What We Do

Central Ohio has recovered from the Great Recession and unemployment is the lowest it’s been in years. Yet the number of people in poverty is unprecedented. As a result, our community’s future growth is clearly at risk.

To address this critical situation, United Way’s Board of Trustees approved a plan to focus all of our work on reducing poverty. Since adopting that plan, we thoroughly reviewed the latest data and research on the root causes of poverty, and developed transformative approaches that offer the greatest potential for effectively reducing poverty.


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Changing How We Reduce Poverty

Action for Children UWCO 2017 Investment $464,683
Organization Description:

Provides early learning and childcare programs/services in central Ohio; improving availability, affordability and quality. Advocates for children so they may be prepared for kindergarten and lifelong success.

Ways We Invest in Action for Children:

Columbus and Franklin County Kids: $464,683​​


78 Jefferson Avenue (43215)





Advocates for Ohio’s Future UWCO 2017 Investment $2,500
Organization Description:

Advocates for Ohio’s Future promotes health and human service budget and policy solutions so that all Ohioans live better lives.

Ways We Invest in Advocates for Ohio’s Future:

Innovation and Systems: $2,500​​


101 East Town Street, Suite 520, Columbus, OH 43215


614-221-4945 ext. 4

African American Leadership Academy UWCO 2017 Investment $NA*

The African American Leadership Academy is designed to expand the number of African American leaders in central Ohio who excel in their professions and engage in community service. The Academy enlarges the definition of success and redefines the description of leadership to include doing well at work to do more good in the community. To that end, it assembles a group of Fellows who have the likelihood of significant accomplishments in both of those arenas. The Academy selects individuals who are ready to grow and to engage in preparation for that kind of success and that kind of leadership.

Each year, the Academy’s Advisory Board along with current and past Fellows seek out and nominate individuals to be invited to apply to the Academy. These individuals, ages 25-55, represent the business, non-profit, government, education and entrepreneurial sectors of the central Ohio community. Nominees have demonstrated potential for top leadership roles in both their professional and civic life.

The Academy’s mission is to increase the number of central Ohio’s African American leaders and broaden its awareness of a wider pool of capable and civic minded African American professionals. Maximizing the potential and engagement of all social and economic sectors is essential to the greater purpose of building “best at” and “best to be in” businesses and communities.

For more informations on the African American Leadership Academy, visit their website http://aalacademy.org/.

* United Way of Central Ohio serves as a fiscal agent for this initiative.

Agency Emergency Assistance Fund UWCO 2017 Investment $25,000
Organization Description:

Fund for partners experiencing an unforeseen issue.

Ways We Invest in Agency Emergency Assistance Fund:

Innovation and Systems: $25,000​​

Alvis UWCO 2017 Investment $190,000
Organization Description:

Reconnecting Families; Restoring Communities and Reinvesting in Ourselves by providing results-driven community reentry programs and behavioral support programs for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Ways We Invest in Alvis:

People-Centered Services: $190,000​


2100 Stella Court (43215)





American Red Cross UWCO 2017 Investment $450,000
Organization Description:

Provides immediate disaster relief and planning, emergency communications for military families, health and safety education, international services and transportation for seniors and disabled individuals.

Ways We Invest in American Red Cross:

People-Centered Services: $450,000​


995 E. Broad Street (43205)



Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio UWCO 2017 Investment $310,000
Organization Description:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio helps children realize their potential and build their futures by providing meaningful, professionally supported relationships between children facing adversity and caring volunteer mentors.

Ways We Invest in Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio:

People-Centered Services: $310,000​


1855 E. Dublin-Granville Rd. (43229)


614.839.2447/Toll free 866.892.2447

Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbus UWCO 2017 Investment $245,000
Organization Description:

Affiliated with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the Clubs provide a comprehensive youth development and guidance after-school and extended summertime program for girls and boys, ages 6 to 18.

Ways We Invest in Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbus:

People-Centered Services: $245,000​


Administrative Offices West Side Unit - 115 S. Gift Street (43215) 221-8830/fax 221-1225 (admin) or 233-6842 (club) Milo-Grogan Unit, 1012 Cleveland Avenue (43201) 294-4366 EXTENSIONS Como Elementary Extension - 2989 Reis Avenue (43224) Heyl Elementary Extension - 760 Reinhard Avenue (43206) Highland Elementary Extension - 40 S. Highland Avenue (43223) Southmoor Middle School Extension - 1201 Moler Road (43207) Call 221-8830 for each extension listed above

Business of Good Foundation UWCO 2017 Investment $25,000
Organization Description:

The Business of Good is dedicated to making a difference in people’s everyday lives. Through social investing and partnering with like-minded individuals and organizations, they step beyond merely donating funds. Engaged philanthropy allows them to make meaningful change in the lives and communities we touch through education, employment, and entrepreneurship.

Ways We Invest in Business of Good Foundation:

Innovation and Systems: $25,000​​

Care Coordination Network UWCO 2017 Investment $200,000*
Delivering Results for Families, Providers, Funders and Communities

The new Franklin County Pathways Community HUB offers our community an integrated and comprehensive system that meets holistic needs of county residents in an efficient and organized manner. Using nationally-recognized pathways that help people take coordinated, step-by-step action toward set objectives, the HUB provides:

  • A single point of contact for individuals and families managing multiple needs,
  • Standard, organized pathways for information flow and funding,
  • Clear direction and efficiencies for all involved, and
  • Accountability for outcomes.
How it works:

Community care coordinators within various organizations work directly with individuals and families to determine their needs, identify the appropriate service pathways and follow up regularly to ensure milestones along each pathway are completed. The HUB’s standard, organized pathways for information flow and funding bring increased efficiency to the process. Providers receive payment for services once a milestone is reached. Having one consistent point of support for individuals and families pursuing multiple pathways builds the relationships and rapport needed to help people achieve a better quality of life.

For example:
  • A family with a preschooler receives an early learning checkup through Columbus Kids, which uncovers potential learning delays in the child.
  • A Columbus Kids care coordinator will help the family find the pathway for overcoming the learning delay, but will also work to discover other needs the family might have.
  • The father is unemployed and needs work skills to get a new job, so the coordinator starts him on a workforce development pathway.
  • The mother is pregnant and does not have a health care provider, so the coordinator gets her on a pathway to having a healthy baby.
  • The coordinator checks in regularly to make sure milestones along each pathway are completed.


A portion of funding for the Care Coordination Network is provided by the Ohio Commission on Minority Health.

Ways We Invest in Care Coordination Network:

Service Coordination: $200,000​​

* Committed Annual Funding

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