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Knowing Your Investment Makes a Real Difference

By Becky Perez, 2018 Stewardship Review Chair

I have had the pleasure of serving as part of the United Way Community Impact Leadership team for almost three years now – the first two years as the Stewardship Review Vice Chair and now as the Stewardship Review Chair. Although the time the Community Impact Leadership team spends on United Way related activities is minimal compared to our “regular” jobs, it is time well spent. We are all committed to our mission of providing monitoring and oversight functions to the partnering agencies to ensure their success as good stewards of donor money. We want donors to be confident that they are making a difference in our community by investing in programs that are helping people and families.

Many have asked me what exactly the Stewardship Review Committee is and why is it so important. In a nutshell, the committee’s role is to review the progress of Lubbock Area United Way’s 23 Community Partners. These agencies receive funds that are given by people in our community. As a result, they are able to provide programs that assist families by offering strategic and impactful services like community outreach, hunger initiatives, and adult literacy.    

The Stewardship Review committee is made up of volunteers, like bankers, accountants, and other finance-related individuals, from the Lubbock area. The volunteers review United Way Community Partners’ annual budgets and financial documents. We help ensure agency transparency and accountability with donor funds and ensure the agency is investing donors’ money in a way that has the most impact on the community. We review all agencies on an annual basis to ensure they can demonstrate success and competency in several quality standards, including leadership efficiency and financial accountability.

As a donor myself, it is good to know that my investment in these agencies and their programs is making a real difference in people’s lives in our community. I also personally have a fairly unique perspective of seeing how my contributions are put to work – several years ago, I worked for one of the partnering agencies. I saw firsthand how the donor dollars provided by United Way through a community initiative impacted the lives of so many individuals. It was good to see these funds always put to good use. Not just because of the required transparency and accountability, but because the partnering agencies all share a quality of wanting to improve lives and to make a lasting difference in our community.

I enjoy volunteering, especially for an agency that maintains high values and positively impacts the lives of so many people in Lubbock and the surrounding area.