07/01/12 — Agencies competing for United Way grants

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Agencies competing for United Way grants

By Staff Reports
Published in News on July 1, 2012 1:50 AM

United Way of Wayne County is looking for a few volunteers -- and it's willing to reward the agencies that find them.

Beginning today, UnitedWayne will issue a mini-grant challenge to all non-profit organizations in Wayne County through its Volunteer Wayne website, volunteerwayne.org.

The goal, United Way explained in a news release, is to generate activity on the Volunteer Wayne website with the offer of three mini-grant prizes:

* A $1,000 mini-grant to the agency with the most fans.

* A $1,000 mini-grant to the agency with the most response to its needs.

* A $500 mini-grant to the agency with the second most fans.

To be eligible for the mini-grants, agencies must:

* Attend a webinar training session -- Tuesday at 1 p.m. or July 10 at 1 p.m.

* Register to use the site.

* Upload the logo and fill in the sections "Who We Are" and "What We Do."

* List a volunteer opportunity for the Day of Caring on Aug. 3.

To become a fan of an agency, people must register as a volunteer on the site. Then, by becoming a fan of an organization -- people can sign up for as many as they would like -- when volunteer opportunities are posted, they will receive an email.

The contest will end July 31 and winners announced Aug. 1. The money won from the challenge must go to a volunteer opportunity.

For more information, click on the "Challenge" button. Then, once the contest has begun, the "Challenge" button will give real-time updates about what organizations are in the lead.

Catherine LeChot, community engagement manager for United Way of Wayne County, explained the organization decided to launch the initiative after transitioning to the new Volunteer Wayne website several months ago, and hearing about its success for other United Ways.

Right now, she said, there are about 20 organizations listing opportunities on the site, but that they are trying to recruit more.

"There's a common misperception that it's only for member organizations. But it's not. We'd love for it to be open to any nonprofit in Wayne County and we're trying very hard to reach them," Ms. LeChot said. "That's the goal of the mini grant challenge -- to increase the number of opportunities listed and to increase the number of volunteers using the site. We're trying to make it a hub of volunteerism for Wayne County."