rebecca_2011by Rebecca Dutson
Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer

For nonprofits to thrive in a new economy, they must be innovative and collaborative. Funders play a critical role, as an essential partner with nonprofits, in long-term social change.

Last week, United Way of Salt Lake held its 2nd Annual Funders Summit and Annual Meeting of the Changing the Odds Founding Council, where our community’s foremost philanthropists, as well as corporate and community leaders, discussed evolving nonprofit business models, achieving measurable returns on philanthropic investments, and creating lasting solutions to our toughest social challenges.

Guests were able to hear from Dan Pallotta, author of the renowned book, Uncharitable: How Restraints on Nonprofits Undermine their Potential. Dan has contributed to a new conversation about economic freedom for the humanitarian sector. His iconic TEDtalk on this topic has been viewed more than 2.5 million times. Dan gave an incredibly inspiring presentation that discussed the importance of changing our expectations of how the nonprofit sector operates, in order to produce the best outcomes to effect long-term social change.

Attendees also were the first to see initial community-level results United Way of Salt Lake Promise Partnerships are creating in our Neighborhood Centers, thanks to the important Collective Impact work happening on the ground. Highlights include an 8 percent increase in kindergarten readiness and a 13 percent increase in 8th grade math. It was an exciting to share such great news with so many people who generously invest in this innovative work.

Additionally, United Way of Salt Lake’s long-term goals and corresponding opportunities and challenges were presented. Expanding or completing the cradle to career continuum in the communities where we work is one of those goals. Plans to grow by eight additional Neighborhood Centers in Kearns, Park City, and West Valley, as well as continue to develop and expand our partnerships throughout the communities where we work, were highlighted.

Thank you to Anne and John Milliken for sponsoring this important summit and for everyone who participated. We hope you will all join us in fulfilling our promise to create opportunities so that children, even in the toughest neighborhoods, have the chance to become productive, self-reliant members of our community. The long-term effects benefit all of us.