Our Impact - United Ways of California

 

Our Impact

United Ways advance opportunities for people to lead successful lives by focusing on the three key building blocks of a good life: education, income, and health. California’s United Ways are independent public charities, governed by local community leaders, that pursue strategies tailored to local needs, but they all share the same mission, brand, focus areas, and approach.

Inspired by their progress in working together statewide to promote health coverage for all California children, in 2008 California’s United Ways decided to create a staffed organization to devote full-time attention to increasing collaboration and expanding their network impact.

In the years since, United Ways of California and our network of United Ways have expanded our advocacy and programmatic incentives to include economic mobility and education initiatives.

We know we cannot “social service” our way to equitable and just communities. Changing the environment is the highest level of strategic impact United Way – or any philanthropy – could hope to achieve, and advocating for such change, therefore is central to achieving our mission. This is why “Give, Advocate, Volunteer” is our call to action, and why we advocate to change large-scale systems to improve the odds of success for low-income families and communities – and advocacy is a central strategy for achieving community impact.

For us, advancing the common good means repairing systems to help all of us not just survive, but thrive.

Our approach also puts United Ways in the middle of changing policies, implementing the changes and then continuously improving them through further changes. In the best case, it becomes a virtuous cycle, and so “winning the implementation” is a mantra we follow.

Lyft rides dispersed across CA for health, employment, school, family connections, and social service appointments from April 2021-today

Californians screened for low-cost internet programs via website calculator and text flows from September 2020-today

Californians enrolled into low-cost internet programs from September 2020-today

Federal returns submitted through our free tax prep programs

SUCCESS STORY

Life changing tax credits

“Once you’re living check by check it’s hard to save – especially when you have four kids and you’re helping out your parents. It all adds up! Having that money there motivates you.”
– Ivonne S.

Ivonne is a working mother of four who utilized United Way’s financial mobility programs in Santa Rosa.

SUCCESS STORY

Life changing tax credits

“Once you’re living check by check it’s hard to save – especially when you have four kids and you’re helping out your parents. It all adds up! Having that money there motivates you.”
– Ivonne S.

Ivonne is a working mother of four who utilized United Way’s financial mobility programs in Santa Rosa.

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