PLATINUM2024

United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties Inc.

Live United

Leesburg, FL   |  www.uwls.org

Mission

United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties seeks to create long-lasting change in our communities by addressing our community’s greatest needs in the areas of income, health, and education, providing opportunities to improve the quality of life for at least 40% of our counties' residents.

Notes from the nonprofit

United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties changed its fiscal year in 2018. Previously, our fiscal year began July 1 through June 30. In 2018, we changed to a calendar year. As a result, we filed a 6-month Form 990 ending Dec 31, 2018. While the form showed a loss, it was due to the fact that our receipts usually occur in February. The short fiscal year did not have this income.

Ruling year info

1967

CEO

Monica Wofford

Main address

32644 Blossom Lane

Leesburg, FL 34788 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

59-1143758

NTEE code info

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (P12)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2022, 2021 and 2020.
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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

ALICE (Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, Employed) families are hardworking individuals who earn above the poverty level but still living paycheck to paycheck. They constitute 36% of our counties' residents. When unexpected emergencies arise, they often struggle to afford basic necessities, such as rent, food, health insurance, and transportation costs. United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties exists to serve these hardworking but financially strained individuals. We provide a variety of services, such as case management, rent/mortgage/utility assistance, transportation to medical appointments for Veterans, early education improvement, Economic Mobility services to include financial empowerment workshops, and health and wellness advocacy and support.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Health Initiative

The United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties Health Initiative demonstrates our commitment to improve the health of our community by working with community agencies to provide access to food, discount prescriptions, and free or low-cost dental services.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The 2-1-1 Program is the Lake and Sumter County social services referral system linking individuals to the agencies and programs that can help them. United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties is the sole funder for the 2-1-1 program. United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties contracts with the Heart of Florida United Way to provide our 2-1-1 services, thus saving the costs of equipment, rent, staff, etc. 2-1-1 operates 24/7/365 without charge to the individuals calling or to the agencies providing service. We have also introduced TEXT211 to provide another way residents can access assistance.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program provides free tax preparation for citizens whose income is less than $60,000 a year. The tax preparation is provided by IRS-trained volunteers. The VITA program is open to all individuals and families making under $60,000 per year, and it helps them receive all possible refunds.

Population(s) Served
Adults

United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties loans our Master Teacher to private VPK centers to provide 160 hours of on-the-job training for teachers, leading to improved instruction for students. On top of this, United Way connects teachers to the federal Teach program to provide college scholarships for early childhood teachers.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers

Pathways to Success provides scholarships for technical skills training to help improve one's financial stability. UWLS partners with Lake Tech College, Southern Technical College, and Sumter County Adult Education to provide GED training and Career in a Year job skills training.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Mission United is a United Way program of United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties. While Mission United is dedicated to serves those who have served, it also provides a personal touch that many of the Veterans Affairs options are simply unable to accommodate, often due to capacity. Our Mission United team’s primary role is to help Veterans navigate the system of benefits available, whether by providing those options directly or by connecting our Veterans to a resource for any of the following services: employment services, legal assistance, education, financial stability, health care, and stability housing. Our program also provides financial assistance to alleviate food and housing needs on an as-needed basis.

Population(s) Served
Veterans

Through the Family Stability Services program, ALICE individuals and households work with our social worker to secure monetary assistance in times of crises to pay their rent, mortgage, or utility bills. We follow the Florida Housing Finance Corporation’s guidelines to determine individuals' eligibility for low- or moderate-income assistance. This assistance is provided only once per year. Our social worker also provides referrals to other community organizations that can further assist ALICE households in crisis to stabilize and stay on their feet.

Population(s) Served
Working poor
Low-income people

Where we work

Awards

Excellence 2016

United Way World Wide

Excellence 2017

United Way World Wide

Excellence 2018

United Way World Wide

Affiliations & memberships

United Way Member Agency 1967

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Food Delivery for Seniors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Seniors

Related Program

Health Initiative

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Many senior citizens in Lake and Sumter Counties are homebound and do not have nutritious meals. United Way, LovExtension, and North Lake Presbyterian Church deliver meals.

Number of tax returns prepared by VITA volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Economically disadvantaged people, Veterans

Related Program

VITA Free Income Tax Assistance

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance prepares tax returns for low-income families for free, helping them receive Earned Income Tax Credits and refunds for financial stability.

Amount of Tax Preparation Fees Saved

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Economically disadvantaged people, Veterans

Related Program

VITA Free Income Tax Assistance

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

VITA clients saved an average of $200 per tax return prepared by IRS-certified United Way volunteers.

