Walworth County United Way merger inspires others
JANESVILLE If the consolidation of two United Way organizations in neighboring Rock County goes as smoothly as a local consolidation did, officials will be able to breathe a sigh of relief.
After four or five years of consideration, the executive boards of the Janesville-based United Way of North Rock County and Beloit-based Stateline United Way voted last month to consolidate the two organizations.
(Read all of this week's stories from Walworth County Sunday HERE. )
In late 2009, the United Way organizations of Delavan-Darien and Geneva Lakes Area approved a merger to form the United Way of Walworth County.
“It was something that had to be done and was pretty seamless,” said Vicki Jacobs, executive director of the United Way of Walworth County. “We had visionary people that knew in order to be more efficient, and to eliminate duplication of efforts, they needed to merge.”
The Walworth County merger differs somewhat from the consolidation in Rock County because Walworth County’s merger was also prompted by the opportunity to expand the service area.
“It was natural for us to say, ‘Why don’t we come together on the fundraising, cut our administration costs and bring in other communities that don’t have a United Way presence?” said board Chairman Christopher Stebnitz. Those communities were Elkhorn and East Troy.
The decision to consolidate the United Way efforts in Beloit and Janesville is “about efficiency and re-investing back into the community,” said Ron Ochs, president of United Way of North Rock County. “If we can do a better job doing that in a consolidated, united way … we have a fiduciary role to do that.”
Steve Kinkade, executive director of the Stateline United Way, said the merger represents a major change for area residents and service providers.
“This has been the model the people have lived with for 60 years -- two United Ways in two communities,” Kinkade said. “It is a monumental undertaking.”
For the full story, see HERE.