At Greater Ottawa County United Way, we are in the business of Community Impact.

Community impact is the result we achieve from the work we do to advance the common good.

So what is an impact model?  It is a visual progression from beginning to end of what our program partners do within and around our community. 

Timing is everything, as they say, and just as United Way introduced the LIVE UNITED philosophy and all its accompanying recommendations, Greater Ottawa County United Way was putting the finishing touches on its own body of research, the 5-Year Community Assessment for Ottawa County, which we introduced to the community in September 2008. With the research done and the report released, it was time to use it to map out the future. So we convened the community in a new Impact Task Force to delve into the Community Assessment and use the information it contained to determine what our Community Impact Model should be.

Many organizations, from every area of influence in Ottawa County, came together to form the Impact Task Force. The Task Force met many times, for long hours, to evaluate the Community Assessment—and to create not just a new impact model, but to also develop strategies and goals.  Organizations whose representatives served on the task force are Evergreen Commons, Ottawa County Human Services Coordinating Council, CALL 211, Ottawa County Health Department, MI Works, Lakeshore Coordinating Council, Ottawa Area Intermediate School District, Holland Zeeland Area Community Foundation, Grand Haven Area Community Foundation, and Great Start Collaborative—Ottawa.         

The task force examined the template that United Way offered – Education, Income and Health – and, considering it in light of Ottawa County’s needs, concluded that our impact areas should be Education, Financial Stability, Health and Emergency Assistance/Basic Human Needs.         

This impact model continues to provide funding for programs that address existing problems while also supporting programs that prevent problems from happening in the future. When all was said and done, every one of our existing programs fit into the new impact model.

Having an impact on one in four lives in Ottawa County, that's what it means to LIVE UNITED.

To learn more about these programs and the impact they have, click the buttons at left.



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