United Way commits $1.7 million toward community priorities

For Immediate Release

Mike McLaughlin, Communications Director | Phone: 785.228.5117 | Cell: 816.591.1592
E-mail: mike.mclaughlin@unitedwaytopeka.org

With spring grants and outside funding, total will top $4 million in 2014

TOPEKA, KAN. (Dec. 13, 2013) – In its fall 2013 funding cycle, United Way of Greater Topeka is investing $1.7 million into the community in Basic Needs and Community Impact funding. Grant review panels comprised of community volunteers recently reviewed grant applications and awarded $725,000 to fund 24 Basic Needs programs. A separate group of panels reviewed grant applications and awarded $998,901 in Community Impact funding to 26 programs. The list of funded partners will be released once contracts have been signed by mid-January.

“It is important to note that funding decisions are made by community volunteers,” explained Kent Townsend, United Way board chairman. “In the Community Impact model, volunteers carefully review and discuss each grant application and then award funding to the projects that best address the community priorities in both Basic Needs and Community Impact.”

Basic Needs grants include shelter, rent and utilities, food, health assistance/prescriptions and safety from domestic violence. Community Impact grants address the work of United Way and its community partners in education, income and health – the building blocks of a quality life. To learn more about our work, visit www.unitedwaytopeka.org and click on the Community Impact link at the top of the home page.

“Basic Needs grants help address people’s immediate needs,” said Townsend. “Our Community Impact work is designed to address and alleviate the base problems that are driving those needs in the first place. We are seeing an increase in the number and amount of applications for Basic Needs, which supports the need for long-term solutions,” he said.

Townsend added that United Way brings together people, businesses and non-profits to address causes as opposed to symptoms. The aim is to bring about positive, sustainable change in the community.

With the $1.7 million coupled with $2.1 million in outside grant funding plus a spring round of grant renewals, United Way anticipates investing upwards of $4 million toward community priorities in 2014.

To address the increase in applications for 2014, United Way’s Board of Directors allocated an additional $200,000 for next year with $100,000 going to Basic Needs grants and $100,000 going to Community Impact funding.



United Way brings together people, companies and nonprofits to create positive sustainable change in our community. By focusing on education, income and health, we help more children graduate and get stable jobs, help families become financially stable and improve the overall health of our community. United Way remains dedicated to Basic Needs including food, shelter, rent and utilities, health and prescription access and safety from domestic violence.

For more than 80 years United Way of Greater Topeka has been improving and changing lives. Since 1980, United Way has invested more than $105 million into the community.