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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

UNITED MIDCOAST CHARITIES INC

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Federated Giving Programs, Philanthropy

Mission: OUR MISSION: Identifying needs. Supporting solutions. Our mission is to energize Midcoast Maine nonprofit agencies through finance and guidance, supporting a network of resources stronger than any single organization. Our areas of focus are food, housing, health & safety, and economic security.

Results: Since 20176, through community support we have been able to award $1.5 million in grants to local nonprofits serving residents in need. In 2019 we launched Learn WIth UMC - an educational series meant to build the capacity of local nonprofits to better accomplish their missions.

Target demographics: Midcoast Maine nonprofit agencies.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 30+ nonprofit agencies in Knox and Waldo counties with grants which will provide resources for 1 in 3 residents in our area.

Geographic areas served: Midcoast Maine

Programs: We provide finance and guidance, supporting a network of resources stronger than any single organization.

Community Stories

39 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

Camden, Maine based UNITED MIDCOAST CHARITIES has made tremendous progress in serving the needs of the non profit community in our local communities. The fund raising, vetting process, grant reviews and award process are all well planned and considered. A wonderful example of best practices directed at results.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 4

The year has been a story of successes for United Midcoast Charities, here in Camden Maine, following the initial development of our 2018-2021 strategic plan and our taking the necessary steps toward its implementation. The organizational changes have all been positive putting us in a better position to serve the needs our organization and our clients. Great progress on all fronts.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Directory is a great resource, and the onsite training and guidance provided by UMC makes the experience even easier and more productive. Thanks!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I came in to use their service-the online database for foundations-as another non-profit in midcoast Maine, and I found the resource and staff very helpful. They went out of their way to show me the tool and made themselves available to answer any questions that I had.

Board Member

Rating: 4

I attended the UMC-sponsored workshop "Board Bootcamp", and it was a big help for me as I am new to nonprofit board membership. The presenter was clear, humorous, and knowledgeable, and she had prepared great handouts. I highly recommend this workshop for anyone who is new - or needs a refresh - on how to be a responsible and energetic member of the board for a nonprofit whose mission you admire!

Board Member

Rating: 5

The staff at UMC here in Camden are wonderful professionals and actually give personal thought to how you might best make use of the resources available through them. I have particularly found the Foundation Directory Online a useful tool and Ms. Carey saved us oodles of time showing us the best way to search our options. UMC is a great asset. Chris Finn, www.docsong.org

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

Access to the Foundation Directory Online is a valuable resource for any nonprofit, but full access is too expensive for most organizations. As a professional fund raising consultant, I was able to use the FDO at United Midcoast Charities at no cost to either me or my client agencies. I am sure that anyone, trained by UMC staff, will benefit from the database. In my experience, the FDO database is relatively easy to use, and UMC's patient training is clear and effective. After 30 minutes, I was able to gain information on foundations providing support in Maine, and to use the FDO's filters to home in on just those foundations of potential value. UMC provided flash drives that allowed me to download the information and use it later, away from the UMC office in Camden. A second session, easily scheduled online, to clarify a few strong possible foundation donors proved especially valuable, and the agency has already received funding from some of them. This is a special service, and once again proves the importance of United Midcoast Charities to nonprofit organizations serving thousands of people. Well done, UMC.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

UMC is an organization with a dedicated board and administration committed to the mission. Not only does UMC financially support the work of area non-profits but they also provide education, training and important resources to these agencies.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

United Midcoast Charities gave me a great resource to foundation information I needed and even better support in helping me access the information and bring it home for use as a volunteer fundraiser. UMC is a marvelous source that I didn’t expect to find in rural mid-coast Maine.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

United midcoat charities has played such an important role in the growth of The Ripple Initiative! We entered the nonprofit world in September 2016 without a clue! It has definitely been trial by fire- and we are still learning. The access to workshops and the computer base, helping us locate grant funding specifically offered for our needs, has been invaluable! One-on-one with Kelly Carey was a godsend as our computer skills are still in the developing stages- she was knowledgeable and patient.
The workshops have not all pertained to our immediate needs but we have welcomed the opportunity to gain knowledge and plan for the future of The Ripple Initiative. An added bonus was the chance to meet other members of local nonprofits and hear how they have solved specific challenges. All around we have nothing but great things to say about UMC and their commitment to helping nonprofits succeed in the Midcoast Area.
So very grateful.
Sharon Setz
Executive director

