What We Do

Before COVID-19, one-third of all Franklin County residents could not meet basic needs and even more were a crisis away from falling into poverty. Today, we know low-income families are bearing the brunt of the pandemic. Over half of Ohio’s low-income households reported a loss of employment income over the past year. While students in low-income households faced more barriers to remote learning, including lack of broadband access and available equipment. 

United Way of Central Ohio is focused on fighting poverty by investing in the most effective partners that get results. This network of more than 90 local nonprofit partners provide opportunities and resources in two critical areas:

  • Basic Needs

    Ensuring people in crisis get food, shelter and assistance.

  • Student Success

    Helping children succeed from cradle to career.


Basic Needs

Ensuring people in crisis get food, shelter and assistance.

did you know?

1 in 3 central Ohioans lacks the income to meet basic needs without assistance.

2,000 young adults in central Ohio are homeless.


  • Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio
  • American Red Cross of Greater Columbus
  • Catholic Social Services
  • Charitable Pharmacy of Central Ohio
  • CHOICES for Victims of Domestic Violence
  • Clintonville-Beechwold CRC
  • Columbus Urban League
  • Community Development for All People
  • Community Kitchen
  • Community Shelter Board
  • Equitas
  • Furniture Bank of Central Ohio
  • Gladden Community House
  • HandsOn Central Ohio
  • Homeport
  • Huckleberry House, Inc.
  • Legal Aid Society of Columbus
  • LifeCare Alliance
  • Local Matters
  • Lutheran Social Services of Central Ohio
  • Mental Health America of Franklin Ohio
  • Mid-Ohio Foodbank
  • OhioHealth I AM
  • OSU Moms2B
  • The Salvation Army
  • Serving Our Neighbors Ministries
  • Stable Families
  • Star House
  • YMCA of Central Ohio
  • YWCA Columbus

Achieving Results:


Student Success

Helping children succeed from cradle to career.

did you know?

The poverty rate and the unemployment rate for people who do not have a High School diploma is twice as high as for people who have graduated.

72% of disadvantaged preschoolers in Franklin County struggle to learn the skills needed for kindergarten.


  • Action for Children
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbus
  • Central Community House
  • Childhood League Center
  • City Year
  • Columbus Early Learning Centers
  • Columbus Speech & Hearing Center
  • Columbus Urban League
  • Communities in Schools of Central Ohio
  • Community Development for All People
  • Communities Properties Impact Corporation
  • Directions for Youth & Families
  • Dominican Sisters of Peace
  • Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services
  • Gladden Community House
  • Godman Guild Association
  • Groundwork Ohio
  • Junior Achievement of Central Ohio
  • Kaleidoscope Youth Center
  • South Side Learning & Development Center
  • St. Stephen’s Community House
  • St. Vincent Family Center
  • Stable Families
  • The Center for Healthy Families
  • The Salvation Army
  • YMCA of Central Ohio
  • YWCA Columbus

Achieving Results:

Together, We Fight Poverty.

At United Way of Central Ohio, diversity, equity 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. Our greatest strength is that we’re not all the same.

Inclusion is essential to what we do 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, equitable and inclusive system is fundamental to fighting poverty in central Ohio.

Equity is making sure everyone in the community has what they need to reach their full potential. We align resources, build strong partnerships and ensure the fair treatment of everyone.

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.

United Way of Central Ohio’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement:

United Way of Central Ohio is committed to creating and maintaining a community where everyone has equitable opportunity to participate and contribute to their own success. Because our greatest strength as a community is that we are not all the same, everyone must be valued for their skills, experiences and unique perspectives.

We oppose all forms of structural racism, ethnic discrimination and other forms of oppression that have contributed to racial disparities in the past and persist in the present. Inequities and unfair policies and practices have marginalized entire populations, and we unequivocally denounce them, in any form. Racism and ethnic discrimination threaten the well-being of our entire community. United Way actively works to end all forms of inequities by dismantling unfair policies/procedures, and by engaging diverse residents and community members, particularly those whose voices have traditionally been marginalized.

As a trusted organization in central Ohio for nearly 100 years, we actively involve our for-profit, nonprofit and individual partners in co-creating solutions that build and sustain equity. We are committed to leveraging all our assets (e.g., convening, strategic investments, awareness building, advocacy) to create a more equitable central Ohio for all residents.

Project Diversity Pride Leadership

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