United Way launches new online tools to communicate message and goals

As United Way Simcoe Muskoka gears up to celebrate 60 years of community-building across this region, a new digital strategy has been launched to encourage a collective action against local poverty – which CEO Dale Biddell wants to make this an issue that can’t be ignored.

The United Way Simcoe Muskoka (UWSM) is deploying online tools to assist donors understand how their financial support is used to make a difference in communities.
To that end the agency has a new Twitter hashtag, #LocalLove, to identify the ongoing community contributions donations allow, and has added new functions and features to its website.
“The world has changed significantly since we were established in 1959, and we have evolved right along with it,” says UWSM CEO Dale Biddell. “But the speed of change has never been quicker than in the last decade. Our new website features a news feed, map, blogs, videos, newsletters and links to our very active social media channels.
“Our aim is for increased transparency in our operations, and increased interaction with the communities we serve across Simcoe County, Muskoka and the Town of Blue Mountains.”
Next year will be the agency’s 60th anniversary, and while the methods of communicating message has and is changing, its commitment to “tackle the most formidable social challenges faced by local communities” hasn’t altered.
“We are constantly in touch with our community partners and with the latest research to ensure we’re making data-driven funding decisions that have the greatest possible outcome. Our grants complement and enhance the work being done by government and other agencies in our area by addressing critical gaps in funding and services,” continues Biddell.
This year, UWSM is funding 30 programs across the region, with a primary focus on early interventions for at-risk children, youth and transition-aged young adults to help set them up for success as adults. Biddell says such poverty-reduction strategies can change the trajectory of individuals, families and entire communities – and everyone has a stake in its success.
“When we work together, the results are game-changing,” she adds. “Poverty erodes potential, but #LocalLove can beat poverty and make life in our communities better for everyone.”