that is dedicated to preserving a charitable giving incentive that ensures that our nation's charities receive the funds necessary to fulfill their essential philanthropic missions.

Women United Membership Profile:
Meet Andrea Ballard- Membership Chair

When it comes to finding talent and recruiting, the Women United of United Way of Thurston County is lucky to have Andrea Ballard.
When long-time Women United member Shirley Legg left the board to return to the Bellevue-area, Balla
rd stepped up to lead the Membership Committee. It is a perfect fit for a woman who makes her living helping to identify top talent for legal and financial organizations. 
Ballard runs Expecting Change, a company that coaches and inspires individuals, groups and organizations to tap into their unique strengths, values, passion and purpose to create stronger, more fulfilling and effective careers & work teams. She has spent the last 15 years managing human resources, recruitment and retention; and she's active in a number of state and local volunteer organizations.
"Women United just continues to grow and blossom," Ballard said. "I'm proud to be a part of it."
Anyone interested in joining Women United should consider attend a monthly meeting or contact Ballard at

Community Investment Partnership Accepting Proposals 

United Way of Thurston County, Thurston County Regional Health and Human Services Council and the Cities of Lacey, Olympia and Tumwater created the Community Investment Partnership (CIP).  The CIP members work together and join resources to address common needs in meeting basic health and human service needs in the Thurston County Region.
A single RFP from the Community Investment Partnership (CIP) is currently available for proposals to be submitted by April 7 and to be awarded by approximately May 16, 2016. This funding will be for one year with programs starting on July 1, 2017 and ending June 30, 2018.  Approximately $630,000 will be available each year.
The CIP proposal framework will prioritize promoting:
* Programs that increase educational success and resiliency of at-risk children and families. (single year or three-year funding available); and
* Programs that meet the basic needs of at-risk populations (single-year funding only).

Request for Proposals Found Here