United Way of Central Indiana names new director to lead Great Families 2020 initiative

Funded by the Social Innovation Fund federal grant, Great Families 2020 will address family instability in four Indianapolis neighborhoods; Request for Proposals to be released on Nov. 7

INDIANAPOLIS – United Way of Central Indiana (UWCI) announced today that it has named Sara VanSlambrook as the Director of Great Families 2020, a five-year initiative funded for three years by a federal grant from the Social Innovation Fund (SIF), a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service. The $7 million SIF grant will be matched by UWCI and selected organizations for a total of $20.6 million in community investment to improve the lives of the city’s most vulnerable families.

Ms. VanSlambrook currently serves as a Senior Program Officer for the Local Initiatives Support Coalition, Indianapolis (LISC). She has more than 15 years of experience in the nonprofit sector with expertise in program development, grant writing, evaluation, financial management and communications. She earned her bachelor’s at Saint Mary’s College and her MBA and MSSA from Case Western Reserve University. Additionally, she holds a certificate in fundraising management from Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. 

“Sara’s extensive background in nonprofit management makes her a perfect fit for this position,” said Christie Gillespie, UWCI’s VP of Community Impact. “In addition, Sara’s leadership at LISC for the past decade has made her well-versed in the needs of and opportunities within our community. We’re thrilled to have her join our team and begin initiating the process to put this significant investment into the neighborhoods that need it the most.”

The recently announced Great Families 2020 initiative targets neighborhoods on the city’s near West Side, Northwest/Midtown, near Eastside and Far Eastside. These four areas have been deemed priorities by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and have promising community development initiatives underway. With SIF funds, UWCI’s Great Families 2020 will establish neighborhood support networks that provide integrated services in postsecondary education and workforce development, early childhood education, financial support, and health and well-being to families living in poverty.

The Social Innovation Fund (SIF) is a powerful approach to transforming lives and communities that positions the federal government to be a catalyst for impact – mobilizing private resources to find and grow community solutions with evidence of results. As part of the SIF, UWCI must match the federal funds dollar-for-dollar, and funds must be matched again by the organizations selected by UWCI to receive grants. UWCI’s federal grant will leverage approximately $13.6 million in public and private funds ($7 million from UWCI and an estimated $6.6 million from sub-recipients); therefore, the investment in Great Families 2020 will total $20.6 million.

Great Families 2020 Request for Proposals to be Released Nov. 7
On Nov. 7, United Way of Central Indiana will release a Request for Proposals (RFP) on its website for Great Families 2020. An open, competitive process will be used to select up to eight nonprofit organizations to deliver evidence-based services and participate in a rigorous evaluation.

Agencies and organizations interested in applying for Great Families 2020 are invited to attend a Bidders Conference on Nov. 9, from 2-4 p.m. at the American Red Cross (1510 N. Meridian Street) or on Nov. 11, from 9-11 a.m. at United Way of Central Indiana (3901 N. Meridian Street). The RFP is open to any organization, including non-United Way agencies.


About the Social Innovation Fund

The Social Innovation Fund (SIF) is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the President's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. The SIF empowers organizations to identify and support sustainable solutions that are already making a significant impact in transforming communities. For more information, visit nationalservice.gov


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