Community Investment


We ask community members to participate in this allocation process by becoming a Community Investment Panelist. These 100+ volunteer panelists review and score our partner nonprofits' funding applications. Each application is evaluated based on the organization's finances, program activities, and outcomes that demonstrate program success. Allocation amounts are then based upon Community Investment volunteers’ Findings and Recommendations, which are presented to and approved by our Board of Directors.

Community Investment volunteers serve on one of three Councils that are focused on critical issues in our community.

changes due to covid-19

In 2021, the Community Investment process has been altered slightly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and all review is taking place virtually. Please reach out to our Community Investment team if you have any questions.
Education Council
Focuses on Children at Risk
and Literacy & Mentoring
Successful Youth Council
Focuses on Removing Barriers
and Youth Services
Income, Health, and Safety Council
Focuses on Emergency Services
and Basic Needs for families
Community Investment volunteers are our best ambassadors in the workplace and the community because they understand the real impact of United Way.

Roles & Responsibilities

  1. Attend the Community Investment orientation session to learn about the needs and challenges facing our communities. (required)
  2. Carefully read and study the grant proposals for each agency program and thoughtfully evaluate and score the agency and each program, using the evaluation sheets provided, prior to attending the agency presentations. (required)
  3. Attend the Council session when agencies present their program/s for funding. (required)
  4. During presentations, make final scoring changes and/or add comments. (required)
  5. Participate in discussions that assist in the formation of allocation recommendations.
  6. Attend the United Way board meeting when your Council’s findings are presented.
  7. Share your experience with others throughout the year to promote fundraising and volunteerism for United Way of the Ozarks.

Time Requirement

A minimum time commitment of 8-10 hours is expected. The following attendance is required from Council volunteers: orientation (2 hours), review of grant proposal/s from each agency (2-4 hours), attend program presentations and complete evaluations (3-4 hours). Attending the UWO board meeting is optional (2 hours) but encouraged. We do appreciate a 2-4 year commitment to this process due to the 2-year funding cycle to our partner agencies.

Other Considerations

Community Investment Councils represent a broad section of the community. Skill in accounting is not necessary unless you are an appointed Financial Certification Chair. An understanding of human services in our community is helpful, but not required. A member should be sensitive to the needs of our community. Council members must be donors to United Way of the Ozarks through their employer, as an individual, or household. There is no minimum financial requirement, but donations are encouraged to be given before you attend the Council orientation.


If a volunteer is on the board of directors or staff of a partner agency, that individual cannot serve on the Council that evaluates that agency. Otherwise, care should be taken to avoid conflict of interest and the appearance of bias.