Get Involved
Want to get involved in the initiative? Click through the graphics below to learn more about ways to get involved and work to achieve the community's goals.

Mentor Waco Coalition

Across the city of Waco, community members are joining together to make Waco a better city by becoming actively engaged in the lives of young people and fellow community members through mentoring. Each week, hundreds of people spend intentional time building relationships with the youth of Waco and supporting each other for future success. These mentors are involved in tutoring, reading clubs and many other fun activities.

To become a mentor, click here.

Prosper Waco Working Groups are teams of community members dedicated to developing solutions and breaking down barriers to education, health, and financial security for all Waco residents. These action-oriented groups stay busy connecting and collaborating to help the community reach its goals. 

To learn more about the various Working Groups and to join, send an email to Jillian Jones (jillian@prosperwaco.org) or call 254-741-0081 and ask for Jillian.

Join work happening at the neighborhood-level through Strong Neighborhood Teams (SNT)! There will be an SNTs in East, North and South Waco, and each team will focus on how the community can implement the strategies identified in the community visioning series hosted throughout 2017.

The goal of the these neighborhood teams is not to “outsource” the ideas community members have cultivated, but rather to create a way for members of that neighborhood to be the ones who actually do the work.

To join an SNT and learn more about work happening at the neighborhood level, email Liz Ligawa (liz@prosperwaco.org), call 254-741-0081, or complete the form below!

Join Your Strong Neighborhood Team!

Complete the form below and Liz Ligawa will be in touch with you shortly!
    Whether you live there or are a "friend" of the neighborhood, please click the area you want to get involved in to work with other community members to achieve the neighborhood's results!

Stay abreast of the Prosper Waco initiative by subscribing to our monthly newsletter.

To view past newsletters, click here.

BECOME A PIECE OF THE PUZZLE
Nonprofits
Philanthropy
Government
Education
Faith-Based
Grassroots
BUSINESS
HEALTHCARE
Nonprofits

By providing frontline programs for individuals and families in need, local nonprofit organizations play a key role in addressing a wide range of issues related to the Prosper Waco initiative. Nonprofits can contribute to the initiative in the following ways:

  • Help define the goals and strategies of the initiative by participating in cross-sector working groups that direct the initiative’s work
  • Engage your program’s participants in dialogue to better understand community needs and provide information to inform and guide initiative strategies
  • Partner with the Prosper Waco backbone organization to build your own capacity to utilize data that helps you improve programs and track program outcomes. Doing so will increase confidence in individual nonprofits and in the local nonprofit sector as a whole. By collecting and reporting data, nonprofits also help the Prosper Waco initiative better identify successes and gaps in local services
  • Implement specific programs and practices that initiative partners agree are likely to help achieve initiative goals. This is an opportunity to align the organization’s resources to initiative goals as well as to capture additional resources to increase the organization’s impact
  • Partner with other nonprofits to develop and implement collaborative programs that leverage the resources and expertise of multiple organizations to increase impact on the community

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Philanthropy

Funders play a crucial role both in providing the resources necessary to address community problems and in setting a vision for how the community works together to address its challenges. Philanthropy assists the initiative in the following ways:

  • Providing funding to organizations and programs that are actively working to address the core issues addressed by the initiative
  • Emphasizing and rewarding the strategic use of data and program evaluation to determine the impact that individual programs and collective efforts are having on initiative goals
  • Providing support for increasing the capacity of local organizations to better utilize data, increase collaboration, and engage in program evaluation
  • Facilitating the identification and development of approaches to addressing community needs that increase impact through collaboration and strategic use of resources
  • Proactively identifying areas in which philanthropic resources can be used to increase collaboration or meet needs that are not currently being met
  • Assisting our community in connecting to external sources of funding that can support the work of initiative partners

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Government

Local government’s roles in creating policy, allocating resources, and providing services to the community make it an essential partner in the Prosper Waco initiative. Both city and county government contribute to the initiative in a variety of ways:

  • Viewing policy through the lens of the initiative goals and the likely impact of policies on our community’s most vulnerable members
  • Allocating resources strategically to support efforts of government departments and community-based organizations that contribute to the initiative goals
  • Emphasizing and rewarding the strategic use of data and program evaluation to determine the impact that individual programs and collective efforts are having on initiative goals
  • Identifying best practices from other communities that allow local governments to address community needs in the most effective and strategic ways
  • Partnering with other governmental entities to leverage resources to better address issues that affect the entire community

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Education

Educational institutions have a significant impact on the success of our community through both the educational and employment opportunities that they provide. Schools and colleges are key contributors to the success of the initiative by:

