United Way of Central Indiana has named Sara VanSlambrook director of the Great Families 2020 initiative. She currently serves as a senior program officer for the Local Initiatives Support Coalition. Great Families 2020 is a five-year, $20 million effort aiming to boost high-poverty neighborhoods.

UWCI says VanSlambrook has more than 15 years of nonprofit program development experience. She holds degrees from Saint Mary’s College and Case Western Reserve University as well as a certificate in fundraising management from Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

Vice President of Community Impact Christie Gillespie calls VanSlambrook "a perfect fit for this position," saying "Sara’s leadership at LISC for the past decade has made her well-versed in the needs of and opportunities within our community. We’re thrilled to have her join our team and begin initiating the process to put this significant investment into the neighborhoods that need it the most.”

The initiative is being funded by a $7 million grant from the Social Innovation Fund, which is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service. That grant will be matched by UWCI and other organizations receiving sub-grants for a total of $20.6 million. It is targeting neighborhoods on the city’s near West Side, Northwest/Midtown, near Eastside and Far Eastside.

The United Way of Central Indiana plans to release a Request for Proposals for the program November 7 on its website. Agencies and organizations interested in more information can attend a Bidders Conference on Wednesday, November 9 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. at the American Red Cross on Meridian St. or Friday, November 11 from 9:00-11:00 a.m. at UWCI.

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