Earlier this year, The United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region honed its mission in order to focus on key areas and outcomes. Now, as the organization kicks off its annual campaign, effects of that approach are being seen in its fundraising focus.

In what the United Way calls its "Strategic and Basic Needs Allocations", four key areas are targeted: Education, Income, Health and Basic Needs. Of those, basic needs commands the highest allocation at nearly $2.2 million distributed to 27 different programs. This suggests that although the local unemployment rate is lower - and some consider Michigan to be at "full employment" - some are still struggling to meet their financial commitments.

Erick Stewart, president of Stewart Industries in Battle Creek, is the chair of the United Way board of directors. He tells WBCK donors were asking for better illustration of outcomes to United Way campaigns - which fueled the more targeted approach, rather than a focus on a multi-million-dollar overall goal.

Hear more about the United Way's "impact" campaign by clicking the player below.

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