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Serving area residents to build a strong McLean County is what we do best

For nearly 90 years now, United Way of McLean County has brought together local partners—donors, volunteers, government, nonprofits, and businesses—to create sustainable, innovative solutions to address our county’s most pressing human needs.

We were known in the community as a funding organization. Each year, millions of dollars were entrusted to us for distribution to dozens of organizations that provided direct services to residents. Most of those funds came through workplace campaigns from our county’s largest employers.

Those contributions decreased by half in 2017, when the largest employers restructured their workplace campaigns
In the wake of these decisions, we experienced severe budget shortages. We took time to consider our options: Do we close? Do we restructure? Is there a better approach for building a strong community?

2018 was our crucial 180-degree turnaround. We decided to shift gears and focus donor investments into projects that fill gaps between service providers. It's been an incredible season of growth and partnership!


United Way has been building strong communities since 1887

In 1887, a group of five local Denver community members and religious leaders created an organization to help their community called the Charity Organization Society. The organization that would one day be called United Way would collect funds for local charities and organizations to help manage relief services, refer clients to other agencies they work with, and create emergency assistant grants for special cases. They raised $21,700 in Denver and benefitted 10 area health and welfare agencies.

Today, United Way has footholds in communities across 37 countries and territories, with over 1,300 local United Ways in the United States. In the 1,100 communities involved with United Way, people are donating, volunteering, and advocating to make big changes in the lives of those in need. McLean County is one of the communities with a deep history in charitable giving and deeply connected with United Way.


United Way statistics across 37 countries & territories

In 1935, local community leaders founded the Community Chest of McLean County that later became United Way of Mclean County. During this time, they contributed to a large range of organizations that helped to improve the lives of local McLean County residents. These organizations included the Boy Scouts of America, the Girl Scouts of America, and the Red Cross.


Throughout the years, there have been many changes to United Way nationally and United Way of McLean County. Through these changes, United Way stays committed to improving the lives in our community through programs focused on education, health, and income.