By Timothy Hinson
Donor & Volunteer with UWGT
The Triangle region has been recognized with many accolades for being business friendly, having a great quality of life and a vibrant culture. However, behind these accolades, the very real pervasiveness of poverty is hidden in the Greater Triangle. Recognizing this, the United Way of the Greater Triangle (UWGT) is redefining its purpose and planning to strategically meet the needs of those in our communities who struggle to meet life’s most basic needs. Over the last few years, the United Way of the Greater Triangle has been working with its partners and other community service organizations to create unprecedented collaborative efforts between these organizations.
Recognizing the success the UWGT has had with its partners’ collaborative efforts, the organization is now in the planning stages of its Strategic Plan. This Plan will guide the UWGT as it works to provide “real solutions sparked by inspired action for transformative change” within our communities from now to year 2020. To continue inspire action for the change the UWGT plans to make over the next five years, this Strategic Plan is not being written in a vacuum. The UWGT is currently hosting a series of “Collaboration Labs” where it invites members of the community to understand the problems the UWGT aims to solve and provide input on how the Strategic Plan can guide the organization to a solution.
During the first Collaboration Lab, I had the opportunity to work with an incredibly diverse group of teachers, artists and business professionals to brainstorm on a variety of topics. In breakout groups, we brainstormed on how the UWGT could connect with those who need its services, and how the UWGT could become the voice of those it serves. We used an “Open Source Technology” exercise to individually focus on themes identified during our breakouts.
Despite the great ideas proposed during the Collaboration Lab, we were abundantly aware that the progress made during a collaboration session is nothing without action. Collaboration is easy, but implementation is hard. We trust, however, that we have provided the UWGT with tools they will use in the development of their upcoming Strategic Plan.
Note: A final Collaboration Lab will take place on May 14 in downtown Raleigh. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with “Collaboration Lab” in the Subject line for more information on how to participate.