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February 1, 2015



by PBUnitedWay
allocation team

During my years working at the Town of Palm Beach United Way, one of the questions that I get asked most is where does my donation go? The volunteer-led grant process isn’t an easy one but it is extremely rewarding. This year 79 dedicated volunteers will ensure that the Town of Palm Beach United Way is a good steward of your donations — and mine — so that our gifts make the biggest possible impact in Palm Beach County. These volunteers will serve as the eyes and ears of thousands of our donors.

Each year volunteers of the Town of Palm Beach United Way undertake the daunting task of deciding which organizations and programs to fund and how much to give to each. It ensures that when donors give to the Town of Palm Beach United Way, they can do so knowing their donation is going to stay in the community and be well spent.


September 2014: The Town of Palm Beach United Way sends out yearly grant proposals to 52 partner agencies in Palm Beach County.

October – December 2014: Volunteers are recruited to serve on 11 grant teams.

January 2015: Partner agencies submit proposals to the Town of Palm Beach United Way. This year proposals were submitted by 49 partner agencies.

February 2015: Allocation Committee members are trained and receive their assignments.

February – March 2015: Volunteers visit agencies, provide written reports and evaluate each program.

April 2015: Volunteers determine which programs to give grants to and how much per program.

May 2015: Final grant decisions announced.   Detailed feedback about agencies and their programs is provided to all applicants.


In the last couple of weeks, the Town of Palm Beach United Way offices have been extremely busy. The staff have put together all the paperwork and information that volunteers will need; and the volunteers have attended their training sessions. During the training sessions, volunteers learn about administrative expenses, working capital, impact, evaluation, program measurements, governance, and outcomes.

The hard-working volunteers of the allocation committee will spend the next three months and countless hours examining community needs and agency services, audits, budgets, meeting with Executive Directors and staffs, and visiting each agency at least twice. It is estimated that the entire committee works in excess of 2,000 hours on the process.


Now that everyone is trained and ready to go, Tuesday we will have a “Meet Your Team” Luncheon. At the luncheon, each volunteer will pick up their assignments and meet their fellow team members. Team Chairs are assigned to each team and will offer guidance through the entire process. We are again fortunate to have Chairmen who have invested a great deal of their time and energy ensuring that the process goes smoothly.


Jay Boodheshwar (member since 2007) and Bridget Moran (member since 2008)


Team 1: Preschool and After School – Kathy Willis, Chairman (member since 2005)

Team 2: Mentoring – Pamela McIver, Chairman (member since 2003)

Team 3: Adult and Family Education and Support – John O’Neill, Chairman (member since 2008)


Team 4: Mental Health and Wellness – Sandra Fleming, Chairman (member since 1999)

Team 5: Medical/Dental Health and Wellness – Diana Barrett, Chairman  (member since 2007)

Team 6: Substance Abuse – Missy Agnello, Chairman (member since 1999)

Team 7: Domestic and Family Violence Prevention – Tish Carlo, Chairman (member since 1997)


Team 8: Community Building – Jean Meisenzahl, Chairman (member since 2001)

Team 9: Supports for Individuals with Disabilities – Lynn Surovek, Chairman (member since 1996)

Team 10: Financial Stability – Bud Tamarkin, Chairman (member since 2005)

Team 11: Housing – Betsy Turner, Chairman (member since 2000)

In the weeks following the luncheon the volunteers will be busy visiting their assigned agencies and doing a lot of homework for the next parts of this process. The teams will be evaluating a total of 108 programs housed at 49 health and human services organizations. Please stay tuned to Where Your Donation Goes, Part II.

Year after year, I and the staff of the Town of Palm Beach United Way are honored to get a front and center seat to every step of the Allocation process. We are able to see our remarkable volunteers spending so much of their time making sure the donations made to the Town of Palm Beach United Way are effectively and efficiently invested to address critical health and human service needs throughout Palm Beach County.

To see the allocations of funding from last year visit our website.

Since 1945, the Town of Palm Beach United Way has invested more than $60 million into Palm Beach County because of generous donors like you.  Although some of the needs since 1945 have changed, the Town of palm Beach United Way is still helping people who struggle with hunger, homelessness, job loss, abuse, mental illness and more. To find out more about the Town of Palm Beach United Way visit On behalf of the community we serve, THANK YOU for the difference you make. 

Read more from LIVING UNITED, Resources

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