- We have very similar missions and impact goals. Like United Ways across the nation and around the world, we mobilize and unite community resources to improve lives, and we fight for the health, education and financial stability of everyone in our community.
- We already provide grant funding to several of the same programs that serve both communities. These have recently included HealthFinders Collaborative, Exchange Club Center for Family Unity, Northfield Healthy Community Initiative/Faribault Youth Investment, HOPE Center, Project ABLE and Ruth’s House.
- We are both regional sponsors of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a program providing free books monthly for hundreds of young children to encourage family reading and early literacy skills.
“I am truly excited to have the opportunity to work with the people of both communities to improve lives across our region,” Hillemann said. “We look forward to strengthening existing United Way relationships across the area and building new ones.”
The merger should have little impact on United Way grant funding across the region. For at least the first two years, and for as long after that as it continues to make sense, funds raised in each of the original United Way communities will be allocated to grants serving that area, unless donors designate otherwise.
Programs that received grant funding from Faribault in 2018 will receive the same funding for 2019 without needing to reapply. Northfield’s 2019 grant-making process was just completed. The grant programs will likely be merged in 2020 while continuing to track donor location.
“Our boards believe merging is the right thing to do for all of us,” said Jake Piller, board president for United Way of Faribault, and Greg Closser, board president for Northfield Area United Way, in a joint statement. “With a more efficient operation, we look forward to being able to have a greater impact for our youth, for our neighbors in need, and for the health of our whole community. Our community just got a little bigger.”
An article by Sam Wilmes released today by the Faribault Daily News/SouthernMinn.com says:
"The move allows for increased efficiency and effectiveness from the standpoint of the United Way and its funded agencies, Northfield Healthy Community Initiative Director Zach Pruitt said in an email. He spoke highly of local United Way staff and board members.
"'Many of us work at a countywide level already, so this is a natural progression,' he said. 'It will likely streamline processes and allow us for more time and effort to be dedicated to the work at hand.'
"Erica Staab-Absher of the HOPE Center, which advocates for victims of domestic and sexual violence, said in an email it will help to have one agency advocating on behalf of Rice County agencies.
"'By having a strong United Way, we are able to work more effectively together to help eliminate poverty, educate our community and continue to work towards a healthier collective future here in Rice County,'" she said.
"'The benefits to our agency include one set of grants," she said, "one set of reports and more time to put toward serving the clients who are in need of our services each and every day.'"