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Impact Councils: What to Know & How to Join

Nov 16, 2021 | Blog

United Way of Broome County is seeking Broome County volunteer community members to serve on our Impact Councils for the upcoming 2022-2023 grant review cycle. Impact Council Members read and review applications and ultimately recommend funding decisions to the staff and Board of Directors at United Way of Broome County. These volunteers ensure that funds raised from United Way of Broome County’s Annual Community Campaign are efficiently and effectively invested in local programs.

Who is the ideal impact council member?

Our over 20 current Impact Council Members come from various professional and personal backgrounds, working across nonprofit, corporate, and government sectors.  One thing that they all have in common is a passion for creating change in our community.

Likewise, prospective Impact Council Members should have an expertise or interest in health, education, financial stability, or basic needs. Additionally, serving on an Impact Council is a great opportunity for people who are currently writing and seeking outside grants for their organizations; seeing the grant allocation process from the decision-making side gives you a chance to learn what features make an application stand out from the crowd. Furthermore, we always value prospective members who have grant review experience.

Above all else, prospective Impact Council Members should be passionate people. We look for individuals who are not only willing to chime in and contribute to sometimes tough conversations but who can consider perspectives different than their own. Impact Council Members must abide by our confidentiality statement and disclose any potential conflicts of interest they may have.


What exactly am I signing up for?

Impact Council Members generally commit to two years of service at a time. The bulk of the volunteer time occurs between February and April, totaling between 20 to 30 hours. The majority of this time is spent reviewing applications. Impact Councils are responsible for independently reading and rating between 15 and 30 applications in a two to three-week period. Once they complete this independent review, Impact Council Members attend two meetings, which typically run no longer than 2 hours each. By the end of these meetings, Impact Council Members will have determined which programs they will recommend funding for, and the exact award recommended for each program.

If this sounds a little daunting, don’t worry! The review process always kicks off with an hour-long orientation. United Way of Broome County staff will walk you through how to rate applications in our web portal and precisely what you should be looking for in each application. Our team is always ready to provide any additional input or assistance needed during this time.

Outside of this February and April window, Impact Council Members are expected to participate in annual site visits for at least two funded Community  Partners within their priority area. This provides an opportunity to meet the partners who operate these programs and directly ask any questions they may have. We have found that these site visits provide an invaluable perspective to our Impact Council Members, as they help make each program more than just a description in an application.


How do I sign up?

You can apply to serve on one of our Impact Councils through the Volunteer HQ. After submitting your application, you can expect to hear from a staff member to start the interview and onboarding process within a week.


I still have more questions!

We would love to chat! Please feel free to reach out to Lindsey Mott, Senior Community Initiatives Manager, for more information at [email protected].

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