United Way partnership to assist nonprofits to make bigger impact in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (News Release) -- United Way of the Ozarks announced a new partnership today with the Great Game of BusinessÒ and Give 5 that provides local nonprofit agencies the opportunity to enhance financial sustainability.

The organizations are partnering on a new pilot program that funds five graduates of the Give 5 program to become certified coaches for Great Game of Business’ Great Game for Social Sectors. Once certified, these coaches will be assigned to one of five local nonprofits awarded a scholarship to implement the Great Game for Social Sectors.

“We are proud to see The Great Game of Business partner with Give 5 and United Way to invest time and money to provide entrepreneurial scholarships and mentorship to local charities to achieve goals never dreamed possible," said Jack Stack, SRC Holdings Corp CEO and Great Game of Business founder.

The cost for a nonprofit organization to complete the Great Game for Social Sectors Jumpstart Program is $6,675. United Way of the Ozarks’ Entrepreneurial Fund will fund the majority of that fee to remove financial barriers for organizations to go through the program.

“The fund will pay a large portion of this fee; however, we still want organizations to invest in the game,” said Debi Meeds, United Way of the Ozarks’ president and CEO.

At a news conference held earlier today, the five organizations selected for scholarships received checks for $5,685 and will begin the program in February. Organizations receiving scholarships are: Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Council of Churches of the Ozarks, Discovery Center, Ozarks Regional YMCA, and The Victim Center.

Anticipated outcomes for these nonprofits include learning methods to operate more efficiently with staff who are financially literate and bought in to the success of the organization; learning techniques to increase employee engagement leading to higher retention rates; learning skills to break down walls between departments creating a cohesive team working toward common goals; and providing services more effectively and efficiently thus making a more positive impact on our community.

The United Way Entrepreneurial Fund was created in 2003 to help finance new revenue streams in nonprofits. Once the funded project became successful, the agency would repay the funds so they were available for other organizations.

“The intent of the fund was to get nonprofit agencies thinking more like for-profit businesses with their fundraising efforts,” Meeds said. “It encourages innovation within the nonprofit community.”

Great Game for Social Sectors was created in February 2017 to provide financial education to the nonprofits.

“This new pilot program creates a bench of coaches to work with local nonprofits,” says Katie Davis, certified coach for Great Game for Social Sectors. “More organizations will now be able to adapt the principles of open-book management, to become greater stewards of their donors’ dollars and enhance sustainability.”

The Give 5 program, which came under the United Way of the Ozarks umbrella in July 2018, matches innovative volunteer opportunities with retired (or almost retired) baby boomers who live in Greene County.

“Becoming a Great Game coach is a meaningful way for Give 5 alumni to make a lasting impact on the organization while using their past executive and/or business experience,” said Greg Burris, Give 5 executive director.

Give 5 volunteers who become coaches will go through a series of training and development sessions through the Great Game of Business. Once certified, they will help their assigned nonprofit implement the Great Game for Social Sectors through a 12-week Jumpstart Program. The Jumpstart Program takes approximately 40 hours spread over months, along with ongoing support as needed.

For more information, please contact Jill Finney at jfinney@uwozarks.com or 417.988.2866