United Way MWV going green in 2009!

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley
City & State:
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement
United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley works collaboratively with partners throughout Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties to identify community needs and address their underlying causes. United Way then invests resources (financial, in-kind and volunteer) in programs and initiatives that address these core needs, and that have lasting and measurable results on community conditions. We do this by building partnerships, forging consensus, and leveraging resources to make a difference in Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties.

Submission Information

Impact Essay
United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley is “green”…. as green as the grass grows in the beautiful Willamette Valley of Oregon. As a staff, we wanted to maintain our environmentally friendly practices during our 2009-2011 grant funding cycle. UWMWV had requested Adobe Acrobat 9.0 software through Tech Soup to implement a complete overhaul to the granting process of our organization. In the past, local non-profits were allowed to handwrite applications that had been created in a simple Word format, print them out and leaving United Way staff to decipher each grant writer’s doctor like script. Did we mention that up to 5 copies of each application were requested? That amounted to over 500 applications, about 50 pages each, printed in 2007. Additionally, it severely strained the resources of the applying agencies that had to provide the printouts. Talk about hacking down a quite a few Douglas Firs from our local forests! This year was going to be different, no more handwritten applications, no more ibuprofen induced eye-crossing to determine if you were reading the words correctly and no more mutilated trees! With a donated copy of Adobe software, United Way staff worked diligently on creating a simple yet eco-friendly application that any non-profit could manage and submit for funding. This process involved hours of creating checkable boxes, digital signatures and even more time giving technical assistance to some applicants that didn’t own a computer to start with. But in the end, what a beautiful creation it was! Over 100 non-profit agencies were able to download the.pdf applications from our website, complete the document at their leisure and e-mail it back for review. This process impacted everyone, and in the most positive of ways! Staff members were able to read through applications with ease from the comfort of their computers. Non-profits were able to build their technical skills and understanding of new software while saving vital resources. And, volunteers who sat on four-hour long panels to decide which applicants were awarded grants, didn’t have to print out hundreds of applications and instead viewed a projected copy of the application on a screen for common discussion. Thank you Tech Soup and thank you Adobe for making this transition possible!
Submission Category
Environmental Impact Print/Photo
Supporting Work Files