United Way of Greater Greensboro Receives Historic $10 Million Gift from Philanthropist Mackenzie Scott

Gift will be used over the next three years to make innovative investments to lift local children and families out of poverty

Greensboro, NC (December 16, 2020) – United Way of Greater Greensboro (UWGG) has received a $10 million gift from MacKenzie Scott, renowned philanthropist and novelist, to invest in efforts that lift local children and families out of poverty. The gift is the largest received in UWGG’s 98-year history. 

“We are honored to have our work of ending local poverty acknowledged in such a remarkable way. This historic moment gives us encouragement to innovate further in the work that the greater Greensboro community has entrusted us to complete,” said Michelle Gethers-Clark, President and CEO, UWGG. 

UWGG will utilize the funds over the next three years to make innovative and transformational investments in solutions that are working together to end poverty across the entire community. 

Scott has committed to giving the majority of her fortune to philanthropic causes, and UWGG’s gift is among $4,158,500,000 she recently gifted to 384 nonprofits across the nation. In a statement released HERE, Scott announced she and a team of advisors researched thousands of nonprofits before selecting those receiving gifts.  

“They took a data-driven approach to identifying organizations with strong leadership teams and results, with special attention to those operating in communities facing high projected food insecurity, high measures of racial inequity, high local poverty rates, and low access to philanthropic capital. Because our research is data-driven and rigorous, our giving process can be human and soft,” said Scott. 

Prior to the pandemic, over 57,000 people in the greater Greensboro community were living in poverty, including one out of every four children in Greensboro. The federal government defines poverty as a single person earning $12,760 or a family of four earning $26,200 per year. 

According to Gethers-Clark, being selected to receive Scott’s gift was made possible thanks to the hard work and dedication of local community members and corporations who have supported UWGG over the past 98-years. 

“To be selected as one of 384 organizations across the nation is humbling and affirming. This is a moment to celebrate and double-down as a community. These dollars are going to be used to make smart investments in our community,” said Gethers-Clark, who added, “We are confident this monumental gesture will inspire others to learn about and support the work of UWGG.”  

United Way Issues 2019-20 Annual Report, Celebrates Community Impact

Greensboro, NC (November 6, 2020) – United Way of Greater Greensboro (UWGG) is pleased to announce the release of its 2019-20 Annual Report.

In the 2019-20 fiscal year, United Way created 30 partnerships that supported 59 holistic programs and initiatives that are working together to end local poverty. Over the year, more than 56,000 people were helped in greater Greensboro and volunteers gave 25,951 hours of their time.

The report additionally highlights the tremendous impact generous donors and community members make possible by highlighting specific outcomes, success stories, and financial updates. 

To view the annual report, please visit unitedwaygso.org/annualreport.

Historic United Way Vote Amends Bylaws to Address Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

United Way of Greater Greensboro bylaw amendment ensures diversity, equity and inclusion are integrated into all business operations – Additionally, the organization has released an updated diversity, equity, and inclusion statement of principle

Greensboro, NC (October 28, 2020) – During a special called meeting on October 27, the membership of United Way of Greater Greensboro (UWGG) voted unanimously to amend its organizational bylaws to more specifically address diversity, equity and inclusion  Additionally, the organization has released an updated diversity, equity, and inclusion statement of principle. 

“Ninety-eight years into our history, we have inked the importance of equity. When the United Way started, there was segregation in our great nation. There were laws that excluded people purely on the basis of the color of their skin. Today, we are suggesting that we have made progress, and we are going to document it. And we’re not going to be general about it – we’re going to be specific,” said Michelle Gethers-Clark, President and CEO, UWGG. 

The amendment creates a monumental mark in UWGG’s 98-year history and ensures diversity, equity and inclusion are moral and business imperatives required for the organization to grow, advance the common good in local communities, and achieve its efforts of ending local poverty. 

Specifically, the amendment ensures the organization will: 

  • Create and publicly post a diversity, equity, and inclusion statement 
  • Recruit volunteers and staff that reflect the diversity of the community it serves 
  • Provide annual racial equity training to board members and staff 
  • Incorporate racial equity criteria when making community investment decisions. 