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

They provide invaluable administrative service to charitable organizations. I especially appreciate their grants research program, where they offer tutorials and access to the Foundation Directory online database. The modest-budget non-profit that I work with could never afford to purchase this kind of access, so this service is incredibly useful. All you have to do is sign up and come to their office, which is very conveniently located. As I understand it, they are one of only two organizations in the State of Maine that have this kind of public access license with Foundation Directory, and this saves me many hours and many miles of travel to not have to drive 100 miles to the other organization. They make it easy and very accessible! The staff is kind, understanding, and well-informed. They are flexible in their training methodologies, in order to include people of all skill levels: people with great computer skills and plenty of development experience all the way to people struggling with the computer who haven't ever written a grant. I observed them in this aspect of service during a recent workshop - very patient and very flexible to people from all walks fo life. I'm so glad that I discovered them, they have made my professional work so much easier, made me look like a champ, and helped my organization more than I can adequately express!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

UMC has totally dedicated itself to connecting with effective non-profits across our region, and supporting them in multiple meaningful way. This is the way to be effective in improving our communities.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Their consistent financial support for our work providing affordable care has made a huge difference to our community, and enabled us to expand to help so many more families. We can do so much more because of UMC's support! So glad to benefit from their educational trainings as well, a great new service for local nonprofits.

Previous Stories
1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

UMCC is making a difference in our communities every day by providing much needed operational funding to local non-profits. A lot of foundations like giving money to new shiny projects, but then aren't willing to provide operational money to help keep them going, even when they've proven that they make a dramatic impact. Not so at UMCC! They carefully evaluate local non-profits through a rigorous grant cycle, and year after year have helped our volunteer clinic expand to serve the growing number of Mainers in need of care. We truly could not be serving the number of people we do without the incredible help from UMCC over the past many years. Thank you for making our communities healthier and happier, we think you're wonderful! ~ Everyone at the Knox County Health Clinic

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Linford Young is a high school sophomore. For the past two years he has been an outstanding mentor for the I Know ME program. He works tirelessly to help ten boys in the program on a weekly basis. The results have been outstanding. The boys trust Linford and look up to him and every one of them hopes to become a mentor just like him. One of the boys in his care has made especial progress. T- struggled in school and at home and was often frustrated and angry in 7th grade. Linford and the I Know ME team worked with him throughout 8th grade and through the summer. T- now has a part-time job and announced proudly that his most recent report card showed 3 A's and 2 B's. What a change for a kid who two years ago said he thought he would end up in jail when he grew up.
United Midcoast Charities honored Linford as their Unsung Hero this year. He is always my hero.

1

Advisor

Rating: 5

United Midcoast Charities is an outstanding example of a dedicated nonprofit resource for Waldo and Knox County - in the beautiful midcoast of Maine. With the UMC's Board of Directors at the helm, and the Executive Director and staff working in concert, the most vulnerable of this region are the beneficiaries of well organized and thoughtful funding. The development of an Advisory Council serves to give up to date information to the UMC and further develop a coherent approach to assisting those in need.

The Belfast Soup Kitchen has received support from the United Midcoast Charity for a number of years. With their support and program development, the Soup Kitchen has access to current nonprofit resource information and guidance. The BSK continues to be open five days a week, all year long to feed the hungry in Waldo County. Thanks to all the dedicated efforts of the UMC President and Board of Directors, and Executive Director and staff, non profit organizations in Maine's midcoast region have been able to meet many of the needs of the most vulnerable. The UMC is an outstanding model for a highly competent charitable organization.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've been on the Board of United Midcoast Charities for one year. The experience has been rewarding. Overcoming a significant adversity several years ago, UMC has evolved into a stronger and more effective organization. This year $500,000 was disbursed to over 40 Knox and Waldo non-profits. There is a new executive director and an active board. It is an exciting place to be!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We are proud to have this nonprofit serving our county in Maine.
They help so many nonprofits continue to help so many others here in our part of state. Many would not be able to continue their good work without the network of help and support from United Midcoast Charities.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I had a wonderful evening with United Midcoast Charities at their recent "Grants & Dance" celebration! UMC announced their grant recipients that evening and I was impressed by the variety of groups that were awarded money. UMC is truly interested in helping our community by helping a nice cross-section of groups.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

United Midcoast Charities, Inc. has played an important role in serving the elders of Knox County with home delivered meals (Meals on Wheels) and an enhanced service program for Meals on Wheels recipients (Home to Me). Their support, including financial, over the years has played a critical role in MCH, Inc.'s ability to provide these services to those in need. Over the past several years UMC's organizational evolution has been one based on best practices, including broad community involvement, outreach, and organizational transparency. Their leadership and collaborative role is key to the well being of those living in the region served.

