Our Community Investment Process: What Kind of Strategies Make the Cut?

4 examples of real-life programs funded through the process

Together, We Can

Building a strong community that takes care of everyone who lives here depends on your generous support.

Last week, we introduced our community investment process with a Q&A from Sara, our Director of Community Investment and Partner Relations. In case you missed it or need a refresher, here’s a quick recap:

  • The community investment process is how we distribute grants to fund initiatives run by local nonprofits that align with our impact areas of education, stability and health. The purpose of this process is to financially support a network of partners working collaboratively to provide comprehensive and coordinated services that drive deep impact across our community. 

  • The money invested into this process comes from generous donors in our community - companies and individuals like you!

  • These grants are distributed once a year.



Previously-funded projects


The community investment process distributes grants through Impact and Innovation Funds to empower high quality and data-centered projects, spearheaded by local nonprofits that focus on fostering long-term solution for our community. These projects are a crucial part of our work to fight for equal opportunity for all and illustrate the power of innovation within of a connected community. 


At this point, you’re probably wondering: what kind of strategies and projects receive funding? 


As we mentioned, these grants are distributed through the community investment process once per year. A team of community volunteers have recently finished selecting grant projects for this year’s cycle, so we’ll have more information on upcoming projects soon! For now, here are 4 examples of community projects that received funding during the last cycle (July 2019 - June 2020): 



Program name: Hamilton Therapeutic Preschool 

Nonprofit partner: Helen Ross McNabb Center


In 2015 alone, 3,230 cases of child abuse were reported in Hamilton County. These kinds of  adverse childhood experiences (or ACEs) can cause a child to struggle to succeed in school, and therefore to struggle to lead a healthy and stable life. For this reason, early intervention programs are critical. Helen Ross McNabb Center believes in the importance of treating these young survivors of childhood trauma and abuse as early on as possible and within a safe environment - out of this belief, the idea for the Hamilton Therapeutic Preschool was born. The Preschool will provide early intervention services to these child survivors, alongside early childhood education programming, in a supportive and safe space. The preschool also plans to involve families and guardians in programming and resource education in order to make sure that this support extends into their children’s home and daycare lives.  



Program name: Stable Neighbors, Healthy Communities

Nonprofit partner: Northside Neighborhood House and Helen Ross McNabb Center 


This particular project, which is the result of collaborative efforts between Northside Neighborhood House and Helen Ross McNabb Center, funds the new Coffee Community Collective (or C3) located within a Northside Neighborhood House (NNH) location. The goal of C3 is to move community members towards stability by offering assistance with basic needs while simultaneously connecting clients to educational, financial and professional development resources. The new C3 location, which includes a coffee shop, provides the privacy that clients need while working with NNH, as well as a welcoming and comfortable community space. C3 also houses additional office spaces for other partner agencies, including Helen Ross McNabb Center, the Children’s Advocacy Center, the Office for Family Empowerment and the Partnership for Families, Children and Adults. This creates easy access to multiple resources in once location, as well as increased opportunities for collaboration between agencies.



Program name: Parents as Teachers 

Nonprofit partner: Communities in Schools of Catoosa County 


The goal of Parents as Teachers, or PAT, is to provide all children and families with equal opportunity to lead stable and successful lives regardless of any demographic, geographic or economic considerations. In order to work towards this, PAT provides support and education for families in Northwest Georgia. PAT helps parents embrace their role as their children’s ‘first teachers’ by offering training in early childhood education strategies intended to prepare children for kindergarten. PAT also reports cases of abuse and neglect through their early intervention services, which include case management, home visitation, resource referrals and monitoring and educating at-risk families. This year, given the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for continued education at home, PAT’s work has proved more important than ever.



Program name: Consulting to Lead to a 5-year Strategic Plan

Nonprofit partner: The Salvation Army


Greater Chattanooga’s Salvation Army’s new strategic plan includes three focused methods of serving the community - the Salvation Army works to ASSIST, MENTOR and EMPOWER. And this year, their assistance programming has been needed in our community like never before. The Salvation Army provides disaster relief and emergency response services through their Social Services department. When the Easter Tornados hit Greater Chattanooga this past April, the Salvation Army was able to quickly jump into action on the frontlines of the response, assisting the community with temporary housing, food provision, cleanup work and financial relief for those affected by the storms. In addition to emergency and disaster assistance, the Salvation Army works to provide education and stability resources for all members of our community through their MENTOR and EMPOWER initiatives. 



So there you have it - these are the kinds of innovative, impactful programs that receive grants via our community investment process. And these examples are just four of the many programs led by local nonprofits that are hard at work in our community. 


When you make a donation to United Way of Greater Chattanooga, this is the kind of work you empower. These deep investments are only possible because of you.


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