A section of UWGG’s updated diversity, equity and inclusion statement reads, “We are resolved, in all that we do, to respect, appreciate, value and not discriminate against the following but not limited to race, religion, skin color, gender, nationality, language differences, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, socioeconomic status, work and behavioral styles, parental status, differing perspectives, lived experiences, as well as physical, mental and developmental abilities.” 

Read the entire diversity, equity, and inclusion statement here: 

View the entire special called meeting here: 

For more on United Way of Greater Greensboro’s response to racial equity, visit: 

United Way of Greater Greensboro’s Family Success Center Celebrates 5 Years

Greensboro, NC (March 24, 2020) – Five years ago, United Way of Greater Greensboro’s first Family Success Center (FSC1) opened its doors. While the anniversary celebration originally scheduled for today has been postponed due to COVID-19, United Way invites the community to celebrate the members of FSC1 and all of their accomplishments.

Over the last 5 years, United Way’s FSC1 at Guilford Child Development Center has become a nationally recognized model, serving over 1,000 greater Greensboro residents in nearly 350 households.

United Way’s FSC model brings together partners across nonprofit, business and government sectors. Together, these partners offer services in one location that focus on access to public supports, education and career development, financial skills, health and wellness, and basic needs.

In addition to bundling services in one location, United Way’s FSC model removes barriers by offering childcare and transportation and places entire families on a path to financial stability.

Over the past five years, FSC1 members have achieved great outcomes including:

  • Nearly two thirds of adults maintained or improved their employment situation
  • Eighty percent of adults maintained or improved their educational status
  • Nearly two thirds of adults maintained or increased strength in family support for early childhood education
  • Over two thirds of adults maintained or improved their skills in budgeting and saving

In late 2018, United Way launched a second FSC at The Salvation Army Center of Hope, which began serving families in January 2019. 

Every FSC family is paired with a caring coach who provides long-term support and guidance. While each member’s goals may vary, the FSCs focus on ending poverty stays the same.

Each location is able to move people out of crisis, offer stability and growth, and prepare them to handle life’s challenges. Families who participate in the FSC year-round programming and coaching stay engaged as long as they choose in order to meet their individual goals.

“All of the partners who make the work possible at our Family Success Center show the true spirit of collaboration that makes Greensboro so special. The FSC teams share a commitment to truly being there for our families for the duration of their journey. It can be a long and complex journey with lots of obstacles thrown in your way, but our FSC members are showing us that with the right mix of support, access, and opportunity, they can and do reach their goals,” said Sarah Glover, United Way of Greater Greensboro Family Success Centers Manager.

Research from the Annie E. Casey Foundation demonstrates that individuals receiving services in this manner (called integrated services delivery) are three to four times more likely to achieve a major financial stability outcome than clients receiving only one service. The addition of intensive support services and coaching makes clients five times more likely to achieve a major financial stability outcome. Both of United Way’s FSCs leverage the strength of the evidence-based, anti-poverty strategy of integrated services delivery.

For more information on United Way’s FSCs, please visit unitedwaygso.org.

Coronavirus Relief Fund

United Way of Greater Greensboro and City of Greensboro Launch Coronavirus Relief Fund 

Greensboro, NC (March 16, 2020) – United Way of Greater Greensboro and the City of Greensboro are supporting residents impacted by the Coronavirus, by establishing the Greensboro Virus Relief Fund.

The Greensboro Virus Relief Fund is accepting donations to support local children and families impacted by the virus. United Way and the City will coordinate with local nonprofits to determine ongoing needs and fund distribution. 

“In these unprecedented times, working hand-in-hand with local leaders to share information and coordinate resources is critical in serving children and families impacted by the Coronavirus. United Way and city officials are dedicated to working together to pull our community through this,” said Michelle Gethers-Clark, President and CEO, United Way of Greater Greensboro.  

Anyone interested in making a donation to the fund can text the word “Virus” to 40403, or visit click here to donate online.

“Greensboro has proven time and again to be a caring community. This is an opportunity to fill voids for some of our most vulnerable residents, during these challenging and unprecedented times. Let’s demonstrate our One Greensboro spirit by giving to the relief fund,” said Mayor Nancy Vaughan.

