Latest News

United Way Receives Significant Grant from the Tad & Nancy Jeffrey Fund to support Endowment

December 4th, 2023

United Way of Central Ohio today announced a generous grant by the Tad & Nancy Jeffrey Fund of the Columbus Foundation for $750,000. The grant, given by the children of Tad and Nancy Jeffrey, honors their mother’s legacy as a trailblazer and dedicated partner of United Way of Central Ohio. As the first woman to chair a United Way of Central Ohio campaign in 1972, Nancy excelled at her role, leading the way to raise over $6.8 million to support United Way, its nonprofit partners and the families they served. In addition to being the first woman to chair a United Way of Central Ohio campaign, Nancy was the first woman to chair any United Way campaign above $1.5 million in the nation. The generous gift was presented at United Way’s Legacy Lunch on Nov. 14 by Tad and Nancy’s daughters Anne Jeffrey Wright, Sally Jeffrey O’Neil, Betsy Jeffrey Balderston and son Andy Jeffrey, in absentia. Additionally, the family positioned the gift as a matching challenge to other major donors to incentivize giving toward the United Way endowment fund. This year marks United Way of Central Ohio’s centennial, which includes a $13 million fundraising goal to support Success by Third…

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Thank You for Joining Us on GivingTuesday to Create Opportunities for More Students

November 29th, 2023

Thank you so much to all the new, current and returning donors who gave generously on GivingTuesday to support local families and children! In just 24 hours, our donors matched a $50,000 gift from the Redgrave family. The money raised is  enough to: provide an hour of tutoring plus an evening meal for 20 days to 50 children, pay for three weeks of quality education for 100 preschoolers, provide 8,300 hot meals to people experiencing food insecurity, AND feed a family of four for two weeks! Throughout GivingTuesday, we randomly selected three local nonprofits to receive $500 gift cards to spend on their staff. These Appreciation Awards provide an opportunity to show appreciation for our nonprofit partners who have worked incredibly hard to support our community these past several years. The winners this year were Central Community House, Huckleberry House and CRIS (Community Refugee & Immigration Services). Congratulations! The lucky winner of our Columbus Crew prize basket was John Clardy. We also selected a GivingTuesday donor to receive a bonus donation of two Columbus Blue Jacket tickets. That winner was Gail Gandal. Thanks again to the Redgrave family for its generous match gift and thanks to the Columbus Crew and…

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United Way of Central Ohio Announces 2024-2025 Program Investment Process

November 6th, 2023

United Way of Central Ohio is pleased to announce the 2024-2025 program investment process to help strengthen families and ensure every child has the opportunities and resources necessary to be on a pathway to success by the time they leave third grade. The program investment grant cycle will begin July 1, 2024, and ends June 30, 2025. Going forward, United Way is investing in strategies that support children on a pathway to success by the time they leave third grade by ensuring they feel included, believe in themselves, have a stable home environment, and are present, safe and supported at school. Click the button below for information about Success by Third Grade. Learn more about Success by Third Grade The LOI is now live, with a due date of Jan. 12, 2024, at midnight. Interested applicants must log in to our e-CImpact  platform in order to access the LOI. 1. Click on this link to go to e-CImpact. 2. Log in to e-CImpact: a) Current funded partners should input your User Name and Password and click Sign in to our Secure Server. If you have not yet accessed this system, see your agency’s primary contact (typically the executive director) for…

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United Way Welcomes Eight New Members to Board

August 30th, 2023

United Way of Central Ohio recently welcomed eight new board members to our dedicated and talented board of trustees. In addition, five members completed their terms and departed the board. Barbara Benham of Huntington Bancshares Inc. became the past chair after serving as board chair for 2021-2022 and 2022-2023. She was replaced by Dan Crane of the Crane Group. New members beginning three-year terms in April include Tal Bendor, vice president, strategy at Swiss Re America Holding Corp.; Mark Bidstrup, executive vice president and chief financial officer at Hexion; Melody Birmingham, executive vice president and chief innovation officer at NiSource; David Lee, vice president for employer solutions for OhioHealth; Kenny McDonald, president and CEO of the Columbus Partnership; Bill McGee, senior vice president and chief risk and compliance officer for Encova Insurance; Ryan Schmiesing, senior vice provost of external engagement for The Ohio State University; and Sharee Wells, superintendent of Whitehall City Schools. In addition, Morgan Williams of RAMA Consulting joins the board as the 2023-2024 Project Diversity Pride Leadership fellow, replacing Meredith Schwager who served as the OSU Moritz Law School fellow. Departing board members included Trudy Bartley, Donald Brown, Talisa Dixon, Carrie Harris-Mullen and Elise Spriggs. For the…

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Over 500+ Volunteers Join Forces for Stuff the Backpack

August 24th, 2023

United Way of Central Ohio and our partner NBC4 invited donors, volunteers and corporate partners to our annual Stuff the Backpack event on Aug. 10, and the community responded in a BIG way. We aimed to gather 300 volunteers at Lower.com Field to pack 1,000 backpacks in 90 minutes. Instead, we smashed that goal with the help of 500+ volunteers packing more than 1,500 backpacks for central Ohio students in 45 minutes. Time and time again, our supporters prove that when central Ohio stands united, there is nothing we can’t do. Thank you to everyone who generously gave their time, money and resources to ensure students in our community start the school year with the supplies they need to thrive. If you missed the opportunity to contribute but still want to give, it’s not too late. We welcome your donations through Aug. 31. Remember, your $10 donation can fill a backpack for a student so they can start the year feeling confident, prepared and ready to learn. AND every $10 gift equals an entry to win a Crew VIP package with an autographed jersey, Crew swag items, four tickets to the Sept. 20 match plus a meet-and-greet with defender Josh…