Board Member

Rating: 5

UMC is a generous, transparent and well-managed provider of grants to nonprofit organizations throughout Knox and Waldo counties in Maine. Beyond raising money and carefully allocating grants, UMC is helping organizations improve their performance by providing opportunities for nonprofit leaders to network and learn from each other. UMC is actively enabling organizations to collaborate for the greater good. It offers an essential safety net for people in our region.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Working with UMC, I find the staff and board are dedicated to the community, always looking for new ways to serve the underserved by supporting organizations out in the community doing the real work.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Tremendous progress has been made in rebuilding the organization. Notable is the increased transparency and willingness to incorporate stakeholder feedback in many decisions.

Board Member

Rating: 5

A great organization that has proven it can sustain itself through the years.

Client Served

Rating: 5

United Midcoast Charities is a fantastic organization that funds small nonprofits in midcoast Maine. They are highly professional and dedicated. Our nonprofit, WindowDressers, is grateful for their support.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

United Midcoast Charities is a locally run and locally focused non-profit with a remarkable history of positive impact in our rural Maine community. With no centralized philanthropic organization in our area, like a United Way, UMC coordinates the best intentions and the generous resources of donors and focuses them on the greatest community needs. This coordination of donors and receivers eliminates redundancy and results in the best possible impact. In the past year the organization has evolved in its vision and is becoming not only a source of funds to local non-profits but also a source of professional development, coordinating training plus funding a database installation on a local computer which saves each non-profit hours of staff time and driving to access this material. Thank you UMC for making midcoast Maine a better place to live!

Previous Stories
1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am the Director of an organization which is the recipient of the generosity of UMCC. Despite scandal from the former President, the organization has sought justice and recouped most of the lost funds. Throughout the ordeal, the board members were forthcoming and humble about errors that were made. Any question that was asked, they offered sound answers. This is an enormously important resource in the mid-coast Maine community, funding some of the needier members of our towns who exist below the veneer of local affluence and well being. Their application process is thorough and fair. We are grateful for their generous contributions which improve the quality of life for local residents.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have nothing but wonderful things to say about United Mid-coast Charities Inc. Belfast Public Health Nursing Association is a safety net program for those most in need in the Waldo County area. Although primarily funded by the City of Belfast and Waldo County General Hospital, this program depends on the generosity of others to aid in the work we do. In a time when homelessness, food insecurity, and need seems to be increasing, the generous donations given to us by UMCC has allowed our program to continue to provide those most basic of resources to our most vulnerable population. We are incredibly thankful to their organization and applaud their continued efforts to help all in need.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

MaineHealth Care at Home was formed in 2016 by joining the former Kno-Wal-Lin and Waldo County home care and hospice agencies with HomeHealth Visiting Nurses of Southern Maine. Today, our reach extends across seven counties and neighboring islands. Last year, we brought compassionate care and support to more than 22,000 children and adults. In delivering this care, we accepted all patients in need of home health and hospice services and no one was denied care due to lack of insurance or resources. United Mid-Coast Charities made it possible for us to keep the doors of home health and hospice open to those in greatest needs. We thank United Mid-Coast Charities for the valuable funds that support our Compassionate Care Program.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Creating positive change for individuals, families, and communities requires considerable collaboration. While we appreciate the financial support that United Mid-Coast Charities offers to social service and non-profit agencies, we are most impressed by their willingness to join conversations around the needs of the mid-coast region. UMCC contributes to positive, solution-focused discussion then actively partners with other organizations to increase and improve supports and services available to the community. They are a valuable resource to this region of Maine.
-Kara Hay, CEO, Penquis

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

United Mid-Coast Charities has donated to the Belfast Soup Kitchen for the past six years. Their yearly on site reviews and grant applications are thorough and completely cover all aspects of our nonprofit. We have appreciated their continued financial and compassionate support of our mission to provide a safe community for our guests to find food, comfort and hope for the future in an atmosphere of dignity and respect. In the past they experienced some major difficulty. But, due to the dedication and passionate concern of new leadership, UMCC has emerged as a stronger leader in the nonprofit sector.
Since our organization became a nonprofit seven years ago, we have developed a viable system of transparency for all things related to the Belfast Soup Kitchen. The Officers and Board members are very aware of all matters of the BSK. UMCC has done an outstanding job addressing any past history which impaired their mission. Their new officers and Board responded to a difficult situation and renewed the UMCC with a sense of commitment , energy and skilled expertise. Our Board is proud to recognize them as an example of the best of the nonprofits. We appreciate their support; it is vital to the continuation of the Belfast Soup Kitchen.
Mary E. Brand, President, BOD

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I write as president of Area Interfaith Outreach (AIO) food pantry and emergency assistance. We’re all volunteers and serve all of Knox County. United Midcoast Charities has been an essential partner with us, responding to our requests each year with significant help. And when we have experienced trouble, they have stepped in again. For example, three years ago our accounts were all but dry and we had to stop giving vouchers for heat or other critical needs. UMCC responded to that news by giving us an additional large check. When $2,000 was stolen from us and people in the community created a Go-Fund-Me account to restore that money, UMCC matched those gifts. More important, as the demand for our help has nearly doubled in the past three years from about 25 families each day to 45, UMCC has in turn increased their aid to us.