Areas of anticipated need include:
Food insecurities, such as homebound seniors and families with children;
Education interruptions, such as children in early Head-Start through postsecondary;
Employment reductions, such as reduced hours, layoffs and furlough;
Housing vulnerabilities, such as rental assistance and shelters for homeless;
Medical access, such as transportation or those in need of homebound supports;
Business disruption, such as resources for small business community.

North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 hotline (866-462-3821) will answer questions/concerns about Coronavirus.

NC 2-1-1, a free statewide United Way-funded hotline gives callers access to resources, such as food, financial assistance, and other basic needs. This confidential service is available in many languages 24/7, 365 days a year. Dial 2-1-1or visit www.nc211.org.

The Volunteer Center of the Triad will organize and mobilize local nonprofit volunteer needs and requests. For more information, visit www.VolunteerCenterTriad.org

Nonprofits with programming in place or new services to support people impacted by the virus, should provide NC 2-1-1 with that information. This way 2-1-1 can direct people to the agencies best suited to assist them.

City of Greensboro and United Way Seek to Engage Volunteers During National Mentoring Month

Greensboro, NC (December 27, 2018) – January is National Mentoring Month. Continuing the tradition, the City of Greensboro and United Way of Greater Greensboro are celebrating the mentoring movement and expanding quality mentoring opportunities.

Throughout the month, United Way and the City are encouraging members of the community to make a difference by becoming a mentor.

United Way manages a registry of almost 30 mentoring programs that might have the perfect fit for you. One program is United Way’s African-American Male Initiative that provides mentors for our African-American, Hispanic and other male students. Mentoring starts in grades 2nd – 5th at Wiley Elementary, 6th – 8th at Jackson Middle and 9th grade at Smith High School.

Mentoring is a critical part of developing life changing relationships – mentoring is proven to have a positive effect on academic, social, and economic outcomes for our young people,” said Mayor Nancy Vaughan.

“Too many young people right here in Greensboro lack sufficient support to succeed in school and in life,” says Michelle Gethers-Clark, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Greensboro. “Each of us has the power to truly impact the future for our youth by simply being a caring adult in their life as a friend and mentor.”

Research shows mentors can play a powerful role in providing youngsters with the tools to make responsible choices, attend and excel in school, and reduce or avoid risky behavior like gang activity or drug use.

In turn, young people who are mentored:

  • 55% more likely to be enrolled in college
  • 81% more likely to report participating regularly in sports or extracurricular activities
  • 78% more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities
  • 130% more likely to hold leadership positions

Yet, the same research shows that 1 in 3 young people in our country will grow up without a mentor. National Mentoring Month each January allows for unique engagement from community members interested in becoming a mentor. This year, with the support of the mentoring community, we are encouraging the public to go beyond just digital engagement – and become involved in making a real life impact.

Mentoring relationships are at their best when connections are made between a caring adult and a young person who knows that someone is there to help guide them through real life decisions. Pledge to be a mentor today, by contacting the United Way of Greater Greensboro.

Other important dates for National Mentoring Month include:

January 4, 2019: “I Am a Mentor Day”
A day for volunteer mentors to celebrate their role and reflect on the ways mentees have enhanced their world and share their stories about being a mentor on social media using #MentorIRL, #MentoringMonth and #MentorGSO

January 17, 2019: International Mentoring Day
A day of international conversations on social media where photos, video and messages to share powerful mentoring stories.

January 21, 2019: Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
A day to share in the inspirational words of MLK, Jr., and elevate the spirit of service through volunteerism. Join GSO mentors and mentees at the Day of Service at Four Seasons Town Centre brought to you by The Volunteer Center of Greensboro. Visit https://www.unitedwaygso.org/event/martin-luther-king-jr-day-of-service/ or click here for more information.

January 31, 2019: “Thank Your Mentor Day”
This day concludes the #ThankYourMentorcampaign! Check out United Way’s social media for local thank yous including the hashtags #MentorIRL, #MentoringMonth and #MentorGSO.

