Capital Area United Way
Social Innovation Fund 2012
CAPITAL AREA UNITED WAY
Capital Area United Way (CAUW) is an experienced grant-making institution with an 85 year history distributing funds to Baton Rouge area non-profit organizations. CAUW uses a rigorous, program-focused process to validate programs, select grantees, and support the replication and expansion of programs. 2011 grants totaled over $6 million for over 100 programs in 46 agencies. This data-driven process based on demonstrated, measurable outcomes has led to new research-based methodologies.
We strive to achieve our mission "Helping People--Improving Communities" and create long-lasting change by addressing the causes of problems in education, income, and health--the building blocks for a better life. We identify necessary resource investments, apply them to a process of capacity-building within groups based on evidence-based programs, and evaluate outcomes to determine whether changes are making a difference to address current problems and reduce future needs. We engage a spectrum of partners that share this vision of change and will contribute social and economic capital to leverage our community-building.
As part of a 10-year commitment made July 2011and based on research by the Minneapolis Federal Reserve, Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman, and others, we will launch a geographically-based SIF project serving low-income populations in the 10-parish Greater Baton Rouge area. With a Youth Development focus we will build community impact initiatives surrounding early childhood success and its link to the economic well-being of our rural and low-income parishes. CAUW will measure success for this project--children's school readiness--by examining indicators of improved birth outcomes; parents engaged, supported, and educated to meet the needs of their young children (including financial education); all children having access to quality child care and preschool; and children's physical health, safety, and social-emotional needs are met. Research proves that targeted early childhood investments impact not only future generations but also individuals' and families' current economic well-being, by attracting new investments and industry expansions.
CAUW will conduct an open and competitive RFP process, awarding 8-12 subgrants averaging between $100,000 and $250,000 annually. Subgrants will be awarded to replicate or expand early childhood development programs that are both known (such as Help Me Grow, Triple-P, NFP, diverse delivery, and mental health consultation) and new; subgrantees will demonstrate preliminary, moderate, or strong levels of evidence. We will be particularly attuned to programs which can be replicated in other regions, for extended impact. It is anticipated most subgrantees will demonstrate preliminary or moderate levels of evidence; they will receive support to improve their evidence base. Outcomes will be measured by examining the overall community impact through use of the EDI (Early Development Instrument).
While the sole applicant, CAUW will be supported by a team of contracted partners and collaborating entities, including the LSU/Tulane Early Childhood Policy and Data Center, UCLA, and our Impact Cabinet. Representatives from the LSU/Tulane Center; Impact Cabinet; experts from government, education, and non-profit sectors; investment volunteers; and other partners will assist in the subgrant review process and subgrantee selection and help provide continuing technical assistance and support to subgrantees. CAUW will also support subgrantees with centralized data collection and technology support; evaluation support; capacity-building technical assistance; and fundraising.
We are requesting $1,000,000 a year for 5 years, beginning in October 2012. Federal funding will be matched by non-federal funds from area foundations and corporations. Knowing their commitment to preparing for students' success in school, productive work, and healthy and safe lives and to the "well-being of families and communities," we are confident in our ability to secure matching funds. We have provided documentation of our ability and the commitment from our Board to meet matching requirements for year 1 out of existing cash reserves, which are in excess of the required amount, if needed. Shortfalls of our match requirement in each of years 2-5 would be provided from unrestricted annual campaign funding (currently nearly $10,000,000 per year), if necessary.