United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley Expands to include the Greater Attleboro and Taunton Region

October 25, 2018

Merger will allow for greater collaboration and service to the most people in need

The Boards of Directors of the United Way of Greater Attleboro and Taunton (UWGAT) and United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley today announce the two organizations intend to merge effective November 1, 2018.  Through the combined efforts of leadership and Board approvals, this merger will allow for greater collaboration and service to the most people in need by: reducing redundancies in administrative and other non-program specific functions and development of new technologies and innovative approaches to traditional giving programs and participation among donors.  

“The merger will enable us to leverage each other’s strengths and resources to create the greatest impact in the community and best serve people in need through programs and services promoting success in education and opportunity in income and financial well-being,” said Michael K. Durkin, president and chief executive officer at UWMBMV.  “We’re looking forward to working with the committed volunteers, business leaders and nonprofit agency partners to advance the community’s priorities and create lasting change.”

Commitment to Partners, Volunteers & Improving the Lives of All People

The newly merged United Way will remain committed to funding the work of all service providers that were part of the UWGAT portfolio and will remain fully engaged with the volunteer network who are key to the success of all the work of the United Way.  

Under the merger agreement between the two United Way chapters

  • The merged entity’s service area will expand from 142 communities to 153 and will include the Greater Attleboro/Taunton area communities of Attleboro, Berkley, Dighton, Mansfield, North Attleboro, Norton, Plainville, Raynham, Rehoboth, Seekonk and Taunton.
  • Greater Attleboro/Taunton United Way currently supports 30 partner agencies.  The new entity will honor the current (FY19) year funding, which included one-time gifts, of $980,000 for these organizations.  Further funding of partner agencies will be based on annual development dollars raised.
  • Willitts Mendonca and Patrick J. Murray, Jr., of the current UWGAT Board, will join the Board of Directors of the merged entity;
  • A new Regional Advisory Board will be established as the Greater Attleboro/Taunton Regional Advisory Board – which will focus on local resource development, local community investment and volunteer recruitment.  Local leaders joining the new Regional Advisory Board include: Michael Andrade, Kerrie Babin, Cheryl Barrows, State Representative Jay Barrows, Jeff Bradley, Kelly Bento, Deborah Bitsoli, Michael Carchedi, Cheri-Lynne Catalan, Rodney Clark, Kevin Cryan, Mark Cuddy, Edward A Dion, Jr., Karen Girczyc, Michael Horrigan, Thomas Kelly, William Larson, Dennis Leahy, Willitts Mendonca, Patrick J. Murray, Jr., Jeffrey Nelson, Philip Shea, Christopher Sweet, and Stephen Withers Jr.
  • The new entity will continue to have a physical office presence in the UWGAT service area, and staff members will be present to support fundraising efforts, community partnerships, marketing and communications, public policy and administration and finance;
  • The organization will continue to operate under the legal name United Way of Massachusetts Bay, Inc. Later this month the organization will unveil a new website designed to engage volunteers and donors in United Way’s work across all of its regions (North Shore, Greater Boston, South Shore, Attleboro/Taunton, Merrimack Valley and the Seacoast region of New Hampshire and Maine.).  

“We are excited to begin our next chapter in serving the Greater Attleboro/Taunton region,” said Cheri-Lynne Catalan, UWGAT Board Chair.   “Together, we will have the ability to drive more opportunity for our local businesses and partners to engage in innovative ways to help more people in need.”

Advancing the Future

The United Way’s collective mission is to create positive, lasting change for people in need by harnessing the power of people working together across community sectors including individuals, nonprofits, corporations, small businesses, foundations and government agencies.  In fostering these meaningful connections, service providers are able to leverage resources effectively and efficiently to deliver programs and service to the most people in need while also producing the data and results to move the needle on improving lives of all people.

While the United Way has been funding the work of service providers and programs for generations through traditional corporate giving structures, the key to the future success will be a focused disruption of the static philanthropy model and deliberate move toward activating the participation of donors in more meaningful engagement through an innovative giving platform known as the Salesforce Philanthropy Cloud..  The merger of these United Way’s allow for a more strategic and combined effort in realizing this change for the benefit of all of our partners and people in need.

United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley has been at the forefront of fighting for solutions to  community issues such as increasing availability of high-quality early education, ensuring youth are prepared for college and career, creating financial opportunity for individuals and families and ending homelessness.  Key initiatives of UWMBMV include the first-in-the-nation Pay for Success initiative to reduce chronic individual homelessness, a partnership with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and an innovative early childhood screening initiative known as DRIVE, which has been adopted in Boston, Lynn, Chelsea, Malden and Gloucester.  United Way also operates a network of financial opportunity centers in Lawrence, Lynn, Quincy, Chelsea and Boston aimed at providing financial coaching, housing assistance and other resources aimed at improving the financial well-being of families.

The merger documents were signed on October 24th, 2018, and the merger effected on November 1, 2018.