A HISTORY OF LOCAL IMPACT
United Way of Greater Greensboro has turned your compassion into community change for over a century! Thanks to your support, our community has accomplished great things together. We invite you to discover what you’ve made possible below – it’s a true testament to what happens when we LIVE UNITED. We hope you enjoy the centennial art, poem, publication and timeline!
- Listen to our Centennial Poem written and recorded by local Guilford County School Student, Sanjit S.
Download our Centennial Publication or Listen to the Centennial Publication Podcast recorded by Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, and hosted by the Greensboro History Museum below
Looking to the Future
March 1, 2022
Looking to the future: March 1, 2022, United Way celebrates its centennial.
Largest Gift in Organizational History
January 1, 2020
National philanthropist MacKenzie Scott recognizes United Way of Greater Greensboro’s strategy to end local poverty and donates $10 million. The gift is the largest in organizational history. United Way deepens its commitment to ending poverty and launches a new bold goal to help 3,000 households leave poverty by 2030.
Second Family Success Center Opens
February 4, 2019
United Way launches second Family Success Center and celebrates transition into a complete open funding model.
Disaster Relief Task Force
January 1, 2018
A tornado impacts East Greensboro and United Way partners with city and community leaders to establish a task force which raises and distributes more than $800,000 in relief. Two years later, United Way utilizes the same partnerships to raise and distribute $2.6 million in county-wide relief during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Celebrating 95 years in the Community
January 1, 2017
In 2017, United Way of Greater Greensboro celebrates 95 years and presents positive Family Success Center outcomes at United Way Worldwide’s Community Leaders Conference. Thanks to your continued support, the next 95 years will be even better!
Board of Directors Approves Expansion of Family Success Center
October 1, 2016
Board approves expansion of the Family Success Center and partnership with MDC to create the Family Success Network.
Receives a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator
August 1, 2016
United Way of Greater Greensboro’s strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency earned it a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator. This is the first time that United Way of Greater Greensboro has earned this top distinction.
Family Success Center is Launched
January 1, 2015
Greensboro’s first Family Success Center is launched to provide integrated, place-based services to meet the needs of the entire family so that each family enters the path toward self-sufficiency. One hundred families are enrolled in the inaugural program.
Breaking the Cycle of Poverty
January 1, 2014
Inspired by community input, United Way of Greater Greensboro focuses its strategic efforts on breaking the cycle of poverty. One year later, the organization launches its first Family Success Center to help households move out of poverty. The Center goes on to receive national recognition.
$1 million Mark
January 1, 2011
For the first time, United Way receives $1 million from an annual employee and corporate campaign – Lorillard, Inc.
January 1, 2004
United Way conducts community-wide assessment – Voices. Choices. – to determine community needs. Three focus areas were then developed: Growing Successful Kids, Helping People Help Themselves, and Caring for Everyone’s Health.
African American Leadership Group Established
January 1, 2003
Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole establishes United Way’s local African American Leadership group comprised of individuals who contribute $1,000 or more annually and commit to addressing minority needs. One year later, Dr. Cole becomes the first African American to chair United Way of America’s board of directors.
Women’s Tocqueville Society is established
January 1, 1998
The Honorable Bonnie McElveen-Hunter establishes the nation’s first-ever Women’s Tocqueville Society in Greensboro with 40 other women each contributing $10,000 or more annually. Within a few years, United Way organizations replicate this female-led movement around the world.
March 1, 1997
United Way celebrates its 75th anniversary, raising $12.5 million in its annual campaign.
The Joseph M. Bryan Human Services Grant is established
January 1, 1996
The Joseph M. Bryan Human Services Grant is established to recognize Bryan’s lifelong commitment to the welfare of the Greensboro community.
In Touch Referral Service, 2-1-1, is established
January 1, 1994
Based on community feedback, United Way launches the In Touch Referral Service hotline helping people access human services 24/7. In its first year, the hotline connects 10,000 people to services. At the turn of the century, the hotline became known regionally as 2-1-1.
1500 Yanceyville Street is Gifted
February 1, 1992
Thanks to a gift from Kay and Sidney J. Stern Jr., United Way builds a new headquarters at 1500 Yanceyville Street. Remaining true to United Way’s purpose, the location is selected to connect East Greensboro with the majority of the community.
Founding of Alexis de Tocqueville Society of Greater Greensboro
January 1, 1988
The Alexis de Tocqueville Society of Greater Greensboro is established with 16 charter members. Tocqueville Society members contribute $10,000+ annually to United Way.
First African American Chair
January 1, 1986
Dr. William C. Parker Jr. becomes the first African American to chair an annual campaign. Two years later in 1988, he is elected as the first African American Chairman of the Board. In both leadership roles, Dr. Parker Jr. surpassed campaign goals.
Becoming United Way of Greater Greensboro
January 1, 1974
The organization changes its name to United Way of Greater Greensboro and continues to help establish new community programs that provide mobile meals, a bus system for people in need, after-school tutoring and community-wide volunteering.
United Fund becomes United Community Services
January 1, 1969
The United Fund becomes United Community Services.
January 1, 1967
With support from Kathleen and Joseph M. Bryan, the organization establishes the Community Enrichment and Venture Grant Program. These grants are used to ensure equitable access to human services and develop innovative programs to solve community needs.
Move to the Ceasar Cone Memorial Community Services Building
January 1, 1957
United Fund moves to the Ceasar Cone Memorial Community Services Building, 1301 N. Elm St. – it’s home for 35 years.
Name changes to United Fund
January 1, 1956
The organization changes its name to United Fund and moves into the Caesar Cone Memorial Community Services Building. The move is made possible thanks to long-standing support from the Cone family, who are known for their significant business and philanthropic impact.
First Female President Retires After 17 Years
January 1, 1955
Dr. Ruth Shiffman, first female president, retires after 17 years of leadership and is recognized for her many accomplishments, including increasing the number of companies participating in payroll deduction.
Name changed to Greensboro Community & War Chest
January 1, 1941
The U.S. enters World War II and Community Chests across the nation adopt the name “Community and War Chest,” to support both community agencies and war efforts. During the war, Greensboro’s response and generosity was recognized as a national leader among other communities.
First Campaign Goal Achieved
January 1, 1940
The first campaign goal of $87,750 is achieved and supports 14 agencies.
Move to Civic and Cultural Center
January 1, 1939
A gift to the city from the Richardson family, the Civic and Cultural Center is located at Summit Avenue and Lindsay Street. Other tenants include the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Greensboro Art Center, and the Greensboro Public Library.
Breaking Gender Norms
January 1, 1932
During the Great Depression, the organization breaks gender norms and elects Laura Weil Cone president of the board. Seven years later in 1939, Dr. Ruth Y. Schiffman is hired as the first female executive director, a position she held for 16 years.
An Organization was Born
March 1, 1922
Henry Smith Richardson, heir to the famous Vicks VapoRub fortune, forms the Community Chest, which would later become United Way of Greater Greensboro. The Community Chest combines multiple nonprofit fundraising campaigns into one annual drive to deliver the greatest community impact.