Organization Name: Kennebec Valley Community Action Program (KVCAP)

Program Name: Greater Waterville Community Investors Initiative

Program Contact: Andrea Pasco, Development Director
Email:     Phone: (207) 859-1630

UWMM has funded this program for 2 years.

Amount Requested: $3000.00
Is this an increase from what your program received for the current funding cycle? 

Twenty-five word summary of this program’s purpose:

Working with Partners and the Community to find solutions that help individuals and families overcome challenges that threaten family stability and/or progress out of poverty.

How your program is uniquely important to the community:

The Greater Waterville Community Investors Initiative is a very unique program that is not duplicated by any other effort within the service area. Partner agencies submit applications on behalf of individuals/families facing a challenge that threatens their financial stability and/or quality of life and no other resource is available. All applications are thoroughly vetted to ensure there is no other solution prior to approval. Requests are then e-mailed (de-identified) to the Community Investors to help solve the problem. Typical requests that Investors donate toward include: security deposits or past due rent payments in order to help individuals and families avoid eviction and/or homelessness; financial support for car repairs so that they can get to work, school, medical appointments, etc.; new beds for people who are sleeping on the floor; or medical needs such as eyeglasses or vital prescriptions. The assistance that applicants receive helps prevent or alleviate a financial crisis and improves the overall quality of life for the people served through this Initiative. All individuals and/or families who receive assistance live at or below 175% of poverty, with the vast majority living below 125% of poverty.

Our Investors are essential to the success of this Initiative. We currently have over 170 Investors on our email list – local residents who care about all members of our community and who are willing and able to contribute financially when an identified need is put forth. From 3/1/18 – 3/1/19, 69 Investors contributed toward requests. Within this time period 29 Investors donated at least twice and 17 contributed to five or more requests. We even have a low-income Investor who lives very simply. He believes so strongly in the importance of this initiative that he donated toward 20 separate requests with money he earns doing side jobs like raking and shoveling. Our Investors’ ongoing commitment to this Initiative is very unusual in fundraising, with a donor retention rate significantly higher than the average. The more common donor scenario is for someone to contribute once and never give a second gift to an organization.  This demonstrates the power of highlighting a very specific need and asking donors to help with the solution – and they do, every time they are asked. 

Program Updates

Since last report (or in past two years):

There was one major program change as it relates to key personnel. Cheryl Leonard, KVCAP’s Community Initiatives Manager, previously oversaw the Initiative but resigned on October 1, 2018. The Development Director assumed all duties related to the Community Investors at that time. This was not a particularly challenging transition, however, since the Development Director has worked closely with the Community Investors Initiative since its inception, and has been an ongoing member of the Community Investors Partner Committee which meets quarterly to address any program challenges and share newly identified resources.

Expected in the coming year:

We do not anticipate any major program changes within the coming year.

Outcome your program most contributes to:
Financial Stability: All Mid-Mainers have access to resources and training to secure opportunities to be financially stable.

How program contributes:
Provides a direct service in financial stability-related areas, Increases access/reduces barriers to direct services, Increases capacity/resources for direct services, Advocates for financial stability, Collaborates with other programs/services in financial stability-related areas

Define your year: July 1 – June 30

How much did we do? 100 (Total number served)

How well did we do it?

Performance measure: Percent of clients who received all available/requested services
Most recent year’s data: 100%
Previous year’s data: 100%

What was the difference made?

Performance measure: Percent of clients with greater access to supports and services
Most recent year’s data: 100%
Previous year’s data: 100%

Action Plan

Objectives for current year:

Objective 1: Assist a minimum of 48 households by addressing a basic need (housing, education, transportation, medical, etc.) when no other resources exist, in order to help them become or remain financially stable.

Objective 2: Hold quarterly meetings with partners (Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter, Waterville/Winslow Public Schools, Waterville General Assistance) to address any program concerns, share resources, and explore adding additional partners and/or communities.

Objective 3: Provide a minimum of 2 presentations to community groups in order to increase the number of Community Investors who receive the weekly email requests.

Objective 4: Provide training and technical assistance to a minimum of 1 new community interested in creating a Community Investors program in their community.

Objective 5: Provide laundry credits to a minimum of 60 households at the Highlander Laundromat in Waterville.

Objective 6: Implement the Pennies for Change fundraiser in March 2020, with the goal of raising a minimum of $500 to directly support client needs.

