Mission, Vision and Impact

Our Mission

Together, we’re making our region a more just place for all. Stand with us. 

United Way fights for the stability, success and inclusion of everyone in our community. We coordinate cross-sector responses to the most pressing local issues and invest in innovative solutions to address them. We do this by forging unique partnerships. By finding new ways to solve old problems. By calling for equity in all things. By inspiring our neighbors to join the fight.

Our Impact in FY 2020

We empowered
of our neighbors to recover and rebuild

We invested
into the community

We mobilized
volunteers and advocates to fight for change

COVID Relief


Over $8M distributed

15 local towns and cities turned to United Way to raise and distribute funds to their residents, knowing we would get them into the right hands as quickly as possible.  Learn more about our COVID response.

In the biggest crisis to hit our communities in decades, United Way mobilized over 8,000 donors as well as hundreds of agencies and corporate and foundation partners, to provide immediate relief to communities across our region.

Ending Homelessness

13,445 families stayed in their homes

Last year, United Way invested $6.4M in the community via 65 partner agencies and 5 unique programs.

  • We exceeded our five-year Pay for Success goal to provide permanent supportive housing to 800 individuals, placing 926 people who have chronically experienced homelessness in safe, stable housing, and saving millions of dollars in shelter and emergency medical costs.
  • We expanded the pioneering HomeStart Renew Collaborative into Brockton, Fall River and Quincy, providing short-term intensive case management to families who are on the brink of homelessness.  We partnered with the City of Boston around the Mayor’s Rising to the Challenge action plan to end youth homelessness.  We deepened our partnerships with public school districts in Lynn and Boston to identify and support homelessness in students.  In Lynn, more than 1,200 of the 17,000 enrolled public school students experience homelessness.
  • Our Project RISE partnership connects students and families to resources and supports to stabilize their housing and prevent homelessness. Every year, nearly half of all families who work with Project RISE move beyond the cycle of instability and 98% of the children avoid a disruptive move to a new school mid-year. United Way has added program partners in Boston as well, and here 73% of the families who work with the program find stable housing.

Moving Families Out of Poverty

Tax Preparation Services

8,460 families achieved economic mobility

Last year, United Way invested $6M in the community through 63 agency partners and 3 programs and $1.6M in 29 Mass Community Development Corporations through Community Investment Tax Credit (CITC).

  • In 2019, Boston Builds Credit celebrated its first year of impact.  Boston Builds Credit, a collaboration with the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, the City of Boston and its Office of Financial Empowerment, and LISC Boston that helps residents work towards a prime credit score, build wealth, and remove barriers to success. With support from partners like Citi, Bank of America and the Kraft Family, Boston Builds Credit helped over 1,560 people access one-on-one financial coaching.  Read more about economic mobility through credit building.
  • Through funds raised in workplace campaigns and from individual donors, United Way invested over $2 million in 17 community-based organizations that focus on job skills training that is connected to a defined career pathway and driven by regional employer needs. 
  • United Way also funded eight financial opportunity centers including JVS Boston, Lawrence CommunityWorks, Quincy Community Action Programs, Community Teamwork, and more to provide job training and readiness programs with resume building and interview skill development. The results: nearly 2,000 people were placed in industry-specific jobs with career pathways, over 1,000 workers earned an industry-recognized certificate, credential or degree. 

Supporting Young Children

18,488 young children were prepared to start school

Last year, United Way invested $3.6M invested through 108 agencies and 4 unique programs.

  • The healthy development of our region’s youngest, most vulnerable children is critical to our efforts to make progress against big issues like ending intergenerational poverty and closing the persistent achievement gap in education.
  • This year, we expanded our DRIVE universal developmental screening model and database statewide to reach some of the most vulnerable Massachusetts infants and toddlers through screening more children outside of formal early education classrooms.
  • In partnership with the Children’s Investment Fund and Strategies for Children, United Way worked with the Baker-Polito Administration to increase capital funding to improve facilities and learning environments of early education and care centers.

Preparing Youth for Success

64,426 young people learned the skills they need to succeed

Last year, United Way invested $6.3M in the community through 124 partners and 6 programs.

  • United Way brought companies, schools, nonprofits, and numerous volunteers together to provide meaningful STEM learning experiences through BoSTEM.  We also launched externships — opportunities for Boston Public School teachers to learn about the kind of careers their students can prepare to pursue, helping them contextualize their learning.
  • In 2019 we announced the expansion of the North Shore AmeriCorps program to Gloucester to empower English Language Learners on the North Shore. United Way created partnerships in these cities to help the schools and the community respond to the increasing number of English Learner students and the increased need for services to support their educational success.  In Lynn, more than 25% of students are English Learners, and over 13% of students in Salem are English Learners. In Gloucester, over 5% of students are English Learners and that percentage is expected to grow.
  • This year we saw traction with Launch — an initiative aiming to test new approaches for connecting opportunity youth with education and careers. We engaged close to 200 young adults, providing coaching and connecting them with education, training, and careers. Key partners include the Boston Private Industry Council, Lynn Housing and Neighborhood Development, and Jewish Vocational Services with funding commitments from the Department of Housing and Community Development and the Miller Foundation.