United Way of Dane County: Building Well-Being


    Special promotional content provided by United Way of Dane County

    Our community’s greatest resource is our people — and United Way of Dane County’s ultimate goal is to maximize the full potential of every neighbor. Devoting resources, time and energy to building the well-being of all helps our community thrive. In order to do this, they are evolving how they engage with people inside and outside the workplace, the way they raise dollars, and ultimately how they mobilize those resources to deliver stronger impact. They relentlessly pursue a Dane County where everyone can succeed in school, work and life.

    When people’s potential, talent and skills are maximized, our community grows stronger and more vibrant. To advance well-being, United Way has changed the ways in which programs are arranged, funded and implemented.

    In 2019 United Way launched their new investment process, where the ways they build the well-being of adults are connected to the ways they build well-being of their children, and vice versa. They call this a “two-generation” approach, or 2Gen.

    2Gen approaches deploy resources devoted to early learning, education, employment, housing, health and so on in a more coordinated way to maximize their effectiveness.

    The 2Gen approach involves identifying the historical and structural barriers that undermine a family’s overall well-being and working with the family to solve problems, access new resources and sharpen existing skills. A responsible, holistic, family-centered mindset differs significantly from the traditional approach to anti-poverty efforts, which rely on a confusing array of separate programs focused on a specific piece of the poverty puzzle (housing, health, employment, etc.) with different eligibility requirements.

    United Way is like an engineer: helping design solid, coordinated tracks. By providing high-quality, well timed and coordinated services, United Way and their partners help families build their well-being faster and more effectively.

    One example of a 2Gen program gaining traction in 2020 is a collaboration that brings together several nonprofit organizations to support families facing housing instability and provides high quality early education services to children from a wide range of backgrounds. While adult family members are being offered stable housing, their young children will be provided with high quality early education services through home visiting programs. United Way will measure success by understanding kindergarten-readiness, household income changes and housing stability. This is the sort of 2-generational work that is laying the foundation for a healthier Dane County.

    As a United Way supporter, you are not only helping in times of crisis – you are addressing root causes of our toughest issues and solving problems

    Please Give, Advocate and Volunteer at www.unitedwaydanecounty.org

    Together, we are the power of many. Working for all.