Yale’s community leaders help make a difference in children’s lives
United Way of Greater New Haven relies on its board of directors and various volunteer committees of local professionals to aid in the decision-making process for distributing and allocating funds to local agencies.
“People frequently ask what the process is for determining which agencies or organizations receive United Way funding,” says Anne Murray-Randolph, co-chair of this year’s Yale-United Way Campaign. “As we are focusing our Yale/United Way efforts this year on enhanced funding for early childhood development and education, we want to be as transparent as possible about how these decisions are made.”
This year’s Community Investment Reviewers include individuals who represent Yale University and the Yale-New Haven Hospital (YNHH). They are: Patti DeWitt and Paula Crombie, who are professional staff members at the hospital; Dana Schaffer, assistant director of Yale’s Gilder Lehrman Center; and Dr. John Leventhal, professor of pediatrics and medical director of the YNHH’s Child Abuse and Child Abuse Prevention programs.
Leventhal and Walter Gilliam, associate professor in the Child Study Center and director of the Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy, are also on the board of Success By 6, United Way’s initiative to ensure that more children come to school ready to learn.
The Success By 6 council works with United Way staff to review grant applications pertaining to early childhood development. Then the members of the committee conduct site visits to see the organizations first hand in order to understand the actual services performed and to interview the leadership of the group.
“In some cases, the grant application may not have been strong enough in portraying the work of the organization,” says Leventhal, who co-chairs the Success By 6 council, “but when we spend time with the organization, we are able to see the value that it brings to the community’s children, and we can move past the limitations of the written grant request and provide funding. It is a time-consuming but very worthwhile process.”
Contributions to this year’s Yale-United Way Campaign, “Give Every Child a Chance,” can help promote early childhood development in the greater New Haven area. To make a donation, visit the Yale-United Way Campaign website.