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United Way Adds Accessibility Toolbar to Website

July 25th, 2023

United Way of Central Ohio is excited to share that we now provide an inclusive online experience to enable website visitors to access online content and services barrier-free. As part of our diversity and inclusion strategy, website visitors are now able to access a wide range of accessibility and language support tools to customize their digital experience through Recite Me assistive technology. To explore our accessibility support tool,  click LANGUAGE/ACCESSIBILITY at the top of our website. Our announcement comes as we recognize Disability Pride Month throughout July. Disability Pride Month marks the 1990 enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a landmark U.S. rights law that extended civil rights protections to persons with disabilities and assured that all Americans would benefit from their talents. Being able to offer an inclusive experience is essential to support over 25% of the population who may encounter barriers when exploring our website due to having a disability, learning difficulty, visual impairment, or if they are English language learners. The Recite Me assistive toolbar on United Way of Central Ohio’s website includes screen reading functionality, multiple reading aids, and an on-demand live translation feature that boasts over 100 languages including 65 text-to-speech and styling options….

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United Ways Receive Funding in State Budget to Support Families and Improve Literacy

July 21st, 2023

United Way of Central Ohio is pleased to share that the State of Ohio approved funding in its 2024-2025 budget that will help a collaborative of Ohio United Ways advance strategies to improve early literacy and family stability. Gov. Mike DeWine has made improving childhood literacy a priority and has urged agencies across the state to find ways to address the issue.   A collaborative of six United Ways formed early in 2023 to share and implement strategies, and seek funding that will move the needle on literacy achievement throughout the central Ohio region. These United Ways include United Way of Central Ohio; United Way of Union County; United Way of Delaware County; United Way of Clark; Champaign & Madison Counties; United Way of Muskingum, Perry & Morgan Counties; and United Way of Fairfield County.  United Way of Central Ohio will manage the distribution of the State’s $3.6 million allocation to the United Ways in the collaborative and will ensure accountability and impact. Collectively, the six United Ways will be able to serve an additional 25,000 children and their families, with all results focused on literacy gains.  United Way of Central Ohio’s portion of the funding will help expand the reach of its Success by Third Grade movement, which launched in 2022…

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100 Years of Impact Made Possible with Strong Partnerships

June 21st, 2023

United Way of Central Ohio is proud to be celebrating 100 years of impact in our community throughout 2023. We know our accomplishments in the past 100 years are not ours alone but are the result of partnerships. We are a strong United Way because of strong community partnerships. Each year, as a proud sponsor of Columbus Business First’s Corporate Citizenship Awards, we recognize three corporate partners who have gone above and beyond in helping us create a stronger, more equitable central Ohio. This year’s event was held June 15 at The Fives next to White Castle’s new headquarters. This year’s Dale E. Heydlauff Legacy Award for Outstanding Philanthropic Leadership recognizes the top corporate citizen leading the way in philanthropy and community engagement. This year’s honoree is Grange Insurance, a truly exceptional partner to United Way and central Ohio. Grange consistently embodies a culture of philanthropy and community service through its Grange Gives employee campaign. Historical documents show that Grange has been running United Way campaigns since at least the 1980s. In the 2022 campaign, 100% of Grange leaders donated to the campaign before kicking it off to all associates. Grange generously provides a one-to-one match for employee donations, which…

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Join us for Stuff the Backpack and Help Local Students Succeed

June 16th, 2023

Do you remember the thrill of buying and having new school supplies and a new backpack to put them in? Those new pencils, notebooks and folders helped you feel confident, prepared and READY to start school. Join us to make sure every local student starts school with that same feeling — excited and ready to learn! United Way of Central Ohio, NBC4 and Josh Williams of the Columbus Crew are joining forces again this year to Stuff the Backpack for 70,000 students in Franklin and Licking counties! Now in its sixth year, Stuff the Backpack has provided over 180,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade with the essential school supplies they need to start the school year strong. Last year, the average cost increase for school supplies went up 25%. That significant increase, along with price increases for food, housing and utilities, means many local families will find it even more difficult to fit new backpacks or supplies into their budgets this year. It’s so easy for you, and means so much to local students and their teachers! When you give just $10, less than it costs to eat lunch out, you provide a new backpack filled with essential school…

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A Century United: United Way’s Support of the LGBTQ+ Community Spans Decades

June 13th, 2023

Like many organizations, United Way of Central Ohio celebrates and honors the LGBTQ+ community during Pride Month every June. But our work and support has always gone beyond celebration. For many decades, we have been committed to creating and maintaining a community where everyone has equitable opportunity to participate and contribute to their own success. And as a trusted partner in the community for 100 years, we understand from experience that the best solutions are crafted by diverse perspectives and stakeholders. As we celebrate our 100th year of impact in 2023, we take a look back at some of our work promoting and supporting inclusivity through the decades: 1990: United Way of Central Ohio becomes an early and ongoing supporter of Equitas Health (formerly AIDS Resource Center Ohio). 2003: Then Columbus City Councilwoman Mary Jo Hudson was elected as a United Way board member, providing a “seat at the table” for LGBTQ perspectives. Tom Grote, the co-founder and former board chair of the Equality Ohio Education Fund, replaced her on the board when she resigned. 2007: United Way of Central Ohio helped lead the GLBT Census, an anonymous survey of LGBTQ households that provided the most detailed information on central…

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