The TAUW community investments PRocess

Tulsa Area United Way funding allocations are determined through a rigorous community-based decision-making process.

Each spring, our Community Investments department and a team of 200+ volunteers determine how to allocate resources among our partner agencies.

As you can see in the below list, our Community Investments Process involves an extensive analysis of each agency’s finances and operations.

Step 1: Review the 59 partner agency funding applications and financial information.

Step 2: Conduct partner agency site visits.

Step 3: Panels assess performance and analyze the agencies’ financial condition.

Step 4: Divisions’ chairs receive and review funding recommendations.

Step 5: Community Investments Cabinet finalizes agency funding amounts.

Step 6: The campaign fundraising goal is set to meet the needs of the community.

Step 7: 900 companies & organizations run campaigns, with more than 25,000 donors.

Step 8: Goals met and dollars invested!


By pledging to support Tulsa Area United Way, you are improving the lives of thousands of your friends and neighbors in the Tulsa region, making your community a better place to live.

In turn, this is our pledge to you: your contributions will be invested wisely and locally – with a direct and immediate impact on your community.

Tulsa Area United Way employs a reliable system of investing in our community, recognized and emulated across the nation. Our system provides assurance to our contributors, who are confident their dollars will make a difference.

We utilize more than 200 community volunteers to determine how and where your dollars will be invested in the community. These important decisions are made by you – our volunteers – not United Way staff members.

Join A Community investments panel

Each year, the Tulsa Area United Way (TAUW) engages the Tulsa community to determine the best investment of resources to its partner non-profit agencies. Community volunteers play a vital role in this process.  Panel volunteers work on 8- to 10-member panels assigned to review 3 to 6 partner agencies and will make funding recommendations for the next calendar year.  Each panel is led by experienced co-chairs and facilitated by a Community Investments staff member.

Panel Volunteer Expectations:

  • Attend volunteer training
  • Read all agency application materials
  • Attend panel meetings
  • Attend site visits for agencies
  • Maintain confidentiality
  • Share your questions, thoughts and insights


  • January – Panel Volunteer Online Training (2 hours)
  • February – First Panel Meeting (3-4 hours)
  • March – Site Visits at Partner Agencies (approximately 1-1.5 hours per agency)
  • April – Final Panel Meeting (3-4 hours)

For additional information about this important volunteer opportunity, please contact:

Betsy Guyer
(918) 295-6644
Online here

Registration for 2023 CI Panels is open from October through December 2022. If you are interested in serving on a panel, please complete our registration form.

After you register by clicking the below button, we will notify you when the panel process for next year begins.

MORE ON Community Investments Process

The Community Investments process is the hallmark of the Tulsa Area United Way. Each year, panel volunteers, the Audit Review Committee (ARC), and Community Investments Cabinet (CI Cabinet) complete the review process.

The process strives to measurably improve the lives of people in our community by investing TAUW’s resources in efficiently managed agencies providing programs that effectively help at-risk individuals and families develop and sustain self-sufficiency.  TAUW fulfills its investment strategy by utilizing a community-based decision-making process comprised of three levels of assessment – panel review, division review, and cabinet review.

Panel volunteers work on 8- to 10-member panels assigned to review 3 to 6 partner agencies. These volunteers ensure that partner agencies are making a significant impact in our community and meeting TAUW partner agency standards by reviewing partner agencies’ annual funding requests and conducting site visits. Volunteers then make funding recommendations for the next calendar year and propose assistance with particular needs, if necessary.

At the second level of assessment, panel leaders meet with division chairs to present their panel’s recommendations and justifications for their decisions.  At the third level of assessment, division chairs present the recommendations for final approval to the Community Investments Cabinet which includes a chair, incoming chair, past chair/special review committee chair, audit review committee chair, TAUW board representative, collaborative initiatives representative, and the six (6) division chairs.

Once final investments are determined, the CI Cabinet chair presents the Cabinet’s total recommendations (including the goal amount that would need to be achieved to provide for all of the recommendations) to the Campaign Cabinet. 

After the goal is established, the CI Cabinet and Campaign Cabinet chairs submit their recommendations to the TAUW Board for approval.  The TAUW Board approves the recommendations and sets the fall campaign goal.

Once the TAUW Board sets the campaign goal, the partner agencies are notified of TAUW’s Investment in their agency provided the campaign goal is attained. As a final step in the process, TAUW Community Investment staff meet with partner agency leadership to discuss the panel recommendations and receive feedback from the agencies regarding the CI process.