It is a new day at the United Way of Rome and Floyd County and the new executive director says the organization is poised to make an impact.
Some from an older generation might conjure up terms like “accountability” or “bang for your buck,” Executive Director Allison Mitchell told Seven Hills Rotary Club members Tuesday. But now the keywords for the future will be “engaged” and “collaborative.”
Mitchell, who has returned to Rome from a two-year stint with the American Red Cross in Asheville, North Carolina, said that the United Way, not just in Rome, has not been engaging the next generation of philanthropists.
“We’ve got to change, we have to grow and we have to adapt,” she said.
Donors are the primary customers and clients of the United Way and it is critical to be able to show modern donors how their money is making a difference.
“The United Way is in the impact business,” Mitchell said. “Relationship management is my top priority.”
A key goal of the United Way Board of Directors is to connect the philanthropic dollar to the most urgent needs of the community.
“The United Way exists to serve the interests of the donor,” Mitchell said.
The United Way will target education, income and health issues and seek to create collaborative efforts because she said those issues are far too big for any one agency to try to tackle alone.
“The United Way of Rome and Floyd County, which is your United Way, excitedly announces our intent to transform into a community impact leader,” Mitchell said. “Over the next month, we will engage with diverse community stakeholders, partners and contributors to identify significant community issues. We will hold community forums, interview community leaders and review available research. We will identify community concerns that resonate with residents and are supported by data as significant and far reaching problems and we’ll establish those areas to direct our future work.”
One of the ideas Mitchell and the United Way board have embraced is the creation of an Executive Director Round Table to bring CEOs of various nonprofits across the community together to allow them to share expertise with each other.
She said there are so many leaders of the numerous agencies with great ideas that need to be shared, and put away the notion that everyone is competing for the donor dollar.
The United Way of Rome serves agencies including Cave Spring Day Care, Rebecca Blaylock Child Development Center, Mercy Senior Care, Senior Adult Recreation Center, American Red Cross, STAR House, Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Georgia, Exchange Club Family Resource Center, House of the Children Academy, Boy Scouts Northwest Georgia Council, Girls Scouts, YMCA, Salvation Army, Hospitality House, Open Door Homes, Network Day Service Center, Rome-Floyd County Commission on Children and Youth, and Summit Quest.