• This is more than an Annual Report.

    It's a story about Hope.

  • This is more than an Annual Report.

    It's a story about Opportunity.

  • This is more than an Annual Report.

    It's a story about Change.

  • This is more than an Annual Report.

    It's a story about the Future.


Our Impact

We measure our success in lives changed. In 2017, we served 61 million people across the globe. From improving the quality of early education in Kentucky, to helping families put food on the table in Milwaukee, to getting students healthier in India, we didn’t back away from the toughest challenges. We did it by forging unlikely partnerships, finding new solutions to old problems and mobilizing the best resources. These stories are testament to the impact communities can make when we come together and LIVE UNITED.

About Us

United Way envisions a world where every community is a strong one, with jobs that can support a family, good schools and a healthy environment. In many communities, we're the only nonprofit building up the cornerstones of education, financial stability and health—and the only nonprofit bringing people together from all walks of life to be a part of local solutions.

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The Evolution of United Way

A lot has changed since 1887. At the time of our founding, we were a small organization in Denver, Colorado, dedicated to benefiting area health and welfare agencies. We collected funds for local charities, counseled and referred clients to cooperating agencies, and established emergency assistance grants for cases that could not be referred. In our first year, we raised $21,700 for this greater good. And we created a blueprint for giving that would go on to define United Way as we know it.

Today’s United Way is much bigger and broader in scope. With locations in nearly 1,800 communities— across more than 40 countries and territories— we are serving 61 million people, supporting 2.9 million volunteers and engaging 9 million donors annually, while raising $4.7 billion in the process. Over the years, we have become the vehicle for creating positive change, with a focus on health, education and financial stability. By bringing people, organizations and communities together around a common cause, vision and path forward, we are building a brighter future. But there’s still more to do.

Throughout our history, we have witnessed philanthropy evolve from annual pledge cards to daily giving. We have kept pace by transitioning from a small fundraising federation to a global, social- change organization of community problem solvers. And we are still evolving. This year, we partnered with Salesforce.org to introduce Salesforce Philanthropy Cloud, a revolutionary digital platform that will launch in 2018 and make giving more accessible, easier and effective. It’s just one more way we are helping people maximize their impact. Learn more by visiting www.unitedway.org/philanthropy-cloud.

We’ve come a long way as an organization, but we’re not done innovating. Together, we will usher in a new era of charitable giving and chart a course toward even greater impact. The future of philanthropy is here, and it’s brought to you by United Way.

A Letter From Leadership

While 2017 was a tumultuous year in many ways, around the world individuals and institutions stepped up to help people take on tough problems. And through it all, United Way was there—fighting for every person in every community.

When the Waters Rose, so did you

You can point to the future of philanthropy and community-building in one stark example from 2017: the Cajun Navy. When Hurricane Harvey hit Texas in August, flooding towns across the southern and eastern parts of the state, people’s homes and lives disappeared underwater. Volunteer organizations, including United Way, raced to the rescue. We were joined by men and women from nearby Louisiana, many of whom arrived with their boats to assist search-and-rescue efforts.

“I was young during Hurricane Katrina, and I know how it feels to lose everything,” Jordy Bloodsworth, a Baton Rouge resident, told The Washington Post. “So, being able to help others going through this situation that I have experienced, there’s no way—no way—I could pass up helping.”

Pitching in to help neighbors, whether they live one street, one state or one country away, is critical to building stronger communities. While 2017 was a tumultuous year in many ways, around the world individuals and institutions stepped up to help people take on tough problems. And through it all, United Way was there, fighting for every person in every community—from hurricanes in the United States to floods in India.

In the past, building a stronger community depended upon institutions leading the way. If a community lacked affordable housing, for example, government, nonprofits and local business would work together to ensure it. This model, of which United Way is a champion, will always be integral to solving community problems. But the world is getting bigger and more connected, and the balance of power in philanthropic circles is shifting to take individuals’ agendas and preferences into greater account. Institutions remain powerful, but individuals are growing in influence. United Way must lead the way to serve both.

