United Way of Northern Arizona — Strategic Plan for Northeast AZ Underway

| September 20, 2022

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United Way of Northern Arizona is in the process of developing a plan to bolster our work in northeastern Arizona and support our nonprofit partners in Navajo and Apache counties.
The strategic plan being developed is similar to a process we went through several years ago in the greater Flagstaff region, which allowed us to refocus our efforts on the most critical needs in Coconino County.

A special Task Force has been assembled for this project and is being led by Eric Scott, Human Resource and Risk Manager for Navajo County and a member of the UWNA Board.

The creation of this plan comes at a time when this economically challenged area (poverty rates range from 23% to 32%) is going through an important transition. Utilities in the area are moving from coal-based energy to renewables and natural gas, resulting in the closure of three power plants in the region.

The strategic plan, funded by a significant donation from APS, will create a roadmap to not only help its partners continue work in these counties, but also allow them to build capacity and sustainability for the future.

Phoenix Philanthropy Group is helping UWNA with this effort. It is working with the task force, which includes engaged and informed individuals who represent the Northeastern region.

Additionally, another 30 key stakeholders in economic development, education, non-profits, local government, health care, criminal justice, and the business community are being asked to give their perceptions, and opinions on the impending impact of the retirement of the power plants.

“We’re pretty early in this process, but what we’ve learned so far is that there are numerous grassroots efforts in place to support and improve these communities, as well as a number of innovative and and exciting economic development initiatives being explored,” said Jeri Kendle, senior consultant with Phoenix Philanthropy Group.

Many of these communities, however, are dealing with significant issues – including lack of affordable housing, unreliable broadband, few childcare and afterschool options for children, and substance abuse, which have been exacerbated by the pandemic, she added.

The current timeline for the strategic planning process involves completing interviews with stakeholders and community members this month and presenting the research to the Task Force in October. The strategic plan will then be developed for review and approval by the UWNA in December, with implementation slated by early 2023.

If you would like additional information, or would like to offer your voice to this process, please contact Christine Pierce via email.


Category: Advocacy, Child Welfare, General, Programs, Resources

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