Trends in Private-Sector and United Way Funding: Implications for Adult Literacy Programs

March 2019


General Adult Education Field

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Author(s): Peter Waite

The white paper discusses the decline in private-sector and United Way funding for adult literacy programs, with a shift toward prioritizing workforce education. While private-sector funding is increasing, the allocation to adult literacy programs is decreasing. Collaboration, consolidation, and mergers are encouraged to improve program efficiency.

Adult literacy programs should focus on pre- and post-assessment of students, demonstrate community benefits, and align with other priorities such as jobs, income, and health. Private funders and United Way need to understand the impact of their changing funding priorities and provide support to literacy programs as partners.

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