United Way of the Black Hills changes business model

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - United Way of the Black Hills is now changing its business model.

They say fundraising is no longer a core value and instead they will focus on fulfilling the community's needs.

After conducting a needs assessment last year with Black Hills Knowledge Network, the non-profit found that mental health and early childhood education are some of the concerns in the area.

Though the non-profit will still host fundraisers, they will have more grant opportunities for organizations to apply for. But the grants will be specific to help fulfill the identified community needs.

One hundred business leaders and 50 funding agencies that work with the local United Way were informed of the new system this week.

The business model change comes after losing donors in the past partly due to the technological evolution that has affected charities.

"Donors are changing their expectations. We are seeing fewer donors and that's a national trend no matter what non-profit you look at. Giving is so easy nowadays with technology you don't really need that middle man role that United Way has the traditionally played," United Way of the Black Hills Executive Director Jamie Toennies said.

Toennies said they will phase in the new business model over the next three years.