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Charlotte Area

The United Way announces $12.3M in investment in Charlotte organizations

The United Way of Central Carolinas announced on Thursday that it was investing $12.3 million into nonprofit and grassroots agencies across Charlotte.

Out of the $12.3 million, United Way has designated $2.3 million that will be used for internal programs.

About $5.7 million in impact grants — used to help families with health, child care and other basic needs — will go to nonprofits across five counties in in the Charlotte area: Anson, Cabarrus, south Iredell, Mecklenburg and Union.

The local chapter of United Way has shifted to strongly focus on advancing racial equity and economic mobility. Therefore, the rest of the funds will be split among two programs the organization created to aid communities of color: Unite Charlotte and United Neighborhoods.

Unite Charlotte provides grants and support directly to grassroots organizations led by people of color. Due to funding from Mecklenburg County, it will receive $3 million this year, up from $1 million in previous years.

United Neighborhoods works to empower residents in historically lower-income areas by working with community leaders and selected nonprofits to meet the needs of residents.

This year, Lakeview will join Renaissance West and Grier Heights in the United Neighborhoods program.

The executive director of the neighborhood alliance, Jamall Kinard, says by allowing community leaders to lead the change happening in their communities, the alliance is creating a blueprint that can be used to help lower-income communities across the country.

“We are choosing the programs and services that we run inside of the neighborhood,” he said. “We are hiring the staff from within the community to be in positions to work the program and make sure it is done effectively.”

The funding provided by Mecklenburg County and other one-time sponsors kept United Way from pulling from their reserves for the first time in 10 years. However, due to a decline in donations over the years, this will be the last year for impact grants.