February 1, 2017
Philanthropists are most often envisioned as individuals graciously sharing their good fortune. However, affecting permanent change is far more complicated than it appears, requiring a large network of caring people dedicated to long-term plans. By motivating and connecting all elements of society—individuals, organizations, governments, and businesses—United Way is a catalyst to a wave of philanthropy that sweeps through communities worldwide. The sharing of ideas and resources produces lasting social change in the form of stable, healthy, well-educated communities.
Permanent change must be measured in practical terms. Understanding the interconnectedness of the conditions that keep societies in perpetual poverty gives philanthropists the ability to achieve lasting improvements. Through its LIVE UNITED initiative, United Way is committed to helping to incorporate a measurable, higher standard of living worldwide.
Financial stability is only one of the many components needed to fight poverty. Individuals must be healthy to maintain employment, and well educated to use existing resources to their full potential.
Sustainable jobs cannot be created without the help of governments to stabilize communities socially, and politically, encouraging businesses to invest in areas that are rich in assets, but previously inaccessible in terms of providing consistent profits.
Although the production of new jobs has helped to improve communities, wages may be extremely low. Children must work to provide income for their families, preventing them from obtaining the level of education needed to advance the community beyond its current socio-economic status.
United Way provides a central platform for philanthropists to work together to improve wages, educational opportunities, working, and living conditions.
Dedicated volunteers work with children to maximize educational opportunities, helping them to obtain better employment and healthcare. As adults, they have the ability to bring new innovations to the region's industries. This, in turn, uplifts, and further stabilizes the entire community.
In this way, United Way's vision to unite philanthropists from all walks of life comes full circle in communities worldwide. It promotes a new generation of philanthropy within children, and enables stabilized communities to reach out to those needing assistance. Lasting change provides visible proof to governments and businesses that their philanthropic efforts are worthwhile—the wave of social change continues to grow exponentially.