Friend to Friend utility assistance program.

Heart of Indiana Friend to Friend Program - Partner Information

2022-2023 Heart of Indiana Seasonal Fund $30,000

To assist organizations with their clients financial utility needs, Heart of Indiana United Way has directed $30,000 to help.

What does an organization need to do to access Friend to Friend funds?
An organization would first agree to our program guidelines and complete the partner agreement form below.  As a 2023 Friend to Friend partner, you would have access to our fund for up to $150 per client per season.  Funds are first come, first serve by county.  

How does Friend to Friend work?

When you meet with a client, first determine their eligibility for the program.  Once eligibility has been determined, you can pledge up to $150 towards utility services.  This amount can be split between utilities if needed.  

Once you have determined the amount(s) needed, you enter their information and assistance record into our Charity Tracker database using the Friend to Friend assistance category.

Once you have entered the assistance record into Charity Tracker, United Way staff will send all Friend to Friend assistance requests to our accounting department for payment processing.  These requests will be sent weekly.  Payments are processed bi-weekly.

If you are interested in becoming a Friend to Friend partner please contact Kim Rogers-Hatfield, Director of Engagement.

Partner Guidelines:

Your partner organization is responsible for:

  • Ensuring that client resides within Delaware, Fayette, Henry, Madison, or Randolph County
  • Qualifying the client per procedures, including obtaining the appropriate documentation
  • Ensuring that EAP and Township assistance have been requested, and
  • Communicating with the client and the utility company.  When making a utility pledge on behalf of the client, your partner organization is:
    • From your partner organization as the qualifying and approving entity.  It is permissible to inform the utility that the payment will come via the Friend to Friend fund at United Way, but written and verbal pledges should clearly come from your organization.
  • Verifying household income at 250% or less of the Federal poverty guidelines,
    • Use all sources of income (earned wages, unemployment, disability or other benefits, child support etc.) for the last full calendar month.
  • Confirmation from the client (verbal confirmation is acceptable) that they have contacted the local LIHEAP and the Township Trustee. Verify that they have either received assistance, have a meeting scheduled or are otherwise unable to receive assistance.
  • Failure to follow the guidelines and procedures may result in your organization being ineligible to access Friend to Friend funds.

Enter the client in Charity Tracker:

  • Verify Charity Tracker account or create new account
  • Enter all information required for the entry to be considered a completed application.
  • Document Friend to Friend assistance in Charity Tracker, including the following:
    • Vendor:
    • Account Number:
    • Total Bill Balance:
    • Amount Needed to Stay Out of Disconnect:
    • Name on bill:
    • Applied/Appointment for EAP: (Yes/No with date and amount or description for why not)
    • Document non-Friend to Friend assistance source and amount.

 

United Way Responsibilities:

United Way will:

  • Download Friend to Friend assistance records weekly from Charity Tracker and will process payments so that payments will be received by the utility within 30 days of the pledge.  If there is a circumstance that requires expedited payment or other special handling, contact the United Way office.
  • Provide periodic updates of the available Friend to Friend funds to partners through Charity Tracker.
  • Verify that all necessary information will be included with the Charity Tracker Assistance Record and remove any assistance records that are found to be incomplete or represent a duplicate client entry. Any incomplete or duplicate entries will be the requirement of the partner organization to follow-up on.