Community Investment (CI) Volunteers are an essential part of distributing United Way Community Fund dollars back into the community. CI Volunteers are trained by United Way to review funding requests, visit local agencies, analyze program outcomes, and make funding recommendations to United Way’s Board of Directors. With the help of dedicated Community Investment Volunteers, United Way can ensure that Community Fund dollars go to agencies that will make the most significant impact in Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty counties.
Volunteers indicate a specific impact area they are interested in reviewing – these include categories like Academic Success, Youth Development, Crisis Intervention, Economic Opportunity, and more. Volunteers are then placed on an Impact Panel in their area of interest.
Each Impact Panel will meet once a week for 10 weeks to review applications and discuss questions with nonprofit management teams and United Way staff. Additional opportunities for site visits will be available where relevant.
Impact Panel meetings are each week beginning March 22 until June 2, 2023.
In-person weekly application reviews and agency interviews will be hosted at United Way offices throughout the four-county service region; however, virtual participation options are available to all volunteers.
The Community Fund supports nonprofit programs, provides direct assistance to people, and connects volunteers to causes that strengthen our community. It is a major source of funding for programs and services in our area that address critical needs like providing pathways for upward mobility and supporting safety net programs and services. Through this fund, United Way invests in local needs focused on providing quality and affordable childcare, preparing a ready and resilient workforce, financially empowering families, and securing safe and stable housing.
How does the Community Investment Process Work?
“The opportunity to serve as a Community Investment Volunteer was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life! It was like a buffet of knowledge and information from some of the best nonprofit programs in the region. It was exciting to know that together we’re making a difference in our community.”
– Richard Hayes
“My personal, professional, and spiritual growth was inspired and supported by a diverse group of people, who gave of their time, talent, and resources. This process is how a community connects, grows, and sustains individuals and families. The opportunity to serve as a Community Investment Volunteer at United Way allows me to pay it forward and give back. The more we give, the more it comes back to us! ”
– Elsie W. Smalls, PhD, MBA
“I often felt that I should be doing more to help my community, but I didn’t know what to do, where to start, how my skills could make a meaningful difference to those who are trying to improve. United Way brings people together to pool their talents to help improve lives in our community.”
– Kelly Crosby
“I’m in awe of the dedication of so many people who devote their energies to enrich our community.”
– Allen Berger
“This opportunity to serve on the investment panel allows me to work and fulfill my philanthropic passion,” Sarah said. “What I didn’t really understand before my experience with United Way was all of the much smaller agencies that may assist a much smaller group of individuals but have a tremendous impact on their lives.”