More Than Just a Meeting Space

Mobilizing People, Resources and HOPE

By Angie Matthiessen, Executive Director

We’ve been in our space in Murdock Circle for just under twenty years now. I’ll admit working for a nonprofit, the focus is always on the mission with little time to think of our physical space. Several years ago, the boardroom received a fresh coat of paint with thanks to a Day of Caring project.  

This past year has seen some major changes to our space as we expanded to the other half of our building to ensure ample offices to provide HELP and HOPE to our community. This was clearly identified as a need after Hurricane Ian and especially as we saw the mall perimeter as a major response zone. United Way of Charlotte County (UWCC) plans to be right here in the middle of Charlotte County for a long time and thus needed to improve our space.

Fortunately, we were awarded a grant from the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation, Inc. for improvements to our building so that we can move into this next phase of work with the community. Mr. Selby established the Foundation to improve the quality of life to Sarasota County and its bordering counties.  The Foundation prefers to participate with individual and corporate donors in supporting projects and our building was indeed a much-needed project.

The UWCC boardroom is brimming with activity. For one, it’s a place where I meet weekly with our staff for planning and innovation. We connect, reflect and learn about each other. We share coffee, lunches and birthday cakes all within this space.  It’s the center of everything that we do.

Recently we welcomed 61 Community Impact Panel Volunteers into our boardroom over three weeks consisting of 750 volunteer hours. Within these walls, the Community Impact Panel members diligently reviewed grant applications from 18 local nonprofits.

A prominent leader in the Southwest Florida nonprofit space recently noted on social media, “Salaries, benefits, electric bills, maintenance, professional development, landscaping, business cards, office furniture, and insurance are all critical to running a professional organization. Find a nonprofit you trust and then trust them to spend the money well.”

Feeling so grateful for many foundations who have invested in UWCC’s capacity, my response resoundingly stated, “It matters so much to the organizations, the people served and the community benefiting.” Another Social Media Responder, continued, “We must invest in what’s really important to success, not just what is exciting. The most important elements to fund a nonprofit are not always the prettiest. It’s not always about program supplies, scholarships, or a new garden. It’s the people and building that hold it all up and needing investing in to provide quality and trusted programs.”

Dan Pallotta is an American entrepreneur, author and humanitarian activist.  The author of The Everyday Philanthropist writes, “Ever wonder why charities aren’t changing the world the way we had hoped? It’s because that’s not what we asked them to do. We asked them to keep their overhead and salaries low.”

Mobilizing people, resources and hope in service to this community is what we do, however we are not able to do this very important work without you and your support.

We are thankful to the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation, Inc. for supporting us by investing in our physical space so that we can fully serve Charlotte County. For more information about our Open House, Dan Pallotta’s book, his movie called Uncharitable or Dan Pallotta’s TED talk, please visit:

For more information about United Way of Charlotte County’s mission:  Mobilizing the power of our community to break the cycle of poverty, please contact Angie Matthiessen, Executive Director. She can be reached at