How We Work

Everyone is involved in the work of United Way. And our purpose remains grounded in the idea that together, we can make tomorrow better than yesterday – no matter what challenges come our way. We fulfill our purpose by working collaboratively, in partnership and in community, to direct resources where they are needed most. By harnessing the caring spirit of the community, we remove barriers and ensure the path to opportunity is open and accessible.


The UWM Theory of Change articulates the way we work in partnership with the community to focus on addressing the needs of those living in or at-risk for poverty. We recognize the opportunity we have to work beyond our traditional funding role and leverage our ability to raise awareness, foster collaboration, and offer knowledge and expertise. This theory provides a basis for our responsibility, continual learning, and progression of the work that will be done.

United Way of the Midlands’ Theory of Change

United Way of the Midlands’ theory of change is aligned with our strategic plan and reflects how we fulfill our unique purpose in the community – connecting our work with the goals we plan to achieve. It reinforces our collaborative approach to addressing social and economic disparities and reinforces our responsibilities as a trusted partner. The theory of change further articulates our commitment to bring people together, and guides our daily work to strengthen our community.


  • Build Trust in everything we do.

  • Extend Grace by thinking beyond ourselves.

  • Show Grit by bringing it every day.

  • Be Open to embracing others’ differences.

  • Actively Engage by listening and sharing.

  • Live Curiously to learn constantly.


  • UWM is uniquely positioned to identify needs and mobilize resources.

  • Complex, interconnected barriers keep individuals and families from financial stability. When basic needs are met, individuals can begin to access opportunity.

  • Data drives our understanding of community needs and measurable progress.

  • We must adapt to face evolving challenges.

  • Strengthening the community requires diverse, informed, and engaged community members.

  • UWM has a fiduciary, legal, and moral responsibility to fulfill its purpose as a nonprofit organization.


  • Grow Engagement and Funding

  • Connect and Inspire

  • Guarantee Operational Efficiency

  • Maximize Impact

  • Convene Local Partners

  • Drive Progress by Leveraging Data

  • Foster a Positive Workplace Culture


  • 8 million services over a 2-year investment period

  • 4 million meals served

  • 500,000 shelter nights and other housing services

  • 500,000 health services

  • 3 million service to create opportunity


At United Way of the Midlands, our diverse donors, volunteers and staff all care deeply for this community and the people who live here. We understand there is still a long road ahead. Today, we have an opportunity to rewrite that narrative. In the days, months, years and even generations to come we need to join together and strive for inclusivity and equity so individuals and families can lead the best lives possible.

UWM will strive to stay informed, seek understanding and set a neutral table where regardless of your income, race, gender, sexual orientation, political or religious beliefs—we will come and work together to determine the best path forward. Right now, we’re working with local officials, our nonprofit partners and our 211 Helpline so that we can connect those who are struggling to the resources and services needed, including those who are still reeling from the effects of COVID-19.


In our most recent strategic plan, our board of directors called on us to advance diversity, equity and inclusion through investments, partnerships and organizational culture.

United Way of the Midlands values diversity across our organization. As part of our commitment to equity and inclusivity, we:

  • Provide equal employment opportunities to all people without regard to race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, sexual orientation, disability or any other characteristic protected by law.

  • Assure equal opportunity and equal consideration to all applicants and employees.

  • Are committed to understanding the political, economic, social and cultural context of our work activities.

  • Act in ways that respect the dignity, uniqueness, and intrinsic worth of every person, the community, the donors, our own staff and families, boards and volunteers.

At United Way of the Midlands we…

Build TRUST in everything we do.
Extend GRACE by thinking beyond ourselves.
Show GRIT by bringing in everyday.
Be OPEN to embracing others’ differences.
Actively ENGAGE by listening and sharing.
Live CURIOUSLY to learn constantly.