Our 2023 Impact Report
See the incredible impact we made TOGETHER!
Mission: To improve lives and our community by engaging people to give, advocate, and volunteer.
Vision: A community whose people achieve their full potential through education, financial independence and health.
Because systemic community challenges are most often rooted in multiple causes, Metro United Way harnesses the power of donors, volunteers, thought leaders, experts, other nonprofits and government at all levels to ensure positive, sustainable change. We’re the change agent that fuels our spirit of unity by building lasting, transformative opportunities for all.
MUW has moved away from a “historical funding model” to one of transformational impact to accelerate needed change in our community. We called this 3-year plan our “investment redesign.” It entailed an exhaustive process to identify our communities’ most pressing needs so that we can help solve them. During this extensive qualitative and quantitative analyses, we listened to voices of multiple stakeholders across our seven-county region and poured into the results of numerous studies that have been conducted to assess how our community fares across many measures of success.
From this, the message was clear – a great majority of our community’s residents have not experienced the same levels of educational and wealth opportunities and achievement, dramatically impeding their ability to thrive. In short, this process moves us from investing in nonprofits to investing in issues – especially around closing the education and wealth gaps that exist and were exacerbated by the pandemic.
As we continue to shift to focusing on our community’s most pressing needs and the root causes of them, we recognize there is still immediate need in our seven-county region. We also implemented a health and basic needs strategy to address these urgent needs, in addition to strategies around educational success and wealth attainment.
We used to make investments in nonprofits rooted in a historic model that didn’t drive transformational outcomes. Today, we are a change organization and have a strategic plan to address key drivers of inequities and invest where the need is the greatest to address systemic community challenges and ensure positive, sustainable change. While we have phased out our historical funding to nonprofit partners, we have opened up several investment opportunities to any nonprofit in our seven-county region.
We are working to create a culture of trust-based philanthropy that addresses inherent power imbalances, dismantles systemic racism and accelerates strategic investments. This new model addresses systemic, root cause issues. By prioritizing ideas, impact and functional capabilities over administrative reporting capacities, Metro United Way effectively advances equity, targets systemic racism, addresses power imbalances, grows investment and builds mutually accountable relationships within the community, relying on community outcomes as a whole instead of individual organizational or programmatic results.
Our vision and mission reflect our fundamental belief that all people belong and deserve fairness, justice, and inclusivity. Our strength comes from our diversity and we celebrate the visible and invisible qualities that make each person unique, including race, gender, age, sexuality, ability, religion, national origin, gender identity, and other identities. We commit to aligning our culture and business practices to be a beacon of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging for all people.
Within our community, we know that a great majority of Black and Brown residents have not experienced the same levels of educational and wealth opportunities and achievement, dramatically impeding their ability to thrive – which affects us all. We all win when every child succeeds in school, when under-resourced neighborhoods turn around, when families have good health and when workers have solid jobs.
We passionately believe in the humanity and potential of all and have a fundamental belief that all people belong. We strive to unite the community behind that belief to address systemic community challenges and ensure positive, sustainable change. After all, the measure of a community’s success doesn’t lie in those who already have opportunities to thrive but in those still fighting for them.
Some of the specific diversity, equity, and inclusion work that MUW leads:
MUW recognizes that systemic change and lasting impact require a pairing of powerful programming and transformative policy making. Elected officials and administrative leaders are critical partners in promoting equity and opportunity for all people in the areas of education, economic mobility, and health, and as such, Metro United Way actively engages in public policy efforts. The range of issues affecting our priorities is vast. To be effective, Metro United Way has a targeted public policy agenda that has relevancy across our seven-county and two-state region.
Our Board of Directors is made up of community, civic, corporate and student leaders who serve as advocates for the work of MUW, hold fiduciary responsibility, connect professional networks to MUW, financially support and ensure long-term strength of our organization. A nominating committee recommends and vets individuals to our board and then the full board votes on members. Most serve two-year terms.
All current members can be found here: metrounitedway.org/board-of-directors
2021-2022 Board Leadership:
Provide leadership and expertise to achieve the mission and strategic goals of Metro United Way.