Learn Your United Way Jargon - The Answers to the Jargon Challenge?

Two weeks ago, we posted our first Jargon Challenge. We listed six jargon terms or phrases and asked you which one of these six jargon terms or phrases is fictional – the remaining five are all actual terms or phrases used by United Ways.

For those of you who thought all six seem like jargon a United Way would use, you are not alone. Here are the definitions of the five jargon terms or phrases that were not fictional:

1) Core service investments – From United Way of King County, these are “services focused on individual benefits that United Way intends to continue funding long-term because they meet a compelling need in the community that is foundational to all our work. We invest in quality, effective services delivered by high performing organizations through a competitive application process, and we monitor them through regular outcome and demographic reports. Core Service Investments may be directly connected to community impact strategies or foundational to all our goals. Examples: Information and referral systems, investment in food banks to provide access to emergency food; services to help people manage their own health.”

2) Key influence sectors – The key influence sectors focus community-wide efforts on long-term measurable outcomes in the areas of education, income, and health. The key influence sectors used by United Way of Skagit County are early learning, financial literacy, and healthy, safe living.

3) United Way agencies, partner agencies, funded agencies, and community supported agencies – These are all terms that United Way of Northeast Michigan has used to call the organizations they fund over the past 20+ years.

4) Cultivator call – From the United Way of the Southern Tier, a cultivator call is a personal meeting with volunteers, staff and the CEO to confirm details regarding their campaign and corporate gift.

5) Unification – In the United States when two United Ways merge it is known as a merger, while in Canada, it is known as a unification. We especially like the proposed definition from Karen Barsell, CEO and President of United Way of Northern Nevada and the Sierra, who suggested unification meant “When a labor union, industrial union or craft union member takes a vacation.”

The fictional jargon term, completely created from nothing by the staff of Perspectives, is Aligned Impact Outcomes. After an extensive Google search, we could not find a United Way that used this phrase, as unlikely as that seems.

A big congratulations goes out to the winner of our Jargon Challenge – Jennifer Hottell! Jennifer is the Community Engagement Director for United Way of Monroe County in Bloomington, Indiana and was the first person to correctly identify that Aligned Impact Outcomes was completely fictional! Jennifer came up with her own proposed definition for Aligned Impact Outcomes: “Aligned Impact Outcomes is having a goal to track program results (aka "Impact Outcomes") that will align or work in coordination with an overall strategic or community plan.” For all her efforts, Jennifer received our special Happy Halloween treat (pictured above) as the winner of our Jargon Challenge.

Thanks to everyone who entered our Jargon Contest. We hope you enjoyed the contest and if you missed out on this contest, be sure to participate in our next contest! Happy Halloween from all of us at Perspectives!