Our History

More than 125 years ago, an organization that later became United Way, was created to mobilize the caring power of communities and make a difference in people’s lives. At its inception, United Way collected funds for local charities, and distributed them to relief services, cooperating agencies and emergency assistance grants.

United Way has developed with the needs of the nation it serves, and we are now helping millions of people through local area chapters across the nation. Your United Way of the National Capital Area (United Way NCA) was begun in 1974, based upon the same model as the national organization of working through local organizations that distributed funds to member charities.

For more than 40 years, as United Way NCA  worked diligently to change the lives of people and families in our local area, our commitment to helping our local communities has evolved and deepened. Today, your United Way NCA mobilizes a network of hundreds of volunteers, donors, nonprofits and change agents that help people in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Northern Virginia address some of the biggest challenges in their lives.

We rely on our dedicated staff and partners to conduct research and create programs that address health, education and economic opportunity, and the greatest and most immediate needs within them.