Stuff the Backpack to Help Local Students Succeed.

Learn More

Success by Third Grade: Join the Movement

Learn More

Student Success Creates Lifetime Opportunities.

View Stories of Impact

Helping families meet basic needs now to prepare for the future.

View Stories of Impact

Address the need and make positive sustainable change by giving.

Make a donation today Watch Our Video
Stuff the Backpack Success by Third Grade Student Success Basic Needs Donate

Making a Difference Where It's Needed Most

United Way supports a network of nonprofit partners working to ensure people in crisis can meet their basic needs, and children have equal opportunities to achieve student success. When you give to United Way, you can be confident you'll make a significant impact on the greatest needs in central Ohio.

Basic Needs

Even before the pandemic, 1 in 3 central Ohioans lacked the income needed to meet basic needs without assistance. Equitable access to food and shelter is essential to help families and individuals feel safe, healthy and supported as they work to recover from the impact of COVID-19.

Student Success

When we help students succeed from cradle to career, we create a stronger central Ohio for all of us. Access to high-quality, safe early learning environments, and equitable opportunities and resources through high school improves graduation rates and reduces unemployment.

Creating Lasting Change

Years ago, we laid the foundation. Moving forward, we will continue to leverage and build upon the talent, strength and opportunity that is available in central Ohio. We align resources, build strong partnerships and ensure the fair treatment of everyone.


Diversity is who we are. Our Board of Trustees, staff and volunteers come from many walks of life and reflect the many faces that make up our community. Our greatest strength is that we’re not all the same.


Equity is making sure everyone in the community has fair treatment and access in order to reach their full potential. The ZIP code you are born into or live in should not determine your destiny. But opportunities and resources vary widely from neighborhood to neighborhood in central Ohio.


Inclusion provides a sense of belonging, strengthens our community and is essential to what we do.

Join Us
and Live United

By joining United Way of Central Ohio, you're not only making a difference for our community. You're creating a deeper connection to the place you call home. You're making a choice to Live United — and that's powerful.

Make a one-time or recurring contribution.


Raise your hand and give back.


Use your voice to raise awareness.

Learn More

Our Impact

We measure our success in lives changed. With your help, we provide relief and hope for thousands of families and students in central Ohio. Each story is a testament to the difference we can make when we join together to create lasting change.


Providing Safe Shelter

The pandemic brought many unknowns for the YMCA’s Shelter Services staff. According to Shameikia Smith, the program’s executive director, her employees were concerned for the future of the people they served, as well as the future of the organization. Despite their worries, they sprung into action immediately, setting up five temporary shelters where guests were safe and comfortable. 

Read More

Ensuring Student Success

Genesis says he was introverted and preferred staying home before he joined the Columbus Urban League’s I Am My Brother’s Keeper (IAMBK) program four years ago. But Lorenzo, his IAMBK mentor, recognized him as a natural born leader who needed nurturing and opportunities. The program provided just that and more for Genesis, who will soon become a junior mentor himself. 

Read More

Fighting Hunger

Located in the Milo-Grogan neighborhood, NNEMAP has expanded its reach and hours due to the growing need brought on by the pandemic. The pantry currently serves people six days a week from any ZIP code in central Ohio. Roy Clark, the Executive Director of NNEMAP, says that like most nonprofits, the pantry has experienced declining revenues and rising costs during this crisis. 

Read More

Building a Strong Foundation

Charlene and her husband are essential workers in central Ohio who were called back to work shortly after COVID-19 struck. The YMCA Hilltop Educare Center, where their daughter was enrolled, became an emergency pandemic center and was able to continue providing safe, affordable, quality care that provided stability for the family. 

Read More
View More Ways We Make an Impact

"My motivation to give, volunteer and advocate is my belief that everyone deserves an equal opportunity to reach their ultimate potential."

Eve Ellinger, Founding Member of Women’s Leadership Council (now Women United)

"Thank you so much, not only for the grant, but for the opportunity to continue to apply for funds. Our clients need us now more than ever, and we are not backing down. It’s nice that United Way is right there with us. You are true partners!"

Rachel Lustig, president & CEO of Catholic Social Services

"Stable Families made sure we were able to maintain that family structure for them (her children) to be able to go to school."

Donna, Stable Families participant and single mom raising three children plus her sister's four children

Stay Informed

Back to top