To learn more about the role mentoring plays in our community and to find volunteer opportunities, please visit www.unitedwaygso.org/mentoring-matters or contact Traci McLemore at traci.mclemore@unitedwaygso.org.

About National Mentoring Month
National Mentoring Month is led by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, with support from the Highland Street Foundation. Each year since its launch in 2002, National Mentoring Month has enjoyed the strong support of the President and the United States Congress.

Other prominent individuals who have participated in the campaign include: Maya Angelou, former President Bill Clinton, Clint Eastwood, Quincy Jones, Cal Ripken Jr., Bill Russell and Usher.

The P.O.W.E.R. of Play

School’s out and over 100 kids are attending a summer camp for free thanks to generous supporters like you who donated to United Way’s Best Summer Ever. We’ve once again partnered with The Boys & Girls Club, YMCA and Proehlific Park to provide kids with a meaningful summer camp experience that will help them return to the classroom better equipped to stay on track and succeed.

Research shows keeping kids engaged in learning over the summer months is critical to academic success. Programming offered at these camps will not only keep kids engaged in learning but will also provide mentoring to encourage character growth.

Proehlific Park, operated by former NFL star Ricky Proehl, offers summer camp slots through the P.O.W.E.R. of Play Foundation. The foundation teaches the core values of Play, Opportunity, Work, Excellence and Respect (P.O.W.E.R).

Julia Eger, the foundation’s executive director says they are always excited to partner with United Way’s Best Summer Ever.

“I’ve heard stories about kids who end up staying home over the summer, some who have stayed home alone while their parents work. It’s not hard to image how this can lead to a lot problems,” says Julia.

“This is why I’m so excited about welcoming kids to Proehlific Park. It gets them out and active, and also provides a safe place where they can come and have mentors, because a lot of them don’t have that.”

At United Way’s Community Speaker Series in May, Mariah, a local mother of son who attended Proehlific Park’s summer camp last year spoke about the experience and said, “My son got off that camp bus with the biggest smile I’ve ever seen. He was so excited.”

Julian attended Prolific Park’s summer camp last year. Above he checks out the room at United Way’s Speaker Series while his mother tells the crowd when he got off the camp bus last year he had the biggest smile she’d ever seen.

According to Julia, United Way’s partnership is helping reach local families who haven’t heard about the park or foundation.

“We want to be able to reach as many families and children as we can and empower hundreds of children along the way. United Way is helping us reach our goal.”

GSO Tornado Relief: Ways to Get Help, Give and Volunteer

In response to the April 15, 2018 tornado that affected our neighbors, we will continue to collaborate with official disaster response representatives. As updated information is available, we are committed to passing it along as soon as possible. 

Tornado Assistance:

Impacted residents may pick up food and supplies at the following community partner locations:

  • Mt. Olivet AME Zion Church2123 McConnell Rd.
    Contact: Janice Holt, 336-327-7199
    Open 12-3 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays
  • Genesis Baptist Church2182 E. Bessemer Ave.
    Contact: Rev. Calvin Foster, 336-587-7318
    Open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays
  • New Light Missionary Baptist Church1105 Willow Rd.
    Contact: Tonja Fant, 336-478-7417
    Open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Mondays through Fridays
  • Salvation Army Food Pantry1311 S. Eugene St.
    Open 9 a.m. to noon, Mondays through Fridays
  • Greensboro Urban Ministry Food Pantry305 W. Gate City Blvd.
    Open 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mondays through Fridays
  • St. Mary’s Catholic Church812 Duke St.
    Contact: Becky Dubois, 336-705-4805
    Open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays
  • The Islamic Center of Greensboro
    2023 16th St.
    Contact: Moussa Issifou, 336-255-1870
    Open from 2-5 p.m. on Friday, May 4 and from 9-5 p.m. on Saturday, May 5 and Sunday, May 6

Monetary Donations:

With the coordinated support of the City of Greensboro and Guilford County, United Way of Greater Greensboro is accepting monetary donations to support local organizations working directly with children, families and adults impacted by the tornado.

Local organizations receiving funding will be selected by the City of Greensboro and Guilford County Disaster Response Committee.

