‘New’ United Way Invests More Than $16 Million in Greater Charlotte
United Way of Greater Charlotte today unveiled its new name and a new look as it announced its 2023 investment of $16 million in communities across the Charlotte region – awarding $9 million in grants to 132 neighborhood and grassroots organizations working to lift families out of poverty and improve economic mobility.
The investment also includes more than $5 million from the City of Charlotte as part of collaborative efforts to provide housing and services for people experiencing homelessness. The remaining $2 million represents United Way community investments and donor-directed funding for nonprofits.
The investment reflects the funding strategy United Way has phased in over the past several years, a shift the organization made after Charlotte ranked last in economic mobility among 50 metropolitan cities nationally.
“Five years ago, United Way of Greater Charlotte started a journey to align our investment strategy with the community’s most pressing needs to create lasting change,” said Laura Yates Clark, United Way president and CEO. “We couldn‘t do this without the extraordinary support of corporate, individual and public-sector donors – and the countless agencies working every day to create opportunities for all people.”
Formerly known as United Way of Central Carolinas, the organization changed its name to more clearly identify the region it serves, which includes Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Anson and Union counties. “‘Greater Charlotte’ evokes a more specific geography than ‘Central Carolinas’ did, and better connects people to where their dollars are going to help people in need,” Clark said. United Way also refreshed its logo and brand look, adding design elements with succinct messaging to bring new energy to reflect its new focus.
United Way’s $9 million in grants will go toward three pillars to improve economic mobility and racial equity.
Its United Neighborhoods program will dramatically expand, with an investment of $4.9 million in more than 50 neighborhoods – up from $1.3 million and three neighborhoods last year. The program aligns with the City of Charlotte’s six “Corridors of Opportunity” and also includes northern Mecklenburg County.
United Neighborhoods empowers residents in historically disinvested communities to identify aspirations for their communities and the nonprofit organizations they believe can best deliver neighborhood-focused services to help them achieve those goals.
The funding will go to 70 agencies working in the corridor neighborhoods including United Neighborhood’s original focus in Grier Heights, Lakeview and Renaissance West.
“United Way of Greater Charlotte is addressing complex problems such as economic mobility and racial inequity through bold, fresh solutions,” said Board Chair Dee O’Dell, an executive vice president at U.S. Bank. “In response to our community’s desire to produce lasting change and empower those closest to our challenges, we have brought new agency partners to the table to collaboratively create opportunities to help all children and families thrive.”
United Way’s Unite Charlotte program will invest nearly $3 million in 55 agencies in 2023 – thanks to continued funding by Mecklenburg County, as well as corporate and private donations. Unite Charlotte provides grants and capacity-building support to grassroots organizations founded and led by people of color. The funding helps support their mission and work, increase their impact, and grow a more diverse and inclusive pipeline of nonprofit leaders in Charlotte.
Regional Investments totaling more than $873,000 will fund 27 nonprofits in Anson, Cabarrus and Union Counties, to support needs identified by residents in each community. Funding will support mental wellness in Cabarrus County; housing stability, food security, childhood literacy and mentoring programs in Anson County; and housing stability, food security, the Intellectual Developmental Disability community, childhood literacy, mentoring programs and access to affordable and quality healthcare in Union County.
About United Way of Greater Charlotte
United Way of Greater Charlotte uses collective giving to advance economic mobility and racial equity, primarily through neighborhood-based, grassroots and responsive solutions.
For more information, please visit www.unitedwaygreaterCLT.org.