Donors to the United Way of the Wabash Valley of over $1,000 per year are United Way’s Vanguard Society members. Webster’s Dictionary describes Vanguard as “the forefront of an action or movement.” These members of the United Way’s Vanguard Society are individuals across our community who are truly dedicated to shaping our corner of the world today and tomorrow with a forward-thinking approach. In doing so, the United Way of the Wabash Valley’s Vanguard Society recently announced a new investment opportunity through their leadership giving program.
The Vanguard FOCUS Group stands for opportunity, choice, unity and support. This group is an exclusive opportunity for Vanguard Society members to dedicate focused resources that support United Way’s work to help struggling working families in the Wabash Valley into what matters most to them. Membership in the Vanguard Society is established for donors who contribute $1,000 or more to United Way for the year. Once an individual or family is an established Vanguard member, donors will be given the opportunity to donate a minimum of $250 to join the FOCUS Group.
The donations contributed to the FOCUS Group Fund will be used together to create a new grant opportunity for United Way’s work guided by the members of the group. At the end of the year, the FOCUS Group will be presented with three ideas by United Way impact councils that are seeking funding to come to fruition. Each FOCUS member will be allowed a single vote to determine which community-changing initiative will be funded. The winning investment will be announced at the United Way’s Annual Meeting. This opportunity is both a way to empower and celebrate the organization’s leadership and donors’ impact on the community.
Christian and Alia Shuck, the Vanguard Society chairs, explained the importance of the program by stating, “We are excited to be collaborating with the United Way staff to build out something new. The Vanguard FOCUS Fund will create exclusive opportunities for members of the Vanguard Society to directly engage with United Way’s impact council volunteers on innovative ways to improve the Wabash Valley. By giving members of the Vanguard FOCUS choice in how the grant will be used, we believe this not only increases funding for programs, it will also educate donors by offering unique insight into United Way’s ongoing activities. “
Danielle Isbell, the Resource Development Director for the United Way stated, “We understand that donors can give to a multitude of organizations. In developing this program, we wanted to empower our donors and encourage choice by allowing donors unique opportunities to increase their giving. I am excited to see the impact the Vanguard Society can make by becoming involved in the granting process by seeding creative ideas that further the goal of lifting 10,000 families in the Wabash Valley out of poverty.”
To learn more about the Vanguard FOCUS Group visit, uwwv.org/focus, or contact Danielle Isbell at 812-235-6287.