The United 46: One Year Later

Feb 16, 2022

by Holly Martinez

It’s fitting MacKenzie Scott titled her December 2020 blog post 384 Ways to Help as so many individuals ended the year in urgent need of direction. People were – and still are – struggling from the effects of the pandemic, natural disasters, and social injustices, while others were – and still are – looking for simple ways to help.

She and her team of advisors accelerated her 2020 giving by taking a second pass at identifying organizations with “strong leadership teams and results” worthy of unexpected, unprecedented gifts to lift up their communities. In doing so, they developed yet another concise, thoughtful list to inspire action, generosity, and hope among individuals craving to help others. In selecting 46 local United Ways, she imbued trust in our organizations and supercharged our work to build stronger, more equitable communities. We may never be able to fully express our gratitude, but the thank-you’s will remain endless.

Thank you to Ms. Scott for seeing us for who we are. As modern United Ways, we have transformed and refined our collective impact model over the last 100 years, growing from pass-through funders to innovative change-makers implicitly focused on equity and inclusion. While the pandemic exacerbated urgent and emerging needs, she recognized we were built for this work – uniquely positioned to understand problems, identify disparities, and improve lives through direct service, collaboration, volunteerism, and advocacy. Her actions brought together our independent United Ways to make a difference and generate impact; to listen and learn from each other, leveraging our collective diversity to work together for the common good. And her giving allowed us to accelerate projects, dream up innovative ideas, and leverage the funds with purpose – just as she hoped.

One year later, we’re stabilizing individuals and households most impacted by the pandemic and other crises: feeding hungry children and families; granting crisis aid to struggling households; providing basic needs like housing and health care; helping nonprofit partners withstand drops in funding; rebuilding communities – especially those of color – affected by floods, wildfires, and hurricanes.

One year later, we’re also moving the needle on systemic inequities and closing racial gaps in wages, wealth, and education: providing support to Black-owned businesses and Black-led nonprofits; increasing access to financial capability, workforce readiness, and asset-ownership programming; elevating diverse voices and centering lived experience in the best way to deliver impact; stabilizing vulnerable critical-need sectors like child care; redesigning delivery models for essential health and human services.

Our dedicated teams continue to capitalize on Ms. Scott’s trust-based giving approach – cultivating donors, securing grants, and building capacity – to maximize every dollar for impact where it’s needed most in our communities. We recognize, though, we cannot do this work alone. It will take all of us, United, to build equitable communities with health, education, and economic opportunity for all. Ms. Scott recognizes that too, and we’re forever thankful that just as she invests in change, she encourages others to join her as they can: sharing more to make more and feeding hope for us all.

She wrote, “Each unique expression of generosity will have value far beyond what we can imagine or live to see.” Imagine the value our 46 United Ways will create in another year. In a decade. In a lifetime.

One year later, and we’re only getting started.


Living United,

Capital Area United Way

Heart of Florida United Way

Metro United Way (Greater Louisville region)

Mile High United Way

United Way Bay Area

United Way California Capital Region

United Way de Puerto Rico

United Way for Southeastern Michigan

United Way of Berks County

United Way of Broward County

United Way of Central Indiana

United Way of Central Maryland

United Way of Central Massachusetts

United Way of Central New Mexico

United Way of El Paso County

United Way of Genesee County

United Way of Greater Cincinnati

United Way of Greater Greensboro

United Way of Greater Knoxville

United Way of Greater Los Angeles

United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County

United Way of Greater Nashville

United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey

United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes

United Way of Greater St. Louis

United Way of Metro Chicago

United Way of Miami-Dade

United Way of Northeast Florida

United Way of Northern New Jersey

United Way of Palm Beach County

United Way of Racine County

United Way of Rhode Island

United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County

United Way of South Hampton Roads

United Way of Southeast Louisiana

United Way of Southern Cameron County

United Way of Southern Nevada

United Way of Southwest Louisiana

United Way of the Columbia-Willamette

United Way of the Greater Capital Region

United Way of the Greater Triangle

United Way of the Midlands

United Way of the National Capital Area

United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona

United Way Suncoast

Valley of the Sun United Way

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