Evaluator… Advocate

How exactly does one start as an evaluator and end as an advocate?Advocate 2

Three words.

Visiting Allocation Team.

A Visiting Allocation Team is a group of community members volunteering time to meet with one of the numerous allocation partners of United Way. A Visiting Allocation Team will review the agency’s application, meet with the agency’s executive director and board members, tour the facility, and get an in-depth look at the agency’s programs. Based on these things the Visiting Allocation Team will make a recommendation to either fully fund the request, partially fund the request, or further review the agency on a later date.

It is a process that serves two purposes.

One, it holds United Way accountable for investing community money in effective, mission-driven, and caring organizations.

Two, it holds the allocation partner agency accountable to the community by illustrating that community dollars are being invested in improving lives in Central Alabama.

Once a person meets hardworking staff members, board members, and volunteers, sees the thoughtful budgets, hears stories of success, and experiences the passion of a group of dedicated individuals…that Visiting Allocation Team member is hooked.  Once that person is hooked, he or she begins sharing the experience as a Visiting Allocation Team member to anyone who will listen…

The evaluator has become an advocate.

Over the next several months 519 volunteers will make up 28 Visiting Allocation Teams. Teams are represented by over 150 Central Alabama companies.

519 evaluators…519 advocates!

How about you? What experiences have lead you to becoming an advocate? What are you advocating?