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Due to the success of the 2018 campaign and to be responsive to the growing needs in Mid-Missouri, the United Way of Central Missouri Board of Directors announced Friday it has approved consideration to add a partner agency to the local network.

"United Way of Central Missouri is truly grateful for the incredible generosity of our community," said Ann Bax, United Way of Central Missouri president/CPO. "It is thanks to this extraordinary support that we are able to consider expanding the United Way partner agency network so we can continue to help thousands in our community live their best possible lives."

Bax said the United Way's mission is to continue to bring agencies and resources together to address critical, unmet needs.

United Way of Central Missouri currently partners with 28 area agencies and programs. Applying agencies must be a health and human service 501(c)(3) that furthers the mission of the United Way in the areas of health, education, financial stability or basic needs.

The agency was started in 1925 and now provides services in seven counties in Central Missouri, including Cole, Camden, Miller, Moniteau, Morgan, Osage and southern Callaway. Nearly 87,000 people benefit from the services provided.

Bax said applying agencies should meet a need not currently addressed by United Way partner agencies unless evidence exists that duplication is necessary in the community.

Interested agencies should contact Bax at [email protected] or 573-636-4100. Partnership applications will be accepted now through April 12. A committee comprised of United Way board members and community volunteers will review the partnership applications and present recommendations to the United Way of Central Missouri Board of Directors for final consideration.

"If the board approves, we'll have 29 permanent agencies," Bax said. "The last time we went through this process was in 2014. We had three agencies apply and in 2015 we added two of them, Central Missouri Foster Care and Adoption Agency and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). At that time, we said we could not consider adding another agency for three to five years given that when you bring on a new agency you have to raise more money in the next campaign. It puts more of a burden on making sure we are able to provide funding."

Last year's United Way campaign brought in $2.219 million, and the goal was $2 million.

"The funding amount for agencies is all over the board," Bax said. "We can't be their only funding stream. We tell them we like to be between 30-50 percent. For newer agencies, the funding amount is smaller. For CASA it was $10,000, and Central Missouri Foster Care received $21,000. The agency getting the most funding is the Little Explorers Discovery Center (formerly known as Jefferson City Daycare) which gets $160,000. The Salvation Army gets $135,000. We've got 100 volunteers going through applications of the existing 28 agencies and looking at what their requests are."

Bax said they have had some agencies already inquire about applying, but the criteria is very stringent because the United Way has to be accountable to its donors.

"The last time we did this it felt like we had twins because we already had a big family, but it was amazing," Bax said.

She said they will know the board's decision in June or July.

"We will promote the agency in the 2019 campaign, which starts in mid-summer," Bax said. "Once approved, the funding would start in 2020. They get a provisional amount in their first year, and then we review them to make sure they are meeting standards they say they can. At the end of 2020, if they meet the criteria, they are a full member."

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