July 31, 2020, Lexington, KY - After a year of consideration and preparation, United Way of Franklin County (UWFC) today announced that it will merge with United Way of the Bluegrass (UWBG), effective August 1.
The UWFC board of directors reached out to UWBG officials last year to discuss the potential of a merger after initial discussions with United Way of Kentucky. The organization had been largely volunteer-led in recent years, and without an executive director since last fall. The board wanted to explore options to increase community impact and engagement efforts in the Frankfort community, and ensure that critical health and human services remained intact.
“The merger between United Way of Franklin County and United Way of the Bluegrass marks a significant moment in United Way’s service to the Commonwealth,” said Kevin Middleton, president for United Way of Kentucky. “United Way of the Bluegrass is a leader in developing community-based solutions that improve outcomes for children and families. This means new energy and investment, deeper local engagement, and a brighter future for all Franklin County residents.”
Boards of directors from both organizations unanimously approved the merger last month and papers were filed with the Commonwealth of Kentucky earlier this week. United Way of the Bluegrass will add Franklin County to its service region which currently includes Anderson, Bourbon, Clark, Fayette, Jessamine, Madison, Montgomery, Scott and Woodford counties.
“We approached United Way of the Bluegrass last year to discuss a potential merger as a way to enhance our ability to serve the Frankfort community. Through the merger with United Way of the Bluegrass, local agencies and programs will continue to receive support and our community will see a renewed and increased presence from United Way,” said Karen Wheeler, United Way of Franklin County board chair. “Every member of our UWFC board of directors will extend their service through the UWBG Franklin County board of trustees. This speaks to our collective support of this decision, and continued commitment to the Frankfort community.”
UWBG officials said they will maintain the lease on the current United Way of Franklin County office this year to ensure a smooth transition and will continue monthly grant allocations to current UWFC agency partners through 2020. UWBG officials hope to revive fundraising and engagement efforts in the community and will reevaluate the community impact and funding strategy for 2021 with a goal to increase access to resources supporting basic needs, education, and financial stability for Franklin County residents.
“Our organizations have a long history of collaboration and shared common goals. We are thrilled that our partnership takes on an even stronger meaning today,” said Timothy Johnson, president and CEO, United Way of the Bluegrass. “We are proud to join and serve the Franklin County community and will work hard to make an even greater impact. Together, as one entity we are stronger and better equipped to improve the lives of more Franklin County residents and make lasting change throughout our region.”
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About United Way of the Bluegrass:
United Way of the Bluegrass fights for the Basic Needs, Education and Financial Stability of every person in Central Kentucky. Funding supports programming in Anderson, Bourbon, Clark, Fayette, Jessamine, Madison, Montgomery, Scott, and Woodford counties. For more information, visit www.uwbg.org or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.