Serving Monroe, Owen, and Greene Counties

Meet Susie Graham: Certification Task Force Member

“The work United Way member agencies do on a daily basis is astounding in its own right; to know they do it while adhering to stringent, rigorous certification standards also sends a message to the community that their support is well placed.” In her role as a Certification Task Force member, Susie Graham, Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington Resource Development Executive Director, appreciates learning about local social service agencies by digging in deep to review documents, policies, and procedures.

Certification Task Force members help ensure that member agencies meet high standards of effectiveness, efficiency, governance, and transparency, and are helping meet United Way's community goals. Each year, one-third of member agencies are thoroughly evaluated to determine whether they remain effective partners.

“I’ve learned much about our agencies that I didn’t know. Their work and the standards by which they work are absolutely inspiring. I’ve also benefitted from observing best practices in nonprofit management, which has been a great help to me professionally.”

Susie’s earliest involvement with United Way was in 1989 through a Leadership Bloomington project developing a directory of social service providers for the area. As a newcomer to the area, it was a great way to get to know her new community and how it addressed local needs. Later, Susie went on to join the United Way Vision Council which reviews and makes recommendations regarding agency funding applications. According to Susie, “It was the hardest volunteer work I ever did! Knowing there was a finite resource pool and that we couldn’t fully fund each agency’s needs was bruising.”

When asked about the importance of volunteers participating in the Certification process, Susie reflected, “I think volunteers can bring fresh eyes and impartiality to the process. They have no agenda nor are they aligned with any agency they visit.”

Thanks to Susie Graham and all of the volunteers who spend numerous hours putting in the hard work to guide funding and certification decisions for United Way member agencies.


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