Heart of Florida United Way Gives Back on “Giving Tuesday” with Capacity Building Investment to Nine Local Nonprofits

Giving Tuesday Investment

Heart of Florida United Way (HFUW) announced on Giving Tuesday a $75,000 investment in nine local nonprofit agencies within the tri-county area to support capacity-building efforts and continuing education of leadership through the Edyth Bush Institute (EBI). The nonprofits selected are GROW Central Florida, IDEAS for Us, Living Vicky, L.O.V.E. Our Youth, the Muslim Women’s Organization, People Who Make a Difference Foundation, Samaritana del Pozo, Southeastern Food Bank, and the Winter Park Achievement Foundation.

“The past few years have been exceptionally trying,” said Jeff Hayward, President, and CEO of HFUW. “Those on the front lines have been worn down to the bone. Heart of Florida United Way certainly knows what that feels like as our 211 Call Specialists have been busier than ever on the front lines listening to and helping people in dire need. So on Giving Tuesday, we’ve partnered with the Edyth Bush Institute to select nine agencies to help them rebuild for the next set of challenges our community will eventually face.”

The partnership with these nine nonprofit agencies provides critical support through organizational assessments, training tailored for executive directors, and select workshops for individuals to acquire credit to receive the Certificate in Nonprofit Management. Each serves an at-risk population, has revenue under $500,000, and operates within Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties.    

The Edyth Bush Institute has become a trusted resource for nonprofit organizations in Florida. Since its inception, EBI has developed the strongest nonprofit sector through education and management assistance to build healthier communities. 

“Our partnership with Heart of Florida United Way is transformational,” said Min Sun Kim, interim executive director for the Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership. “Through organizational assessments, additional training, and Successful Start: Boot Camp for New Executive Directors, the Edyth Bush Institute meets the leader and the organization where they are and builds from there. Intentional capacity building, like that with HFUW, embraces the spirit of equity while inspiring critical organizations to continue their transformational missions.”

Furthermore, each of the nine agencies supports ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) households, which are one crisis away from financial ruin. Many found themselves living in poverty due to the COVI-19 pandemic, and these were just a handful of the agencies on the front line working side-by-side with them to survive.  

“As our nation and the world faces trying times, many organizations, including ours, have had to pivot to meet the needs the growing needs of our community,” said Lasheena Williams, MNM, CNP, director of L.O.V.E. Our Youth, Inc. “Through the United Way’s investment we are looking forward to the opportunity to build our organizations capacity to support us in continuing to rise to meet the changing needs of our community.”

To further support ALICE during the pandemic, HFUW launched the COVID-19 ALICE Recovery Fund in the middle of 2020 with the help of individual donors and corporate citizens who invest and partner in the organization’s work. As of June 30, 2021, HFUW distributed more than $7.51 million in emergency financial assistance to 13,519 tri-county households providing rent, mortgage, and utility payments for qualified residents. In December 2020, HFUW invested more than $1 million amongst 11 local agencies to support basic needs. And in March 2021, an additional $150,000 was invested in three agencies providing legal representation for families facing COVID-related eviction; and an additional $250,000 in five organizations to stabilize ALICE families to thrive. Since the pandemic’s start, HFUW has invested nearly $9 million overall in programs to support ALICE across the tri-county region.

Visit HFUW.org to learn more about Heart of Florida United Way. Follow us on Facebook at Heart of Florida United Way and on Twitter and Instagram @hfuw.