  • Donations can be made online securely through United Way www.UnitedWayGSO.org.
  • Donations can be mailed to, or dropped off at, United Way of Greater Greensboro, 1500 Yanceyville St., Greensboro, NC 27405. Checks should indicate the donation is for “Tornado Relief.” Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Friday.

Volunteer Information: 

Intern Spotlight: Nakia Barham

Nakia | United Way of Greater GreensboroNakia Barham is the newest Community Impact and Investment intern.

She is currently at senior at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro as a Human Development and Family Studies major with a minor in Sociology. Nakia has always had an interest in the development from birth to adulthood.

United Way of Greater Greensboro: What’s the focus of your internship?
Nakia Barham: The purpose of my internship is to assist with the management  and evaluation of the UWGG Strategic Partner investment process. I actively serve on the Health & Basic Needs Council and the Education Income Council review teams. To prepare for the current 2018-2020 funding cycle, I process application materials including the materials for volunteer review. I will also help to plan and prepare for 2019-2021 funding cycle.

UW: What‘s got you most excited about this internship?
NB: The idea of learning something new excited me the most about this internship. I have never worked for a non-profit organization before, nor have I ever worked with grants management. I enjoy learning about the functionality of big organizations and this internship gives me an inside look at exactly how the many departments intertwine creating an awesome team!

UW: At the end of your internship, what do you hope to have accomplished?
NB: I hope to gain an in depth understanding of how grants management works, how funding process are done, and how UWGG effects the community. I would love to build a support network with the many individuals, of all different backgrounds, who are a part of the UWGG team!

UW: What was your first impression of United Way?
NB: Before interning with United Way I was completely unaware of what the organization did. I also did not know that United Way was a non-profit organization. Starting my internship here, I met some of the most interesting and intellectual people. Everyone in the UWGG office is extremely welcoming and immediately accepted me into the United Way family! In just a few weeks here, I have learned so much about the company and what happens behind the scenes of their large community impact.

UW: What does service mean to you?
NB: To me, service means assisting in any way to have a successful outcome. It means helping others in ways that best meet their needs. Service is not meant for what you get in return, instead it’s what you can do within your power to give someone else what they don’t have. Service is all encompassing and there is always someone or something that can gain power by your service.

UW: Who is your biggest role model and how have they shaped the person you are and/or becoming?
NB: My grandmother, Debra Barham, is my biggest role model and my greatest inspiration. She has instilled much needed knowledge and resilience in me from a very young age. Her accomplishments in life are motivation for me to never stop learning and growing as a person. She taught me to use every situation and opportunity, no matter the outcome, as a learning lesson. I hope to one day make her as proud of me as I have always been of her! I am blessed and grateful to have such an amazing role model to help mold me into whom I was meant to be at my highest potential.





Jumping In Head First

Written by Kacie Lynch, Marketing & Communications Intern

Two years ago this month Carla Banks became the Communications and Marketing Director for the City of Greensboro. With a heart for community, she began looking for opportunities to volunteer. She was involved with United Ways in other states and communities, and sought out United Way of Greater Greensboro. Carla was pleasantly surprised to see that her new United Way had a single focus: eradicating poverty.

She jumped in head first and started serving on two United Way cabinets: African American Leadership and Women United. Both of which have brought her closer to her new community.

“I think it is important for people to recognize opportunities that are available like African American Leadership and Women United because they specialize in areas where you feel like you can make a difference.” These cabinets, Carla explained, host events that are geared toward putting the spotlight on the issue of ending poverty and illuminate ways that the issue can be combatted.

Carla Banks Emceed United Way’s 2017 Handbags for Hope.

Carla says, “United Way of Greater Greensboro makes it easy to take resources and channel them where the needs are with the goal of ending poverty. One of the best things about United Way of Greensboro, is that the community can see the statistics, the research, the evidence that the money and time people are contributing are having a positive impact on other people’s lives. A difference is being made. There are tangible results.”

Carla envisions a community where people are actively working together to reduce poverty and celebrate the positive outcomes along the way. Thanks to volunteers like Carla, United Way is working on making that vision a reality.



Kacie Lynch | Marketing & Communications Intern