Salt Lake City leaders formally received 2017 Pacesetter Honors earlier this month during a gathering of the regional council for the Promise Partnership, the region's collective impact governing body overseen by the United Way of Salt Lake.
In presenting the Pacesetter certificate to the Council, Campaign Managing Director Ralph Smith noted Salt Lake's exemplary work to success, scale and sustainability, including a commitment to drive with data and prioritize children and families who are especially vulnerable, use of Results Based Accountability and Result Based Leadership frameworks to keep the focus on moving the needle on community-level outcomes, promote parent success and reach out to the most vulnerable children, including those in public housing.
The 40-member council incudes leaders from the business, community, educaiton, government, civic and philanthropic sectors, and had covened collective action workgroups around school readiness, grade level reading, high school graduation and college completion.
"Ralph did a great job validating the time and energy the council spends on this work, especially given how difficul it is to bring leaders from across different sectors together and keep them committed and focused over the long haul," said Scott McLeod, Vice President of Collective Impact for the United Way of Salt Lake. "We've gained some experience here with what is often an ambigous process, working across sectors in new ways. It's commendable when leaders are open to that process."
Smith also attended the executive committee meeting of the United Way of Salt Lake Board of Directors, where he noted the importance of the United Way movement to the Campaign. In 2017, more than 178 United Ways were member of local Campaign coaliitons, and 52 Untied Ways served as coaltion leads or co-leads. He also noted the unique role Salt Lake United Way plays as a backbone entity for the Campaign and related collective impact efforts.
“What sets (UWSL) apart from others is its understanding of how to coordinate work across the community, its focus on data to assure accountability and its ability to identify sustainability issues that its work may face,” Smith said in an interview with the United Way's Kelly Schmidt that focused on efforts by Salt Lake's Elementary Reading Network to curb summer learning loss through literacy enriched summer learning programs. In Salt Lake City's Granite School District, the programs resulted in a .5 percent increase in students' standardized reading test scores for every day attended in 2017.