Our Work & Results > United Way's Community Fund

The Community Fund

Nearly 100 years ago, George Eastman and local leaders created what you know today as United Way of Greater Rochester. In 1918, our community’s War Chest brought together many different agencies that were doing similar work to share in one large appeal to help people in need. While our role in the community has changed throughout the years one thing has remained the same—United Way brings together the resources of many people and organizations to make a difference for our community.

Rochester’s Challenges
It’s no secret that our community faces challenges. Our childhood poverty rate ranks second highest in the country among large cities, with more than half of our children living in poverty. Only half of our students graduate from high school on time and our infant mortality rate is triple that of New York State. Our community is fragmented, with an abundance of programs to help those in need but few strategies to bring everyone together for the common good.

The Solution: Uniting Rochester through United Way
Rochester is one of the most generous and caring communities in America. We continually top the charts for volunteering and per capita donations. We implement some of the most innovative programs that are replicated throughout the country. But when individuals and programs work on their own, we can’t make as big of an impact.
That’s where United Way comes in. For nearly 100 years we’ve been working toward our mission of uniting the good will and resources of the Greater Rochester community so that everyone can thrive. And our vision hasn’t changed much from George Eastman’s—we see a community where diverse organizations and individuals share their strengths to drive sustainable change that advances the common good. We do this through our our Community Fund.
United Way’s Community Fund investments focus on prevention, early intervention and the application of best practices to create a significant impact. We invest in strategies that will help those most in need and garner the best results for our community. We work with thousands of local people, including donors, volunteers, community leaders, service providers and their clients to determine our community’s toughest challenges so that we can make a real difference with the millions of dollars that thousands of people entrust us with each year. And when we combine those donations together to fund targeted strategies, we’re able to get great results.

Check out how we decide where we're going to invest our Community Fund dollars.