United Way of Central Indiana Adopts New Strategic Framework to Guide its Second Century of Community Impact

Central Indiana’s largest social impact organization to reimagine the way it engages donors, community partners in the increasingly complex fight against poverty


INDIANAPOLIS, August 24, 2018 — The United Way of Central Indiana Board of Directors today approved a new strategic framework to guide the organization’s work as it begins its second century of improving lives in Central Indiana. The framework will enable United Way of Central Indiana to align the significant needs of its six-county region with the goals, interests and passions of donors in a modern way.


For more than 100 years, United Way has been fighting for the education, financial stability, health and basic needs of everyone in the Central Indiana community, with a special focus on people and families who are living in or are one step away from poverty. Historically, the organization’s fundraising and programs have been organized around these four important, yet distinct pillars. The strategic framework approved today will enable United Way to integrate these four areas and embark on comprehensive solutions that help move entire families onto a path of self-sufficiency and social mobility.


Central to these efforts is United Way’s work to adopt the Two-Generation Approach (2Gen), a promising practice that combines services to help children and their parents or caregivers reach their full potential together. The strategic framework announced today will enable United Way to build on its successful community partnerships that implement 2Gen practice – such as the Great Families 2020 initiative for which United Way received a $7 million federal Social Innovation Fund grant – and develop new initiatives to address some of our community’s most pressing issues, such as maternal-child health, family literacy and more.


“United Way’s increased focus on community impact over the last several years has taught us that most people who are experiencing, or on the brink of, poverty are facing multiple barriers to self-sufficiency at the same time, and often, under the same roof,” said Bryan A. Mills, president and CEO, Community Health Network and board chair of United Way of Central Indiana. “This interconnectedness demands problem-solving that United Way is uniquely positioned to bring about. The United Way Board of Directors is proud to support this bold new direction to move generations of Hoosiers to a better life.”


This evolution in United Way’s strategy comes at a time in which one in three Central Indiana families are considered financially unstable, meaning they are one medical crisis or a broken-down car away from falling into poverty. These families struggle to make ends meet and frequently go without to be able to afford basic necessities, including quality child care, rent, nutritious food or gas and electricity. These persistent, interconnected challenges make it all the more difficult to take significant steps toward economic stability, such as getting additional education or training or saving for a down payment on a home.


To break that cycle, United Way of Central Indiana – guided by its new strategic framework – will reimagine the way the organization talks about and drives philanthropy in three major ways, including:


  1. Focusing on initiatives that move families toward self-sufficiency, while continuing work to meet Hoosiers’ basic needs and to spur innovation in Central Indiana’s human services sector;
  2. Raising money, engaging people and creating impact through investments in services, community-based organizations, public policy work, partnerships and other activities, consistent with the goals of the impact initiatives;
  3. Making it easier than ever for UWCI’s supporters to give, advocate and volunteer in causes and with organizations they are passionate about through modern solutions such as the Salesforce Philanthropy Cloud, a next generation corporate and individual engagement platform resulting from our global partnership between United Way and Salesforce.org.


“United Way is one of Central Indiana’s oldest philanthropic organizations because innovation has always been at our core,” said Ann D. Murtlow, president and CEO, United Way of Central Indiana. “New generations are redefining the workplace, and technology is revolutionizing the way we engage with them. This new strategic framework will empower United Way to engage individuals and organizations in the causes that are meaningful to them while staying true to our mission and what we do best: Connecting people who want to help with their neighbors who need help and bringing those solutions to scale for greater impact.”


In the coming months, United Way leadership will engage current agency partners and community-based organizations in discussions around this new approach.


“We are just starting our journey, but we are confident that by connecting the significant needs of our community to the goals, interests and passions of Central Indiana donors, we can tackle the thorniest issues that face our neighbors in Central Indiana and usher in the next era of philanthropy and prosperity,” Murtlow said.




About United Way of Central Indiana: United Way of Central Indiana fights for the education, financial stability, health and basic needs of all people in Central Indiana by creating, managing and investing resources in sustainable solutions to our communities’ most stubborn barriers to self-sufficiency. United Way invites all members of our community to LIVE UNITED by giving, advocating and volunteering to improve lives in Central Indiana. Visit uwci.org to learn more.


Jessica Di Santo
jessica.disanto@uwci.org | O: 317.292.5608 | M: 317.921.1224

Emily Brelage
emily.brelage@uwci.org | M: 317.270.4347