United Way Seeks Community Investment Volunteers

Greater Ottawa County United Way is seeking interested community members to volunteer in the funding process of human service programs in Ottawa County. The process begins at the end of this month and runs through mid-March. Community Investment volunteers help determine where the funds raised during United Way’s annual campaign are invested. They review program applications, visit the program sites, and meet to discuss the program’s effectiveness. Programs are categorized in one of the four impact areas of education, financial stability, health, and basic needs.

“The community investment process is unique to United Way,” says Liz DeLaLuz, United Way’s Director of Community Impact. “Community members make decisions that affect the community where they live and work. It’s also a great way to learn about all the services available in Ottawa County.”

Volunteers are assigned to panels, and starting in late January, each panel reviews program applications for one of the impact areas. Panel members will have a pre-tour meeting to review all program applications; one week later the panels visit the agencies to learn all about the programs and the impact they have on the community. After the tours are complete, the panels meet to discuss the applications and make their funding recommendations to United Way’s Board of Directors. The panel leader finalizes the panel’s recommendations, and then all panel leaders meet to finalize the recommendations for presentation to the Board. The volunteer time commitment is about 15-20 hours over a two-month period.

To volunteer for the 2016 community investment process, call Liz DeLaLuz at (616) 396-7811 x205 or email ldelaluz@ottawaunitedway.org.