National “Collective Impact” Education Initiative Selects United Way of San Diego County

One of Only Six United Ways to Receive Strategic Support from Strive Network,Funding from Target

Online PR News – 08-October-2013 – San Diego, CA – SAN DIEGO – United Way Worldwide (UWW) and the national Strive Network have announced United Way of San Diego County as one of only six United Ways to be part of a nationwide “Collective Impact” initiative, funded by a $1 million investment from Target. The official announcement was made in late September at the Clinton Global Initiative conference in New York.

“This is a tremendous honor for us, helping us build a new civic infrastructure to increase our work in early-grade reading and kindergarten readiness for the San Diego region,” said Doug Sawyer, president and CEO, United Way of San Diego County. Sawyer noted that each United Way will partner with a successful Strive member, and that San Diego will work with the flagship site in Cincinnati.

Strive connects, supports and facilitates a growing network of communities for the success of every child from cradle to career. In Greater Cincinnati, Strive has eight success measures, from kindergarten readiness through college graduation, and 89 percent of its measures positively increased in the 2012-13 school year.

The local United Way will receive a year of strategic coaching and support from UWW and Strive for its multiple Collective Impact efforts, where all partners use the same data, benchmarks and goals – and ultimately, work together to ensure students’ success. Unlike other joint ventures and partnerships, Collective Impact has clearly defined components that must be met, including a centralized infrastructure with its own organization and staff to keep the initiative on-task. Critical to the success of these efforts is community input and collaboration, combined with tracked data to drive all strategies and decisions.

“We chose San Diego for this initiative because it’s a strong example of leadership and significant community progress,” said Jeff Edmondson, managing director, Strive Together. “This is the first step in forming a large network that is leading to dramatic transformation across the country. The lessons learned from these six communities, including San Diego, will directly influence the nearly 1,200 United Ways nationwide, bringing together local partners to address problems that impact all of us.”

United Way of San Diego County’s Collective Impact efforts include serving as the anchor organization for the City Heights Partnership for Children, providing the initial programming and funding for the Military Family Collaborative, advising and funding the Diamond District Reading Pilot, and funding a portion of the Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood, as well as anchoring, convening and supporting many of the region’s homelessness efforts.

“With support from Strive, United Way Worldwide and Target, we look forward to building the strongest possible cradle to college or career pipeline in City Heights – one that will serve San Diego regionally as we come together to support every child every step of the way,” said Tad Parzen, executive director, City Heights Partnership for Children. “The time is now for San Diego to become a place where all children thrive. Our quality of life, economy and the fabric of our neighborhoods depend on it.”

About United Way of San Diego County
United Way of San Diego County is part of a network of nearly 1,800 community-based United Ways around the world. Locally, United Way is creating sustainable change in the areas of education, income, health and homelessness. In addition to the Bright Futures financial self-sufficiency initiative, we are leading the effort to end chronic homelessness through Home Again, a public engagement campaign, and Project 25, which focuses on the most costly and vulnerable homeless individuals. United Way is a key partner in a number of Education initiatives throughout the county. We harness the collective power of nonprofits, community leaders and thousands of individuals to create change by giving, advocating and volunteering. LIVE UNITED is a call to action for everyone to get involved. To learn more, visit, our Blog, Facebook and Twitter.