Last year, UMCC invited all their sponsored agencies to attend seminars to focus our thinking on ways to strengthen our procedures. A particular emphasis was on collaborating with each other, to enhance our capabilities and close gaps. Subsequently, UMCC has offered support services to a group of six Knox County non-profit agencies, including AIO, who are establishing the Community Investors’ Initiative (to be launched in January 2018) whereby willing citizens can choose to respond to emails about needs that cannot be filled by existing services (like new glasses or critical home or vehicle repairs, or a bed for a child graduating from his crib).

UMCC has broadened its mission beyond helping to fund the important work being done for struggling families across the midcoast. Their board has realized that they are perfectly placed to know what’s missing, what could be stronger, and to find creative ways to encourage effective problem solving.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

UMCC is an integral part of the midcoast Maine non-profit network of services. They have been very open about asking how to better serve the neediest demographic in this area as well as how to better support the non-profits that focus on this work. I feel we are stronger and more able to help the people who need it the most because of UMCC.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am the current President and a Co-Founder of Vinalhaven Eldercare Services, a non profit organization devoted to assisting older residents so they may remain on the island, engaged in the community and near family and friends.
The cost of living on the island is greater than on the mainland, and most of our elders are living with very limited resources. We supply various critical services which our elders could not pay for.
It seems large granting organizations are not interested in small non-profits, such as ours. They want " a bigger bang for their buck". We have applied for funds from United Midcoast Charities for specific needs.
On several occasions board members from UMC have come to to the island to visit with us, tour our assisted living home, and discuss our challenges and successes. They are the only funder who has ever visited us, which indicates to me, they really care about where their resources are going and how wisely they are used. I admire them for taking such a personal interest and being so responsible with the funds they have to share.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

UMCC is an extremely important charitable organization serving midcoast Maine. The UMCC Board raises funds locally and then, through an application process, provides essential funding to local non-profits.

I served on the UMCC Board from 2005-2010. I was involved with interviewing organizations that applied for funding. Since then, I have become an employee of a nonprofit organization that serves over 1400 clients annually with essential social services. My organization receives UMCC funding which is critical for us to meet our mission.

The Board has gone through a significant transitional period and come through with shining stars. They are more committed than ever to serving the organizations who help residents in need live better lives in midcoast Maine. Thank you, UMCC!!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked in the non-profit realm in mid-coast Maine for the past thirty years. I am also a long-time resident of Knox County- I have raised my family here and plan to retire here. Over the past three decades, I have had many opportunities to work with the volunteers and staff of United Mid Coast Charities. I have had many opportunities to witness first-hand the great impact this agency has on supporting the efforts of non-profit organizations working to increase quality of life for the disadvantaged people of Knox and Waldo Counties. Each year, UMC collects and distributes thousands of dollars to scores of organizations doing critical work in our community. Keep up the good work!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I served on the UMCC Board from 2013 - 2016. The post by Mid-Coast Citizen from 4/28/16 is mostly true. No arguments here. The former president did embezzle funds and has been tried, convicted, and is now in jail. Members and former members of the BoD did an admirable job of freezing the former presidents assets, engaging law enforcement, including the FBI, and recovering a large portion of the embezzled funds. Some of this work has been covered by the press, but has not attracted as much attention as the crime itself.

At this point, much of the BoD has turned over and the administrative processes are aligned with the best current thinking on transparent management of non-profits.

Finally, UMCC has been in existence for more than 70 years and has helped thousands of individuals over the course of time. I personally continue to contribute to UMCC and fully support them. For anyone interested, I suggest contacting a current BoD member (see http://www.unitedmidcoastcharities.org/) and discuss how agencies that receive funds are vetted and processes in place for handling donations.

Alot of good is happening here. But, poke around, ask questions, and form your own opinion.

2

Board Member

Rating: 4

In 2016, I joined the board at United Mid-Coast Charities being fully aware of the past issues and the challenges going forward. It is refreshing to see the dedication and commitment of the new board members and volunteers directed at strengthening the organization and serving the broader non-profit mid-coast community. Equally, I am impressed with the passion displayed by each of the organizations we support for their individual mission within the community. A great time to take a look at United Midcoast and lend your support. Happy to be aboard! John Burgess