3 Michigan United Ways regions will merge

KALAMAZOO, Michigan — A nonprofit organization is working to merge three of its chapters in southern and central Michigan.

In just two weeks, they will be known as the United Way of South Central Michigan.

United Way of South Central Michigan will span six counties and bring new opportunities to each region while strengthening their local impact.

“We see this as our opportunity to generate new and additional resources to be more efficient and effective as a single operation coming together to truly impact the local communities we care about,” United Way said. of the Battle Creek & Kalamazoo Region. President and CEO Chris Sargent.

Capital Area United Way, United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region and United Way of Jackson County merge.

The boards of directors approved it at the end of January.

“United Way is an organization that does what no organization can do alone. We bring together donors, businesses, organizations and individuals. We partner with dozens of community nonprofits and organizations. other local funders to really solve the complex social issues affecting the children and families who need us,” Sargent said.

Together, the three chapters said they would be even stronger. They are already working together on common issues like financial instability and hunger.

Although they may have similar disparities in each of their communities, the goals may seem different.

“Each of our local United Ways will offer unique programs and services. In the Capital Region, we are home to the Capital Region College Access Network and volunteer work to help income, and we hope to be able to support our local communities as well as support our new communities in some of this work as we seek to grow the impact that we do,” said Capital Area President and CEO United Way, Teresa Kmetz.

Working together, they will also combine teams to become one.

“We have amazing teams, but there are slightly different strengths in each of our teams. Combining them, we all get the best in every position we have,” said Ken Toll, president and CEO of United Way of Jackson County.

With it however, the local presence and impact will remain. They plan to keep local donations in the communities they come from as well as offices in each of the current locations.

“This has been one of the key commitments and principles since the beginning of this merger conversation. How can we ensure that donor dollars that are meant to stay in local communities will stay that way? In fact, United Way has been doing it for decades so just to be a continuation of what we already do for donors,” Sargent said.

The merger will now make this section of United Way the second largest in the state.

A new Board of Directors will also be formed with equal representation of current members.

This board will decide on overall governance, leadership and other related responsibilities.

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