United Way has evolved from its roots as a fundraising organization to a critical community convener that mobilizes local partners, including businesses, community leaders, public officials, and community residents, to expand opportunities for people to succeed. These collaborations recognize the power of the collective: that organizations coming together around a common agenda – with shared goals, strategies, data, and guiding principles – are capable of achieving real and lasting population-level impact. This is the collective impact model.
In any community, Education, Financial Stability, and Health are the building blocks for opportunity – individually and collectively. Remove any of these building blocks and the other two topple. Build them all up and you have a cornerstone for individual and community prosperity. United Way of Greater Portland is working closely with community partners on a number of Education, Financial Stability, and Health initiatives, including Westbrook Children’s Project, Portland ConnectED, CA$H Greater Portland, Count ME In, Let’s Go!, and Thrive2027.
“What United Ways do well is recruit people with passion, expertise, and resources to make a difference. We aspire to drive collaborative community change. That means we – and our partners – facilitate a shared community vision and coordinated action across a diverse coalition, along with mutual accountability, sustained effort, and measured results. It means working collaboratively on community-wide and community-based strategies that can drive real change – not programs, or tweaks of status quo. And it means bringing people from all walks of life together to work in meaningful ways – not just giving, but advocating and volunteering – to advance these community strategies.” – Brian Gallagher, President and CEO, United Way Worldwide