We LOVE our Volunteers!
Volunteers embody dedication, selflessness, and compassion for community. How can nonprofits like United Way, translate these invaluable gifts into results?

United Way Blackhawk Region estimates more than 592 volunteer hours were donated to the rigorous six-step Community Grant review process (detailed below) for the July 2021 - June 2023 cycle.

Each year, Independent Sector gathers data and conducts research on volunteerism in the nonprofit sector. The results of that research provide nonprofits a way to calculate the value of volunteer time. As of April 2021, their estimated national value of each volunteer hour is currently $28.54.
This estimated hourly value multiplied by 592 hours of time, equates to $16,895.68 of responsible stewardship generously invested.

We are grateful to the following volunteers, as well as their respective organizations, for this phenomenal commitment of time which generates meaningful impact for our entire community.
2021 - 2023 Community Grant Cycle Volunteers
Greg Ardrey, Alliant Energy
Kelly Bedessem, City of Janesville
Scott Bordwell, First National Bank and Trust Company
Jan Carwardine, Retired
Karissa Chapman, City of Janesville
Lori Curtis Luther, City of Beloit
Inga Cushman, City of Milton
Erin Davis, City of Janesville
Justin Deubel, Siepert
Bonnie Domingo, Kerry
Brenda Endthoff, Rock County
Scott Fischer, Baker Tilly
Lynn Gardinier, Baker Tilly
Kathy Gatrel, Kerry
Michelle Genthe, RWCFS Head Start
Leanne Glorvigen, Retired
Jonathan Haines, Data Dimensions
Kayla Hiller, Nowlan & Mouat
Al Hulick, City of Milton
Leslie Hulick, Blackhawk Community Credit Union
Lisa Hurda, Blackhawk Technical College
Jan Klaehn, Evansville School District
Amy Lokrantz, ABC Supply Co., inc.
Tom McCawley, Beloit Health System
Susan Melton, Janesville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
Christine Moss, Mercyhealth
Dennis Pauli, Edgerton School District
John Pearse, Retired
Christine Rebout, Janesville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
Dave Schalk, Blackhawk Community Credit Union
Patty Schumacher, BMO Harris Bank
Verna Schubert, Retired
Julie Servantez, Retired
Steve Servantez, Badger Veterinary Clinic
Becka Smith, City of Janesville
Phil Smith, Andritz
Megan Timm, SSM Health
Anissa Welch, City of Milton
Lynn Wood, Retired

If you are interested in future Community Grant volunteer opportunities, please email United Way Blackhawk Region Vice President Denise Peters-Kauihou to learn more.
Volunteer Feedback
We chose a few comments we received via email from 2021 - 2023 Community Grant volunteers to share with you about the integrity of United Way's due diligence. Enjoy!

  • "I wanted to compliment you all on an OUTSTANDING process for the 21-23 CIC Grant Cycle! I have a small understanding the enormous amount of time, effort and dedication required to make this be a dynamic and insightful process, then add the complexity of COVID and our new virtual word and again UWBR goes above and beyond! Thank you for all that you do making the Blackhawk Region a better place to Live United!"

  • "I am reviewing UWBR grants currently and dang - we have some amazing people in Rock County doing amazing work. Honestly, without UWBR funding I just see so many great programs and services not existing and it breaks my heart knowing that these programs just rely on grants and community funding to make it happen instead of sustainable funds coming in. So…thank you for helping fund all of these programs as best as UWBR can – so many people have meaningful support because of it."

  • "Another UWBR program review under my belt. Learned more about our area‘s social safety network to add to what I learned last time. All these programs are impressive, and in my sheltered (fortunate) little life, I wouldn’t know about all the good work done every day by so many people..."
Our Mantra
United Way fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community. Click on the health, education, or financial stability button(s) to learn about our current efforts and investments in these key focus areas.
Community Grant Process
One of the ways United Way Blackhawk Region tackles our community's tough problems is by awarding Community Grants to local programs demonstrating community need, articulating program efficacy and results. The six (6) steps of the 2021 - 2023 Community Grant cycle include:

Application: First, eligible applicant organizations complete a rigorous online application with numerous required document attachments or uploads. The application spans myriad topics including substantiating community need, program delivery, demographics, measurable outcomes, etc.

Financial Review: The second step is a thorough financial analysis conducted by a volunteer team of accountants and finance professionals. Volunteers review applicants’ IRS Form 990s, agency budgets, a Partner Certification Form and the most recent Audit. Any concerns identified by the Financial Review Team are then forwarded to the Investment Panel (also referred to as community volunteers and/or the volunteer panel).

Investment Panel Reviews & Evaluates Application: The third step is the formation of diverse volunteer Investment Panels, which are comprised of local subject matter experts and knowledgeable professionals who have full access to the completed application and all the required attachments. The Investment Panel looks closely at the value of a program in the community and its ability to achieve outlined goals in our focus areas of health, education and financial stability.

Panel Presentation: The Investment Panel is tasked with evaluating the application and being present for a panel interview (this year via Zoom) with the applicant organization. Required attendance from the applicant organization includes their CEO, board representative and financial expert (e.g. CFO, board treasurer, etc.). Our volunteers understand the panel presentation is a face-to-face opportunity for a deeper dive into any questions or concerns they may have.

Investment Panel Develops Recommendation(s) to the Community Impact Council. The purpose of the volunteer Community Impact Council is to provide executive leadership and oversee all steps of the Community Grant process. As such, the Council conducts a thorough review to approve and/or modify funding recommendations from the Investment Panels and makes the final investment / grant award recommendation(s) to the Board of Directors.

Final Community Grant Award / Investment Approval. The volunteer Community Impact Council, as well as United Way Blackhawk Region's Board of Directors must ensure responsible stewardship and accountability for funds allocated by United Way as part of the investment plan. Final approval of Community Grant Awards is voted upon by the volunteer board. Investment decisions and grant awards are first communicated to applicant organizations and a public announcement will be made toward the end of June.
Happy Pride Month!
At United Way, we believe that everyone deserves to feel proud of who they are and have the community support they need to reach their full potential. June is Pride Month. Join us in honoring and celebrating the LGBTQA+ individuals across the Blackhawk Region.  #LiveUnited