Objectives and results from last year:

  • Facilitate quarterly partner meetings. 3 Quarterly partner meetings were held with partners throughout this grant period. Due to health issues of the facilitator, the April meeting  was cancelled and communication occurred via email. Partners include staff from KVCAP, Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter, Waterville General Assistance, and AOS 92.
  • Explore new partners and new communities. While there was discussion on adding new partners and/or communities, none new were added during 7/1/17 – 6/30/18.
  • Provide assistance to other communities interested in creating their own Investors program. The previous program facilitator provided technical assistance to groups in Knox and Somerset counties interested in creating their own local Investors Initiative. 
  • Partner agencies to refer Community Investors clients to KVCAP Resource Navigators. 60% of the households served by this Initiative received assistance with self-sufficiency goals through KVCAP’s Resource Navigator.
  • Implement Pennies for Change Fundraiser. The Pennies for Change was implemented in March 2017, and raised $1,015.
  • Stabilize/grow our Community Investors email list. Presentations, email correspondence, and written materials were developed and shared in order to grow the list, which remains relatively stable at approximately 175 people. As new members join, others drop off the list for a variety of reasons.
  • Help Community Investors become more “poverty informed.” The contents of the de-identified email requests that are sent weekly to Investors provides insight into the challenges faced by people living in poverty. For example, several Investors commented that they never thought about the challenge of simply doing laundry for people without a washer/dryer, including the cost to do one load, the transportation issues getting to/from the laundromat, and the time needed in order to complete this task.
  • Offer the laundry fund to people in need. During this time frame we were able to successfully assist 53 households through credits at the Highlander Laundromat in Waterville.
  • Partnership with the Waterville Area Habitat for Humanity ReStore.  41 low-income households received a $300 voucher for furniture and other household necessities. This partnership continues to be strengthened and is a vital resource for people in need.
  • Success Stories

    Last fall the Community Investors Initiative helped a family of five (mother, father, children ages 4, 2, and newborn) avoid eviction from their rented mobile home. The mother was working full-time during her third pregnancy, and dad was staying at home caring for the other two children. Due to complications, mom had to stop working at 36 weeks along. The father got a full-time job shortly after, but ultimately the family was without any income for a month, putting them behind on both their rent and water bill. Community Investors collectively contributed the $452 needed to keep this family safely housed and able to move forward without risk of homelessness. 

    In her own words, the mother shares “Me and my family would like to say thank you for helping us this fall when we were in need. You paid for rent and our water bill. That was a giant help for us in our time of need.  Again, my family and I say thank you.”

    Previous Year Actual Income and Expenditures

    Government Funding UWMM Funding Other UWs Funding Fees/Dues Funding Other Sources Funding Total Income
    26248 3000 0 0 19372 48620

    Total Actual Expenditures: $38123

    Current Year Budgeted Income and Expenditures

    Government Funding UWMM Funding Other UWs Funding Fees/Dues Funding Other Sources Funding Total Income
    1020 3000 0 0 15000 19020

    Total Budgeted Expenditures: $19020

    Anything remarkable about your program’s budget:

    Previous Year:
    “Government” field represents Community Services Block Grant funds dedicated to this program – it is significantly higher than the upcoming request as these funds also included staff time for the facilitation of the Poverty Action Coalition and a portion of expenses incurred by that position, including phone, space, etc. 
    “Other” field represents the amount of donations received by Community Investors and a $7,000 grant from the Stephen & Tabitha King Foundation. These funds were only used to fulfill CI application requests.
    “Total Expenditures” the remaining $10,497 reflects the Investor donations received above what was needed to fulfill requests and is available for future use in meeting requests when we do not receive enough donations – no Investor donations are used for anything other than fulfilling client needs.

    Upcoming Year:
    “Government” field represents Community Services Block Grant funds dedicated to this program. The hours spent coordinating the Poverty Action Program will be provided in-kind by KVCAP in the upcoming year and is not included in this budget.
    “Other” field represents the anticipated donation amount from Investors, which is only used to fulfill CI application requests.

    What else you’d like reviewers to know:

    We are extremely grateful for the UWMM’s current support and believe that the goals of the Community Investors Initiative dovetail perfectly with the UWMM’s mission to mobilize our Mid-Maine community to improve outcomes in Health, Education, and Financial Stability. This program successfully fills an identified gap in available resources by utilizing donations from community members with very little overhead expenses. We look forward to our continued partnership with the UWMM in our efforts to support our most vulnerable neighbors in need of basic life essentials.


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