  • Identifying and implementing best practices across the community so that all students have access to a high-quality educational experience
  • Working to smooth educational transitions both within systems (such as from middle school to high school) and between systems (such as from childcare to pre-school or from high school to college)
  • Sharing data and resources that will help partner institutions (such a school districts and colleges) better prepare students for success at every point along the educational pathway
  • Partnering strategically with government and community-based organizations to provide resources and support that holistically address the challenges that face low-income students and their families
  • Working with partners to increase family and community engagement in the educational process

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Faith-Based

Waco’s faith community is vibrant and committed to helping those in need. Churches and other faith-based organizations work tirelessly to care for those in their congregations and neighborhoods. Churches have the ability to make a major impact on the Prosper Waco initiative in the following ways:

  • Connecting church members and neighbors to available resources and new initiative programs through the Get Help Locally page or by calling the Prosper Waco office (254-741-0081).
  • Helping church members understand the complexity of poverty and how many factors (like wages, school, housing, etc.) fit together to impact people’s well-being. The Prosper Waco staff can support churches interested in hosting seminars or workshops about poverty-related issues
  • Making church members aware of the most impactful ways they can contribute their volunteer time and financial giving
  • Helping church members understand how they can go beyond financial giving to positively impact our community. For example, many church members are business owners or employers, who can partner with the various employment-related collaborations developed through the initiative
  • Creating relationships and combining efforts with other churches and other faith-based organization addressing a specific poverty-related issues, such as hunger/food security. A combined program can have a greater impact than many small efforts.
  • Committing to neighborhood outreach and community building in whatever part of Waco the church is found
  • Subscribing to the monthly newsletter just for churches and their members. The newsletter highlights community resources and opportunities for members to get involved and get informed about what is going on in the Waco community. Please email Christina Helmick (christina@prosperwaco.org) to join the list.

Get Involved!

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Grassroots

A community initiative is only as strong as the community members who give their time and energy to the work. Every community members in every Waco neighborhood has the ability to make their neighborhood a better place. And every community member is a student, a healthcare patient, a church member, or part of a local nonprofit organization—so all of us have ideas for ways to improve how our community does Education, Health, and Financial Security. Here are some ways individual community members can contribute to the initiative:

  • Join a Strong Neighborhood team near you to put your ideas and talents to work improving your neighborhood
  • Participate in grassroots leadership programs such as LeadershipPlenty, Waco CDC Grassroots Leadership, or Baylor PDI programs. Bring a friend or neighbor!
  • Learn more about poverty-related issues in Waco and contribute your ideas to the discussion through a variety of events such as Prosper Waco 101, the Prosper Waco Annual Summit, and programs presented by partner organizations. Scroll to the bottom of this page to sign up for the Prosper Waco newsletter for information on events near you
  • Sign up for the Act Locally Newsletter here to know everything that’s happening in Waco each week!
  • Volunteer your time and talents. Contact Mary Beth Kauk (marybethkauk@unitedwaywaco.org) at the United Way of Waco-McLennan County to learn how you can volunteer in ways that work for your schedule

Get Involved!

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BUSINESS

The business sector plays a vital role in ensuring the community continues to move toward its goals. This sector brings a unique perspective to the table by having direct access to different socio-economic populations. Through that direct access, the business community connects efforts to their workforce while participating in efforts that drive economic development in the Waco community. Businesses can contribute to the initiative by:

  • Actively provide feedback on workforce-related efforts
  • Participate in efforts such as the Job Shadowing Day, summer internship program or the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce’s Intern in Waco program
  • Engage in collaborative efforts like the Waco Employer Resource Network and the Community Loan Center that provide resources and supports to employees with the goal of increasing employee retention
  • Share your ideas to help create solutions to improving quality of life in Waco by calling 254-741-0081

Business are involved in the following efforts:

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HEALTHCARE

The healthcare sector is deeply invested in the initiative, including representation on the Prosper Waco board, Leadership Council and Working Groups. The healthcare sector laid groundwork for the Prosper Waco initiative to build upon, which has allowed for organic collaboration and partnership to implement strategic efforts in the community. The healthcare sector is taking the lead on various efforts that will improve overall health outcomes in the Greater Waco community. Healthcare organizations contribute to the initiative by:

  • Identify best practices that other communities are using to improve health outcomes
  • Collaborate with other organizations in the Waco community to increase the capacity to serve all residents within the Greater Waco area
  • Share aggregate health data to allow initiative partners to identify interventions that can improve health outcomes
  • Develop outreach and services that target needs highlighted by the Community Health Needs Assessment
  • Participate in initiative’s Leadership Council or join a Working Group
  • Relay information about grants that could fund community-wide health initiatives

The healthcare organizations are involved in the initiative in the following ways:

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