Policy change can be big or small. It can be petitioning your school board to require healthier cafeteria meals. It can be urging your government to invest more in schools, or make child tax credits permanent, or make more children eligible for health insurance. Or it can be mobilizing your contacts to speak out on a critical cause, in person or online.
United Way galvanizes people to speak out for change. We're amplifying individuals’ voices on important community issues. As the largest privately-funded nonprofit in the world, we provide a platform for people to take meaningful action that makes a difference.
Affordable Housing in Rhode Island
In 2012, United Way of Rhode Island stepped up its work to support better and more affordable housing. United Way and community organizations led grass roots and government-level activism to successfully pass a bond that provides $25 million in affordable housing improvements for the people of Rhode Island.
Improving Reading and Writing in Colombia
Dividendo por Colombia (United Way Columbia) partnered with local secretaries of education in 23 municipalities, local organizations and education experts to develop a reading and writing program, first implemented in 2004. Today, the program benefits 96,100 students and 2,404 teachers in 192 educational institutions.
Pre-K for Low-Income Families in Indiana
United Way joined with community organizations to secure over $435,000 for early learning providers in Indiana, adding 586 new seats for low-income four year olds in the state’s “on My Way Pre-K” program.
Tackling Poverty in Canada
Almost 120,000 Calgarians live in poverty in Calgary, struggling to meet their basic needs let alone save for the future. The City of Calgary has played a major leadership role in co-sponsoring with United Way the Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative (CPRI). Following significant community consultation, a strategy was developed and adopted by both organizations on May 27, 2013.
An Innovative Approach to Early Education in Utah
United Way joined with community organizations in 2014 to pass a state bill to fund preschool for low-income students through private investments, adding 750 new seats for four year olds in public and private programs. The law paved the way for a “pay for success” model for early education – the first of its kind – in which private investors make a loan to proven programs, and the state pays them back only after the program demonstrates positive results.
United Way's Policy Work
United Way’s Policy Agenda for the 115th Congress helps fulfill our obligation to assist policy-makers in crafting the best possible governmental policies in the areas of education, financial stability and health, while also tackling important policies that strengthen communities at-large.
As Congress contemplates an overhaul of the tax code, United Way is weighing in to on solutions that create more opportunity for children, families and communities. Tax policies that advance the common good include: charitable giving incentives, the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. Check out United Way’s submission to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee outlining our priorities in reform.
VITA leverages volunteer power so that millions of Americans can access free quality tax preparation, asset-building resources and financial education services. We’re asking Congress to shore up support for this vital public-private partnership to build financial stability in communities around the country. Check out the sign-on letter we led with CFED and a recent Huffington Post piece by our U.S. President, Stacey D. Stewart.