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 2019, 2018 and 2018.
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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 live below the basic cost of living for our area. 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, scholarships for ALICE women, and financial education.

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.

Family Wize Prescription Discount Savings

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

Children and youth, Adults, Seniors

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Amount of Prescription Dollars Saved

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.

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. Children are ready to enter school and are successful in primary school.
2. Individuals/families have access to affordable health services to improve their health.
3. Individuals/families improve their socio-economic status.
4. Veterans receive the benefits they have earned.

Childhood Success: Engage volunteers and train workers to provide quality early childhood education and enroll children in high-quality early childhood education.

Access to Health: Initiate the United for Health program to enhance access to mental health, dental, and school physical services.

Financial Stability: Provide access to financial assistance and training, leading to better job opportunities for all.

Veterans: Provide case management specific to Veterans, and provide transportation to medical appointments at the VA.

Childhood Success: UWLS has partnerships with early learning centers throughout Lake and Sumter Counties to provide guidance and instruction.

Access to Health: We are currently in the process of initiating this program.

Financial Stability: UWLS has a staff of four case managers who assist over 1,000 households with rent/mortgage/utility assistance each year.

Veterans: Our Mission United case manager is a Veteran himself with connections with the VA and various Veteran service organizations throughout the community.

United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties serves those most in need in our two counties. In 2020, we helped secure $2,061,142 in rent/mortgage/utility payments for our residents. We had our first-ever food drive, and we served 1,679 children and families throughout the year. In 2021, we added new services, such as our Mission United Transportation program for Veterans and our Stronger Families program which provides education on topics such as budgeting and improving credit scores.

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.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We serve our Lake and Sumter County communities. Quite often, the bulk of those communities who come to United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties is a part of what is often called the ALICE population. These are households with incomes above the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), but not earning enough to afford basic household necessities. ALICE is the acronym that stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. These are the individuals and households who struggle to afford items such as housing, child care, food, health care, and transportation.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Case management notes,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    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,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We have heard from many clients that they have difficulty accessing health services- specifically dental, mental health, and school physicals- because their health insurance is inadequate, or they do not have health insurance at all. For this reason, we are initiating a new program, United for Health, that will help ALICE (Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, Employed) residents access assistance in paying for these services.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Listening to our clients' feedback ensures that they have a voice in the services we provide. Each time that our clients' needs are met, our relationship with those that we help strengthens. Listening to our clients helps us connect with them and build more solid relationships.

  • 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?

    Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,

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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  • 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 02/22/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Dr. Laura Byrd

Lake Sumter State College

Term: 2022 - 2025

Ellen Didion

Sumter Sunshine Community Foundation

Karen Hogans

Lake Sumter State College

Emily Madak

Retail

Laura Byrd

Ex Dir LSSC Foundation

Laura Senzamici

Real Estate

Adrian Manley

Pastor and Therapist

Heath Nailos

Attorney

Gene Kanikovsky

CFO, SECO

B.E. Thompson

Director of Development, LifeStream Behavioral

Beth Thompson

Retail

Connie Mahan

Real Estate

Ken Gates

Energy Industry (Retired)

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 2/21/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender 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.