Our Mission

Improve the lives of others by mobilizing the caring power of our community.

Our Vision

Build a community in which everyone has the aspirations, resources and opportunities to reach their fullest potential.

We are your neighbors, co-workers and friends. We are a collaboration of donors, volunteers, organizations and experts—UNITED around the shared sense of purpose to reduce poverty in our community. Founded in 1923, United Way of Central Ohio is one of the largest United Ways in the country. We bring together more than 80,000 donors, advocates and volunteers, because when we speak and act together, we have the power to do more and our impact multiplies.

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United Way of Central Ohio is a
volunteer-driven organization

Whose purpose is to measurably improve lives in our community. We recognize our responsibility to the community and the people we serve. We value those relationships and believe that we and our representatives must act in ways that honor the trust those communities have placed in us.

We adhere to a Code of Ethics that is based on the ethical standards of integrity, accountability, confidentiality, diversity, fairness and respect. As a member of United Way Worldwide, we follow The Global Standards for United Way Organizations. These Standards articulate the principles and practices that make United Way organizations unique and successful wherever they are in the world. As we work toward the goal of improving lives and strengthening our community, we also work to earn our community’s trust every day by maintaining the very highest standards of accountability and transparency.

We adhere to comprehensive requirements for audited financial statements that ensure consistency and transparency on the part of each local United Way. Diversity and inclusion inform every aspect of our work. We are continually aware of the importance of racial disparities and create strategies to reduce them.


Our success is measured by how well we make sustainable improvements in our community.

As we work toward the goal of advancing the common good, we also work to earn our community’s trust every day by maintaining the very highest standards of accountability and transparency.

We believe we have a responsibility, both to our donors and to the community itself, to ensure that the dollars people entrust to us are invested in ways that will produce the greatest measurable impact on lives, enabling our region to thrive. We now have 78 partner agencies who share our vision of creating positive change right here, in our communities in central Ohio.

Your Contribution Will Be Well Spent

United Way rigorously studies, personally inspects and re-qualifies each organization we support — every year. Our staff and volunteer experts evaluate and assist funded programs to deliver their services effectively and efficiently.

We offer our funded programs:

  • Technical assistance and training
  • Capacity building opportunities
  • Guidance for defining and measuring impact
  • Volunteer and board member recruitment

We maximize your contribution.

We take the business of managing and investing your gift seriously. We maintain efficient and effective operations – our current administrative and fundraising costs are only 11.6 percent of total net revenues.

Our performance exceeds Better Business Bureau guidelines, due to stringent cost controls and to the dedication of thousands of volunteers.

Our extremely low overhead ensures that the vast majority of your money goes to people in need.


We have long embraced diversity and inclusion among our key principles. Quite simply, it is encoded in our DNA.

At United Way of Central Ohio, diversity and inclusion inform every aspect of our work. We understand from experience that the best solutions are crafted by diverse perspectives and stakeholders.

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.

Inclusion is essential to what we do.  Inclusion creates and strengthens our community.  It is at the heart of what it means to Live United and to advance the common good; to be a diverse and inclusive system is fundamental to reducing poverty in central Ohio.

We actively seek input and fully engage a broad range of partners to help us develop solutions that will result in long­ 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 adhere to comprehensive requirements for
audited financial statements that ensure consistency
and transparency on the part of each United Way.

Our requirements are based on current best practices in our industry as well as generally accepted accounting principles and requirements. The United Way system also includes requirements for completion of the IRS Form 990 to ensure transparency using consistent standards.

Independent Organization

United Way of Central Ohio (UWCO) is an independent organization founded and governed by local volunteers to create opportunities for a better life for all. UWCO is a member of United Way Worldwide and annually completes certification of strict membership requirements.

Strict Checks And Balances

United Way of Central Ohio has a stringent system of checks and balances in place to ensure it is operated in a sound fiscal manner. Through our Board of Trustees and volunteer committees, we draw upon the financial and management expertise in our community to continuously improve our fiscal performance. The organization’s operating budget as well as its community funding decisions are reviewed and approved by several volunteer committees, including the Board of Trustees.

High Audit Ratings

Each year, United Way of Central Ohio undergoes an annual financial statement audit by an independent CPA firm. The latest audit was completed in June 2014 and our independent auditors reported our financial statements fairly and accurately present the financial position of United Way of Central Ohio. The annual audit is approved by the volunteer Audit Committee and is also reviewed by the Board of Trustees.

Openness To Sharing Financial Information

United Way of Central Ohio’s work is made possible thanks to the support of thousands of individual investors and central Ohio employers who trust us to prudently invest their donations on behalf of the common good. Information regarding donations is available to all donors and we welcome questions regarding our investments in programs and services.

United Way Worldwide Membership Standards

Designations will be assessed noncollectable and administrative fees in accordance with United Way Worldwide Membership Standards. United Way of Central Ohio’s administrative fee is currently 10%.

Operating Policies

In order to maintain your trust, written policies
and procedures are in place for your review.

We demand strong financial management, compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, compliance with all United Way Worldwide membership requirements, and internal controls over all United Way resources.

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