By Special to the Daily World
Recently, United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta’s Board of Directors approved an investment package of $20.9 million. The package has three components: The Community Impact Fund, initiatives and an Innovation Fund. This year’s package represents a 10 percent decrease from last year’s $23.1 million package.

One of several powerful ways United Way invests in our community is through the Community Impact Fund (CIF). This fund represents discretionary dollars disbursed by trained United Way volunteers, who identify and prioritize community needs and direct CIF dollars to address those needs. This year, grants totaling $15.2 million will go to 124 community agencies in the organization’s 13-county service area.

These critical dollars help ensure that metro Atlanta has the tools for a good quality of life and bring measurable results in education, income, health and homelessness, United Way’s core focus areas. This year also marked a major shift in the grant application process to address donor and community demands for sharper alignment and impacts in those core areas.

“After an exhaustive and competitive process by more than 190 volunteers and Board members, we are happy to put these essential dollars to work in our community because we know how much our grant partners depend on these resources,” said Milton J. Little Jr., president of United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta. “Unfortunately, many agencies saw a reduction in their grant awards this year, and 49 agencies will not be funded at all, but these are the tough decisions our Board and community volunteers had to make based on the current climate.”

A total of 173 agencies submitted applications. Of those, 124 agencies will be funded. Programs that did not

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