United Way of Santa Barbara County’s 2021-2023 Strategic Plan Renews Commitment to School Readiness/Achievement and Financial Empowerment–Formalizes Focus on Crisis Response and Recovery Work

United Way of Santa Barbara County (UWSBC) has released its 2021-2023 Strategic Plan for moving forward in a rapidly-changing landscape.

Through this plan, UWSBC renews its decades-long commitment to two programmatic focus areas – School Readiness and Academic Achievement, and Financial Empowerment. Additionally, the plan commits UWSBC to a new programmatic focus area – Response and Recovery in Times of Community Crisis. This recognizes that in recent years UWSBC programs and strategies have become important components of Santa Barbara County’s disaster response and recovery infrastructure.

“UWSBC’s 2021-2023 Strategic Plan was developed at a time of unprecedented challenge and hardship in our community and beyond,” said Cliff Lundberg, UWSBC’s Board Chair.  “The COVID-19 pandemic devastated our local economy and threw thousands of Santa Barbara County residents into crisis. The health and economic challenges we continue to face today impact low-income residents the hardest, making UWSBC’s existing programs and its leadership in times of crisis more important than ever.”

UWSBC has revised its mission and vision statements to better reflect these focused efforts:

  • UWSBC’s mission is to enrich the lives of children and families and build resilient communities by leading local programs and partnerships that improve school readiness and academic achievement, financial empowerment, and crisis response and recovery.
  • UWSBC’s vision is strong local communities where committed networks of leaders and organizations are united to provide children and families the education, financial skills, and resources necessary to be successful today and resilient in times of community crisis.

In recent years, UWSBC has intentionally grown its impact in communities by developing and leading programs and community partnerships that address critical local needs, especially the challenges faced by many children and families living in poverty. United Way’s efforts are guided by the belief in the power and effectiveness of partnerships. “We know that UWSBC is more successful and impactful when community members and organizations are  ‘united’ together,” said Lundberg.

“With the partnerships developed and lessons learned as a result of our response efforts during the 2017 Thomas Fire and subsequent debris flow, we were able to more quickly activate our crisis response and recovery partnership network at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Steve Ortiz, CEO of United Way of Santa Barbara County. “As we continue this work in 2021 and beyond, we know difficult challenges lie ahead; however, we remain optimistic. We have seen what is possible when we unite and work together as a community through the power of partnership.”

For more information and to read United Way’s 2021-2023 Strategic Plan, please visit www.unitedwaysb.org/reports

 

About United Way of Santa Barbara County 

Since 1923, United Way of Santa Barbara County (UWSBC) has been a key leader in local efforts to empower children, families, and communities through its own unique collaborative programs and initiatives, partnership convening efforts, volunteer development, and funding. UWSBC’s mission is to enrich the lives of children and families and build resilient communities by leading local programs and partnerships that improve school readiness and academic achievement, financial empowerment, and crisis response and recovery. To learn more, please visit unitedwaysb.org.

 

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