Forty percent of households in Tulsa County do not have enough cash on hand or savings to sustain themselves for three months, according to recent surveys conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.
“This puts many individuals and families in financial peril should they encounter an unforeseen circumstance,” said Alison Anthony, President and CEO of the Tulsa Area United Way.
Furthermore, very few non-profit organizations in the Tulsa area are equipped to advise or assist families with money management or credit counseling to alleviate this challenge, she added.
To address this situation, the Tulsa Area United Way is seeking proposals from area nonprofit organizations to provide financial services for families who may be at risk. The United Way will award one or more grants of up to $100,000 to a local organization with the best response to increasing the financial stability of area households, thanks to funding provided by the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation of Tulsa.
"It was important to the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation to support this fund to encourage other Tulsa-area nonprofits to innovate and pilot test new solutions to help Tulsans achieve financial stability," said Elizabeth Frame Ellison, CEO of the foundation. "Our organization aims to inspire others to think outside the box and develop envelope-pushing tactics to solve for these social issues. Increased financial stability will in turn increase opportunity for Tulsans, helping to make our city a better place to work, play and live."
Financial stability is one of the United Way’s three “building blocks” or investment areas, along with education and health/safety.
“Multiple resources that were once available to the community have been discontinued. This has left a financial services gap in the Tulsa area, especially with some of our most vulnerable populations,” said Brent Sadler, Vice President for Community Investments at the Tulsa Area United Way.
The United Way is seeking innovative plans to address the loss of services in financial arena from area 501c3 health or human services organizations. “As a community, we can find ways to assist individuals and families with limited access or knowledge of financial products and services,” Sadler said.
The proposal must address one or more of the following areas: counseling on sound money management, legal resources to help manage financial crises, development of marketable skills to succeed in the workforce or assistance with obtaining affordable and safe housing, Sadler said.
“We’re seeking innovative and bold ideas to address this stubborn challenge which can interrupt the well-being of families or even break them apart,” he said.
Proposals must avoid duplication of other services offered in the Tulsa area, include collaboration with other agencies, demonstrate capacity to execute the program and illustrate sustainability after grant funds are exhausted. In addition, proposals must define measures of success and address specific outcomes, he added.
The deadline for submitting proposals is Sept. 21, 2018. A “pitch night” will be held later this year for selected organizations to present their proposals.
In the last two years, the Tulsa Area United Way has awarded 11 Social Innovation Grants to area non-profit organizations at a total of nearly a half million dollars.
For more information, contact the Tulsa Area United Way’s Department of Community Investments at 918-295-6696 or email@example.com.