Frequently Asked Questions

What was the process you used? How was it determined?
Last fall, in an effort to set meaningful, measurable, and relevant community goals for Cumberland County, United Way of Greater Portland (UWGP) convened the Greater Portland Community-Wide Goal Setting Council, which is comprised of 23 people from all sectors. This group decided to look at the needs in the community and adopt population-level goals that could serve as a roadmap for people and organizations to come together to make measurable progress in strengthening our community.

The Council members were selected because of their commitment to improving our community, their credibility, and their connections to other organizations, networks, and initiatives. The Council was intended to reflect the larger community.

How were goals decided?
The goals were decided by the Greater Portland Community-Wide Goal Setting Council based upon the recommendations of three expert panels in the area of education, financial stability, and health. These panels each had 12-15 members and “expert” was a term broadly defined; for example, parents and clients were on these panels. The Council and the expert panels relied on county-wide data, best practices, and feedback from over 2,100 community members in coming to a final decision.

These goals are consistent with the needs in the community as demonstrated by data and aspirations shared by the community.

Will anything really change?
We believe things will change significantly: adoption of these goals will result in more meaningful and intentional work with current and new partners to move the needle on issues identified as pressing by our community.

We have a preliminary road map with metrics and guiding principles to collectively assess on a regular basis how the work is going. We are confident that how we do the work will be fundamentally different; that is, we will come together, aligning all of our contributions, in support of these goals. With people and the goals as the center of the work, we will see the results we are striving for.

Who was included/represented in the conversation?
We held conversations with 90 groups including students, parents, Rotary, seniors, employees of companies, members of immigrant communities and more throughout the community. We worked to ensure that we spoke with diverse groups, organizations, and individuals to solicit aspirations and identify barriers and strategies.


Did the service providers that you spoke with speak from their experience as a provider or from their personal perspective?

What are next steps?
The Council has adopted these goals. UWGP’s Board has endorsed them, which means UWGP will work with partners to make measurable progress.

We hope other community partners will join the Council, UWGP, and the organizations listed in endorsing all the goals and commit to working together.

A new Council will meet in the fall to make sure the work continues.

Continued community engagement will be a core component of the work.

Was Council support unanimous?