Driving Collaboration – Encouraging Innovation

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Foothills United Way recently invested major, founding capital into an initiative that stands out for its collaborative nature, ingenuity, and replicability.

It turns out that in a child’s first 18 years, they are in school only 9% of the time!  In that limited amount of time, a child must absorb and become fluent in all the education we expect our K-12 education systems to deliver!  Too many of our students are not meeting state standards for Math and English; which translates into a continued and increased need for social service investments for individuals and families into future generations. 

How do we prepare kids better so they don’t end up dependent on an overburdened system in the future?  Are we willing to invest a dollar today to prevent a cost 7 times greater in the future?  Dream Big is a forward-looking idea launched as a partnership between a group of unlikely bedfellows, who are finding ways to extend education beyond that 9% of school time and deliver it where kids spend more of their time – close to home!  Each partner brings its particular talents, resources, access, and expertise to a common table, to accomplish jointly what no organization could do alone. 

The key?  Organizations that will give up a little turf and cooperate.  Combine assets to work together for greater impact.  Dream Big brought together the raw materials their members had:  Knowledge of where the most vulnerable kids are, access to community rooms right next door to these kids and their families, coordination with school curriculum to enhance and reinforce what kids are exposed to during their “9% time.”  Foothills United Way made sure the collaborative built strong relationships between partners and created a healthy dynamic to get business done.   

Foothills United Way is in the collaboration business!  Partnered solutions measurably impact the big challenges our community faces.  The breadth of resources and relationships at the table helps collaborations do more, faster than a single enterprise could.  We do everything in our power to bring potential partners to a common table and foster and grow collaborative efforts.  United Way grants become an incentive, a “carrot,” to encourage and advance this kind of partnership.  And, we collaborate with other funders to co-invest in the biggest ideas.

If you believe our community can accomplish more when we work in a coordinated fashion, join your dollars with ours, and be part of the incentive for organizations, government agencies, schools, faith groups and businesses to work together!  LIVE UNITED!