Due to changing forces in technology and increased globalization, people today possess greater knowledge and power—and they increasingly demand that their leaders act. If leaders don’t, individuals will move forward themselves.

Hurricane Harvey is a great example of that. While local authorities in Texas were looking for people who could help navigate the floodwaters, the Cajun Navy responded immediately. They pulled hundreds of people from the water and helped them begin rebuilding their lives.

Moving forward, solutions to our greatest challenges will be realized when individuals and institutions work together. Organizations like United Way must give people platforms to connect, advocate and act, just like the Cajun Navy did in Texas. We are boldly and proudly pursuing this vision to ensure more people are empowered to make a difference by bringing our resources to bear whenever and wherever they are needed.

This annual report highlights those people and resources. From San Francisco to Shanghai, we recognize those who stepped up in 2017 to positively impact communities and lives. None of what we accomplished this year would have been possible without our many donors, partners, volunteers and advocates, and we’re immensely thankful for their support. Improving our society will take collaboration. It will take innovation. And it will be driven by people who are empowered and prepared to strengthen their communities. We look forward to the challenge.

United we fight. United we win.

Punit Renjen

Punit Renjen
Chairman, Board of Trustees

Brian A. Gallagher

Brian A. Gallagher
President and CEO

Our Worldwide Network

For almost 130 years, United Way has been a unifying force that brings together community leaders, organized labor, faith-based groups, corporations, nonprofit organizations and governments. Together, we create sweeping change that benefits entire communities, in your backyard and around the world.

United Way Worldwide Map

Impact by the Numbers

United Way serves 61 million people each year, and is engaged in nearly 1,800 communities across 40+ countries and territories.
Childhood Success$255,777,295 invested
Childhood Success
1,644,745children enrolled in high-quality early childhood programs
77%of children are academically proficient by end of kindergarten
607,008children received literacy support
Youth Success$215,263,854 invested
Youth Success
90%of youth graduated high school on time
2,482,042youth participated in out-of-school time programs and/or received individualized support
82%of youth earned passing grades in core subjects
Economic Mobility$228,213,898 invested
Economic Mobility
1,372,535individuals accessed affordable housing, financial products, and services
468,054individuals received job skills training
64%of individuals increased their wages
Access to Health$249,310,113 invested
Access to Health
3,565,353individuals participated in physical activity and/or healthy food access/nutrition programs
77%of youth/adults avoided or reduced risky behaviors
97,752of babies had healthy birth outcomes (e.g. reach full term, first birthday and healthy weight)

United We Fight

Every day, and in all corners of the world, communities struggle with obstacles that are difficult to face and too hard to ignore. Illiteracy. Homelessness. Addiction. Local issues that require local solutions.

But there is hope. There’s United Way. We are the problem solvers, the hand raisers, the game changers. We surround a community’s most critical problems—and we fight.

Youth Jobs

Where there is Help there is Hope

In a matter of months, life changed for millions. From Houston to Haiti, the Caribbean to California, people were bound by shared grief. Pitching in to help neighbors, whether they live one street or one country away, is critical to building strong communities. Read more

A Future without Human Trafficking  
United Against Substance Abuse  

Our Work

Now more than ever, people need help and hope. United Way offers both through its programs and services, while connecting communities with critical resources and delivering solutions at scale. We are a global vehicle for volunteers, donors and advocates who seek to change lives and strengthen communities through service, collaboration and impact.

Financial Stability

We’re fighting to ensure that every person, in every community, has the resources and opportunities they need to build a stronger financial foundation for themselves and their families.

Childhood Success

We ensure that children get a strong start in life by helping them achieve crucial developmental milestones and start school ready to succeed.

Youth Success

We connect young people with the tools, knowledge and networks they need to graduate high school and thrive in the job market.