Amount of Food Distributed (in pounds) by United Way Partners

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Adolescents, Adults

Related Program

Health Initiative

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of pounds of food distributed to the food insecure population in Lake and Sumter Counties in partnership with Faith Neighborhood Center and LovExtension.

Number of people served by United Way food pantries

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Adults, Seniors

Related Program

Health Initiative

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of food insecure people served in Lake and Sumter Counties.

Total number of volunteer hours contributed to the organization

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Adults, Seniors

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Volunteer hours dropped significantly in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Number of Veterans who received case management and/or financial assistance

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Veterans

Related Program

Mission United

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Veterans receive case management to help them navigate the complex system of benefits of the Veterans Administration. They also receive financial assistance with food and/or housing needs.

Number of families assisted with rent/mortgage/utility bills to avoid eviction

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Low-income people, Working poor

Related Program

Family Stability Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Families receive once-annual assistance to help them stabilize when unexpected emergencies arise.

Number of toddlers and preschoolers who received improved early learning instruction

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Infants and toddlers, Children

Related Program

Master Teacher

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

These students' teachers receive guidance from our Master Teacher to enhance instruction. Decreases from 2019 to 2020 are due to the COVID-19 pandemic during which schools temporarily closed.

Number of hours of supervision and guidance that teachers received

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children, Infants and toddlers

Related Program

Master Teacher

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

These teachers work in early learning centers. The decrease in hours from 2019 to 2020 is due to the COVID-19 pandemic during which schools temporarily closed.

Number of clients still working after 12 months

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

2-1-1 is a free referral and information hotline, open 24-7-365 to provide residents of Lake and Sumter Counties information about human services available in their location.

Number of Pajamas Distributed to Homeless and Foster Children

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, At-risk youth, Victims and oppressed people

Related Program

Health Initiative

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

United Way of Lake and Sumter receives donations from the Villages Girl Scout Alumnae to provide pajamas and books to homeless and foster children.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

1. Improve health and well-being for all
2. Help young people realize their full potential
3. Building financial stability and strength
4. Addressing urgent needs today and advancing a better tomorrow

Education: Provide every child with the support they need to thrive! Help more children access early childhood education, have the support they need to succeed in school, and be prepared for college and career.

Health: Improve maternal and child health, increase access to healthy food, boost mental health support, and more.
Provide case management specific to Veterans, and provide transportation to medical appointments at the VA.

Economic Mobility: Help people and families to be financially secure. By working in our communities to ensure people have access to skill building and career opportunities that provide benefits, the opportunity for increased wages, career advancement, and more.

Community Resiliency: Collaborating with community agencies to address the critical needs in the community.

United Way of Lake & Sumter strives to close the gaps and open opportunities so that everyone can thrive. We connect with partners, donors, volunteer and community leaders to tackle the root causes of our community's most complex challenges while making a positive impact in the lives of our community members.

Education: We will serve 10 early childhood classrooms this year, investing in teachers and improving outcomes for 3- and 4-year-olds

Economic Mobility: We have partners with financial institutes and others to assisting with providing monthly financial empowerment workshops for residents. This will expand into financial literacy classes for kids as well. As a result of grants and state appropriate dollars, we will continue to provide free tax assistance for eligible families so that they can obtain the best refund. We will continue to provide homeless prevention services providing funds to keep individuals housed.

Health: Together For Health & Wellness is a new program designed to serve as health advocacy and a connection to resources for our uninsured and underinsured residents. We have currently assisted 700 un/underinsured individuals. Ensuring that our Veterans are getting to their medical appointments is essential.

United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties serves those most in need in our two counties. In 2023, we served approximately 59,000 individuals meeting them with the right solution at the right time. Through our community partnerships, we're able to impact tens of thousands of more lives than we cold on our own.
~We assisted 704 veterans with case management services, 400 veterans transport to medical appointments, and $4000 dollars in food assistance was distributed.
~385 tax returns were prepared and filed with a total refund value at $144k
~120 preschool-aged children were impacted by their teachers receiving training and classroom enhancements.
~423 families received assistance from UWLS Family Stability Services, $132K in mortgage and rent assistance distributed and $110K distributed in utilities assistance.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback

Financials

United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties Inc.

Board of directors
as of 04/12/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Michael Herrera

Valencia College

Term: 2024 - 2024

Emily Madak

Retail

Laura Byrd

Ex Dir LSSC Foundation

Laura Senzamici

Real Estate

Gene Kanikovsky

CFO, SECO

Michael Herrera

Saint Leo University

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 4/12/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/21/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.