As United Way of San Diego County (UWSD) celebrates their Centennial year, they are looking back through our history to see the way it has shaped the organization they are today. This month, they are looking at the 1990s- a decade when the perception many people have of United Way changed significantly.
At the beginning of the 1990s, United Way was deeply committed to a business model that had served it well for decades. The tens of millions collected each year by the United Way/CHAD Campaign were allocated to nonprofit agencies and charitable organizations certified by United Way. The agencies used the donations to fund more than 200 different health and human services, dramatically improving the lives of thousands who previously had nowhere else to turn.
Donor choice widened in the mid-1990s when the campaign was restructured to allow contributors to support environmental and educational agencies—or any tax-exempt organization of their choice, such as schools and churches.
United Way’s relationship with local companies and their employees through workplace giving campaigns became even stronger. The campaign began to raise upwards of $25 million a year. An effort to attract contributions from high-wealth individuals began to pay off with several major donations.
The organization continued to build partnerships, including the launch of The Children’s Initiative, bringing together business and community to help address the problems facing our young people. United Way also helped form the Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition to help low-income residents qualify for millions of dollars in federal tax credits.
Save the date and join community and corporate partners for our Virtual Centennial Celebration on Thursday, October 8th, 2020! Learn more about UWSD’s Centennial and visit uwsd.org/centennial.