Access to Health

We fight to connect people with affordable healthcare, healthy foods and physical fitness so everyone can live healthy and happy lives.

Making a Mark

At United Way, we mobilize the caring power of communities and work with partners to create permanent and positive change. From helping military veterans get back on their feet and nurturing character development in the classroom, to recognizing local heroes who are making a mark, we are strengthening communities from the inside out.

Partnering to Build Career Pathways  
Character Development through a Digital Lens  

Leading the Charge

We’re galvanizing people to fight for policies, programs and funding that improve education, financial stability and health for individuals and communities. But we can’t do it alone—change doesn’t happen without you.


Our Supporters

Every day, we strive to create permanent and positive change in communities around the world—but we can’t do it alone. Thanks to the generous support of our volunteers, donors, partners, philanthropic leaders and other influencers, we are able to give back so that others can get ahead.

Our Corporate Partners

Each year, we work with more than 60,000 corporate partners to create lasting solutions for local impact. The companies listed here are members of our Global Corporate Leadership program.* These companies—along with their employees—contributed nearly $1 billion and volunteered countless hours this year in service of their communities. We thank them for their support.

*Criteria for membership in the Global Corporate Leadership program includes (but is not exclusive to) running a workplace campaign at multiple sites, raising at least $2.5 million per year and contributing at least 50 percent of funds raised directly to United Way.

Leaving a Legacy

Philanthropic Leader


United Way proudly recognizes the extraordinary generosity of this philanthropic leader. Read more


Every so often, an individual comes and revolutionizes philanthropy; a leader whose passion and vision creates positive and permanent change. We are honored to recognize the enduring contributions of Dr. Thomas “Tommy” F. Frist, Jr., founder of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society, a vehicle for community transformation that has generated more than $10 billion to date.

A former chairman of the United Way of America Board of Governors, Tommy has long been an advocate of service and the common good. His vision to create a society of philanthropic community leaders who unite and address the needs of the most vulnerable was realized in 1981 when he launched the Tocqueville Society as Campaign Chair of United Way of Metropolitan Nashville. Seeing the need to make a mark beyond his hometown—and to bridge a giving gap—Tommy spent the next few years inspiring peers to give at a level that was consistent with their means.

Before long, Tommy had established a Tocqueville presence in six more cities, and in 1985, oversaw its inception in United Way of America. Today, the exclusive society boasts 25,000+ members in 400+ societies around the world, and is one of the premier destinations for individual philanthropy. Under Tommy’s leadership, the Tocqueville Society has become a multi- generational movement that encourages individual giving, one through which people can build their own legacy.

Since its founding, the Tocqueville Society has improved countless lives and strengthened hundreds of communities. None of this would have been possible without Tommy’s unwavering vision. As the first recipient of the United Way Lifetime Achievement Award, and a member of the $10 Million Dollar Roundtable, Tommy and his wife, Trish, have contributed generously to the endowments of United Way Worldwide and United Way of Metropolitan Nashville, resulting in years of organizational excellence.

As we recognize Tommy’s contributions, we also acknowledge the 50th anniversary of HCA Healthcare, a company he founded with his father, Dr. Thomas F. Frist, Sr., and Jack C. Massey. Tommy’s leadership is reflected in HCA’s corporate culture of giving, which has more Tocqueville Society members—133 and counting—than any other company in Nashville. Tommy is also the founding director, and currently the chairman, of The Frist Foundation, which supports organizations that are involved in arts and culture, youth leadership training, community development and civic affairs.

Tommy’s leadership remains a benchmark in philanthropy, and its catalytic effect will be felt for years to come. His considerable work with the Tocqueville Society, board leadership, personal contributions and advocacy has vastly strengthened United Way, while increasing the value of, and possibilities for, giving in communities everywhere. Thank you, Tommy, for raising the philanthropy bar.

Leadership Spotlight

United Way USA Board of Trustees

The United Way USA Board of Trustees is charged with providing oversight on matters related to—and specific to—the network of United Ways in the United States. Its responsibilities include U.S. membership issues, public policy, community impact, resource development and U.S. Board development.


