A Message from Our Leadership
Partnerships and working together to advance equity are at the core of everything we do at United Way of Metro Chicago. We are committed to learning about, piloting, and investing in more equitable funding practices. Last fall, we announced our first grantee cohort of the United Neighborhoods Equity Fund, which awards unrestricted funding and capacity building to small Black and Latinx-led nonprofits.
This spring, our Neighborhood Network Initiative—a community-driven, resident-led approach to investing in neighborhood transformation—expanded into three new neighborhoods: Englewood, Garfield Park, and Far South. The Neighborhood Networks’ successful COVID-19 community response, coupled with a $25 million gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott and support from other essential funders, led to the expansion.
In June, at our Stronger Neighborhoods Awards Luncheon—back in person after two years—we announced the launch of the Commit to a Neighborhood Initiative, a new public, private, and nonprofit partnership with ITW and our community partners to stimulate equitable economic development and the creation of quality, living-wage jobs in the Austin and Belmont Cragin neighborhoods of Chicago.
In this report, you’ll read more about these programs and other highlights: the expansion of Uniting for the Holidays; the return of our April Food Day food drive and awards luncheon in the Southland; and the two-year anniversary of the launch of the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund. The incredible leadership and generosity of our committed volunteers and donors have given us the sound fiscal footing, support, and platform to accelerate our positive impact.
The last fiscal year has brought progress in expanding the impact of our investments and partnerships in the region’s most disinvested neighborhoods, and we see more opportunities ahead. But there is much work to do. United Way brings people together to address community priorities. Collectively that’s what we have done and will continue to do until children have better access to quality education, communities are safer, neighbors are healthier, incomes increase, and our region prospers. Thank you for joining us as—united—we help build a stronger, more equitable Chicago region where all families can thrive.
Board of Directors
President & CEO
President & CEO
2021–2022 Chair, Board of Directors
The Year in Review
Ten organizations selected to receive a $50,000 unrestricted grant for a two-year cycle.
United Neighborhoods Equity Fund Supports Black and Latinx-Led Nonprofits
Historic disinvestment in Black and Latinx communities throughout Chicago has led to current racial, social, and economic issues impacting families and residents in the city’s South and West Sides and south suburban region. Small Black and Latinx-led nonprofits in these areas often face challenges connecting to funders, building rapport, and securing and sustaining support for culturally relevant strategies. This has led to significant disparities in investment in these transformative organizations.
Stories of impact
The Giving Spirit at Uniting for the Holidays
Committed to Anti-Racism Through Action
April Food Day: Coming Together for the Southland
Chicago Community Response Fund: Bending the Curve of Recovery
Top 25 Corporate Partners
We help individuals meet their basic needs and work alongside neighborhood partners to address local priorities and create communities where all people can thrive. United, we are building a stronger, more equitable Chicago region.