The South Benton Advisory Group is a United Way initiative to create long-lasting strategic impact in South Benton County by leveraging local resources and a locally-developed strategic plan.
Here's how it works
In 2013, United Way received a fifteen-year bequest from the Margaret E. Hull Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation (the Hull Fund) to conduct United Way's mission work specifically to benefit residents of rural Benton County. To ensure investment of bequest funds meets the needs and desires of community members, United Way conducted a Needs Assessment in the rural south county communities of Alpine, Bellfountain, Glenbrook, Ingram Island, Irish Bend, and Monroe.
This exploratory assessment provided a first step in establishing relationships between United Way and South Benton County residents and leadership groups. It also informed United Way of the needs and assets of the assessed communities and where funding will have the greatest sustainable impact.
Numerous assets exist in the communities of South Benton County, including two local non-profits dedicated to enhancing the livability of the region, a new community library, multiple local programs and a community dedication to volunteerism. Despite the community’s many strengths, the assessment detailed numerous priority issues that the United Way Hull Fund could help address.
Addressing the unmet needs of youth and children in the region:
- Access to pre-school programs
- After school and summer activities
- Career and leadership development
Addressing the need for healthy and safe recreation opportunities:
- Multi-use recreation trails
- Community parks
- Family activities
Additional priority issue areas include:
- Food security
- Senior citizen needs
- Access to medical/dental
- Computer literacy
- Leadership capacity building
- Economic development
- Hispanic community relationship building
Read the full report here: South Benton Needs Assessment
As a result of the relationships established through the needs assessment, United Way formed the South Benton Community Advisory Group (SBAG). This group, comprised of local residents, aims to create long-lasting, sustainable impact within the South Benton County Communities.
To perform United Way mission work and to address the priority issues highlighted in the needs assessment, SBAG will work collaboratively with United Way's Community Impact Committee to develop a strategic plan for the funding allocation process, develop culturally appropriate funding cycle application, budget and reporting forms and participate in the fund allocation and project evaluation process.