James Bullard
President and CEO
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


Cynthia Gibson
Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary
Scripps Network Interactive


Vice Chairman and Chief Administrative Officer
U.S. Bancorp


Marc Bluestein
Founder and President
Aquarius Sports Entertainment

Anthony Carter
Retired Vice President of Global Diversity & Inclusion, Chief Diversity Officer
Johnson & Johnson

Jose Cecin
Pinnacle Wireless USA, Inc.

Cynthia Figueroa
Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services

Mary Ellen Garrett
Wealth Management Advisor of The Garrett Group
Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management

Tefere Gebre
Executive Vice President

Donn Grimm
Retired Principal Vice President
Bechtel Infrastructure

Michael Hsu
President and Chief Operating Officer
Kimberly-Clark Corporation

Corporate Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer
SunTrust Banks, Inc.

Neeraj Mehta
Executive Vice President of Strategy and Business Development
Synchrony Financial

Mary Cathryn Ricker
Executive Vice President
American Federation of Teachers

Fredric Rolando
National Association of Letter Carriers

Byron Spruell
President of League Operations
National Basketball Association


William H. Gates, Sr.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

United Way Worldwide Board of Trustees

The United Way Worldwide Board of Trustees has fiduciary oversight of United Way Worldwide, and is responsible for overseeing the business affairs of the organization.


Punit Renjen
Chairman of the Board
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited


Chul-Hee Kang
Dean and Professor of School of Social Welfare
Yonsei University


Phillip N. Baldwin
President and CEO
The Citizens Bank


Rodney E. Slater, Esq.
Squire Patton Boggs


Chairman Emeritus
Eli Lilly and Company


Wayne Wouters
Strategic and Policy Advisor
McCarthy Tétrault


Dr. Juliette Tuakli
CEO and Chief Medical Officer


Jean-Claude Gruffat
Managing Director
Galileo Global Advisors


John J. Dooner, Jr.
The Dooner Group


James Bullard
President and CEO
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Luis Javier Castro
Founder and Managing Partner

Executive Chair of the Board, Retired
PG&E Corporation

President and CEO
First Global Bank Limited

Caixin Media

Richard Trumka

United Way Worldwide and Subsidiaries Consolidated Statements of Financial Position

As of December 31, 2017 (In USD Thousands)

  2017 2016
  Current assets $ 93,798 $ 71,790
  Custodial assets 8,193 4,880
  Total assets 101,991 76,670
Liabilities and Net Assets
  Current liabilities 29,231 31,106
  Custodial liabilities 8,193 4,880
  Total liabilities 37,424 35,986
Net Assets
  Without donor restrictions 39,701 26,805
  With donor restrictions 24,866 13,879
  Total net assets 64,567 40,684
Total liabilities and net assets 101,991 76,670
  Membership support, net 30,093 31,391
  Contributions 134,764 67,729
  Other revenue 10,034 10,406
  Total revenue 174,891 109,526
Program expenses:
  Donor Advised Giving 76,811 57,515
  U.S. Network 17,951 8,816
  Impact, Strategy and Innovation 15,413 14,199
  Brand Strategy and Marketing 10,448 9,800
  International Network 7,109 6,614
  Investor Relations 6,077 5,993
  Other Program Expenses 5,800 7,354
  Total program expenses 139,609 110,291
Support services:
  General and administrative 5,448 5,149
  Fundraising 2,272 2,368
  Total support services 7,720 7,517
Total operating expenses 147,329 117,808
Change in net assets from operations 27,562 (8,282)
Non-operating adjustments to net assets* (3,680) 2,151
Change in net assets 23,882 (6,131)
Net assets beginning of the year 40,684 46,815
Net assets end of the year $ 64,566 $ 40,684

*Reflects increased pension obligations based upon current actuarial analysis.