The Year in Review
AMPLIFYING AGING INITIATIVE
As an extension of the Aging in Place research UWRA conducted in 2019 -funded by a grant from the Cinda A. Hallman Memorial Fund -- UWRA continued to amplify United Way’s commitments to older adults in 2021. UWRA regularly promoted knowledge sharing among UWRA members and local United Ways through blog posts and newsletter articles. UWRA also offered members the opportunity to participate in an Aging Mastery Program® created by the National Council on Aging (NCOA).
UWRA members continued to connect online with each other and the United Way network through 40+ events in 2021. Programming included History Hangouts, Introduction to Implicit Bias, Member Meetups, Onboarding for New(er) Members, Town Halls with United Way Worldwide (UWW) leadership, and alumni calls with various affinity group members (e.g., Advanced Leadership Program (ALP) graduates, Alliance for Black Professionals, The Key Cities, Select Cities, Vice Presidents of Resource Development, and more).
The UWRA newsletter, published three times each year, is distributed to UWRA members and United Way CEOs. Regular features include updates from United Way Worldwide, a ‘Meet the CEO’ column to (re)introduce local United Way leaders, and a ‘Spotlighting Success in the Network’ column to amplify local United Way support for older adults.
UWW PULSE & UNITED WAY ONLINE
Many UWRA members receive PULSE, UWW’s twice-weekly e-newsletter formerly known as Breakfast with United Way, and access United Way Online (UWO), UWW’s repository of knowledge and information for the network. PULSE and UWO are exclusive member benefits for UWRA members.
UWRA’s website remains a key communication vehicle for current and prospective UWRA members. One of the most visited pages is the Acknowledgements page (https://www.uwra. org/acknowledgements), which includes UWRA’s Leadership Giving Circle, Loyal Contributors, and UWRA Endowment Founders and Contributors.
In 2021, UWRA launched a members-only Facebook group and a public LinkedIn group, adding two more ways for members to stay connected to each other and the network. Visit https://unitedway.workplace.com/groups/ UWRA.Members/ and https://www.linkedin.com/ groups/113977/ to follow UWRA on social media.
Making a Difference
UWRA MEMBERS AS NETWORK RESOURCES
New and stronger partnerships with UWW staff, state association leaders, regional engagement directors, and local United Way executives were key to appreciable progress made in 2021. Examples of specific advisory areas and offerings are referenced below.
CEO ASSIST CEO Assist, a dedicated email address for United Way professionals to request confidential assistance, is offered as a safe and neutral communication channel monitored by UWRA.
COACHING & MENTORING
UWRA hosted four CEO Circles in 2021, connecting small groups of current and former CEOs to help navigate the issues that are “keeping them up at night.” UWRA also expanded its collaboration with UWW’s People & Culture team to support mentoring opportunities for participants in UWW’s LEAD program (Leaders Engaged in Accelerated Development).
ENDOWMENT & PLANNED GIVING (EPG) INITIATIVE
UWRA’s pro bono planned giving consultants hosted regular “office hours” to offer guidance to local United Way staff who are interested in establishing and growing endowment and planned giving programs.
ENGAGING LATE-CAREER PROFESSIONALS AND RETIREES INITIATIVE
Advancing the United Way network’s engagement of late-career professionals and retirees remained a key focus of UWRA throughout 2021. With leadership from UWRA Board member Barbara Edmond, UWRA hosted regular Idea Exchanges to capture best practices for engaging this demographic as advocates, donors, and volunteers.
EXECUTIVE SEARCH SUPPORT
UWRA maintains a cohort of UWRA members who volunteer as resources to assist UWW’s People & Culture team with executive searches for smaller United Ways.
INTERIM EXECUTIVES ACADEMY
In 2021, UWRA partnered with the Third Sector Company to offer their Interim Executives Academy at a discounted rate to UWRA members. The 8-week immersion training program is designed to prepare nonprofit leaders to serve short-term, senior-level engagements. More than a dozen UWRA members completed the training to date.
INTERIM STAFFING PLACEMENTS
One of the best-known services offered by UWRA is the opportunity to fill United Way interim positions nationwide with UWRA members who assume these important roles with no learning curve.
RETIREMENT PLANNING INITIATIVE
UWRA is engaged in ongoing communications to encourage and empower current and former United Way staff to take the initiative in planning for their retirement. Articles, publications, webinars, and other helpful resources were provided to the network, including two national webinars in 2021: “Discovering What’s Next” with second-act careers expert and retirement coach Nancy Collamer; and “How to Retire Happy, Wild, & Free” with United Way of Central Indiana’s Always United Chair Mike Becher.
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