United Way to announce recipients of $350,000 in grants

The United Way of Central Missouri's board on Tuesday approved about $350,000 in community support grants.

The grants will go to 27 agencies supporting transportation, health education and several other needs, according to local United Way President Ann Bax.

Grants will help agencies meet needs for infants, children, teens and seniors, she added. Grants are paid for through money raised beyond the United Way's annual fundraising goal.

Bax said 55 health and human service agencies (40 of which are not regular partners with the United Way) applied for grants. Their requests totaled $680,995.

The United Way will announce the recipients 9 a.m. June 6 at the Boys & Girls Club of Jefferson City's Sadowski Center, 1123 Charm Villa Drive.

As the United Way has worked on its fund allocation process -- determining how much of the funds it raises goes to each of the 28 agencies/programs it serves -- staff kept hearing how difficult it is for an agency to carve out time for marketing or promoting themselves on social media.

"Staff brought a proposal to the strategic funding committee about finding a person to have -- a consultant to help agencies with their promotions," Bax said. "Basically, the great work that a lot of the agencies are doing is a well-kept secret."

One of the grants will go toward hiring a marketing/social media consultant who will work with multiple partner agencies, she continued. A United Way goal is to not only be a fundraiser, but a good partner. She said the consultant can help address gaps in agencies' capacities to serve.

The United Way serves nine counties in Central Missouri -- Cole, Camden, Maries, Miller, Moniteau, Morgan, Osage, Phelps and southern Callaway counties.