Rebuilding America: Washington, D.C.

As seen in Forbes & Entrepreneur

Standing for Equity

United Way of the National Capital Area fights for equity, hope, and a bright future for the region’s underserved children and families.

Everyone deserves hope. Everyone deserves respect. Everyone deserves opportunity and a real chance at a bright future,” says Rosie Allen-Herring, president and CEO of United Way of the National Capital Area (United Way NCA).

For nearly 50 years, United Way NCA has been fighting for underserved children and families in Washington, D.C., and the surrounding counties in Maryland and Virginia. Placement in the nation’s capital means directly impacting three states, 11 districts, and 180 world embassies.

“We’re the United Way’s United Way,” says Allen-Herring. “We serve a diverse population that exists at the intersection of extreme wealth and poverty. Our problems are as dynamic and diverse as our region, and our solutions require uniting public, private, philanthropic, and nonprofit sectors for the common good.”

rosie allen-herring

Rosie Allen-Herring, President and CEO of United Way of the National Capital Area

Five-Year Community Commitment

Under Allen-Herring’s leadership, United Way NCA made a five-year Community Commitment in 2016 to tackle the region’s most complex, interconnected challenges in three pillar areas: education, health, and economic opportunity.

By convening 500 partner nonprofits, corporate and community partners, stakeholders, and individuals, the organization catalyzed change with impressive impact. “We served 4.26 million meals to food-insecure students, saved $15 million in prescription costs, and put nearly $81 million back in working families’ pockets through tax refunds aided by free financial services,” Allen-Herring reports. “With the help of our tremendous partners and volunteers who logged 43,468 service hours, we met or surpassed every goal and invested $12.3 million into our region.

“This success laid a solid foundation for our new strategic vision that started in July 2020. Until everyone has hope and equity, we will never rest.”

A Better Normal

“The 2020 events of COVID-19 and civil unrest put a spotlight on the existing health care disparities, racial and economic inequalities, and financial and educational challenges faced by our region’s ALICE [Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed] population,” Allen-Herring says. “The crisis left no segment untouched, but it had a disproportionately negative impact on our our target demographic: the good, hardworking people who have no financial safety net.”

Building on the past five years of collaboration, focused mission, and coordinated action, the United Way NCA’s new strategic vision mobilizes partners and resources to decrease disparity and increase equity for the ALICE population in education, health, and economic opportunity.

“United Way NCA has the data-driven research, breadth of expertise, holistic viewpoint, and boots on the ground to implement innovative, comprehensive solutions to our toughest issues,” Allen-Herring says. “Don’t give through us; give to us. We will leverage your contribution to make a real difference where it matters most.

“Together, we can create a ‘better normal’ in the wake of crisis, but we cannot do it alone. United Way NCA asks everyone to look straight at the need, make eye contact, realize it is not someone else’s burden to bear, and become part of the solution.

“We serve a diverse population that exists at the intersection of extreme wealth and poverty. Our problems are as dynamic and diverse as our region, and our solutions require uniting public, private, philanthropic, and nonprofit sectors for the common good.” -Rosie Allen-Herring

About United Way of the National Capital Area

United Way of the National Capital Area fights for the health, education, and economic opportunity of every person in the National Capital community. United Way NCA has been improving lives by creating measurable impact in the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia, and Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties for more than 45 years. For more information about United Way of the National Capital Area, visit UnitedWayNCA.org.