Creating Possibilities Together - The Centennial Campaign for United Way of Pierce County












Continuing our community legacy

With deep respect and appreciation for our donors and community throughout our 100 years of service, we thank you for giving us the opportunity to be a leader in addressing the most pressing needs in Pierce County. As we look beyond 100 years, we are committed to continuing this legacy, evolving and making an impact along with you. Together, we seek support where it is needed most, from our traditional workplace campaign to tackling critical issues such as poverty that affect everyone.



Our promise to you

Today, we are a catalyst in breaking the cycle of poverty. 
In our unique role as a Community Convener, we mobilize the private, public and nonprofit sectors together to create solutions that are innovative and scalable. This coordination allows United Way and our partners to bring people and resources together faster, more efficiently and effectively. As an agent of change, we educate the public about poverty, speak out about social and economic benefits of reducing poverty and advocate for policy change for a thriving community. 

“I want all children in Pierce County to grow up and thrive. I continue to support United Way due to their passionate commitment to confronting the toughest barriers local families face in lifting themselves out of poverty. United Way makes meaningful progress possible.”



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We fight and help solve the difficult battle of poverty in partnership with the community in 3 ways:



Center for Strong Families

United Way of Pierce County’s Center for Strong Families is a network of 7 trusted community organizations that help struggling families improve their financial bottom line by providing one-on-one mentoring and coaching to help clients get jobs, increase income, decrease expenses, build credit and acquire assets.

Basic Needs
We help children, families and individuals cover critical needs like, food, healthcare, child care and shelter. With their basic needs met, families can move out of crisis, preventing future crisis and find greater stability 

With United Way of Pierce County’s South Sound 211 helpline, we connect people in need to critical community resources and provide navigation services for behavioral health, housing, transportation and employment. 211 supports 90,000 Pierce County callers per year.

on shoulders

Thanks to 211, we are on our way

Newly unemployed, Allen, a single dad with two school-age children, took on whatever odd jobs he could find in order to keep his family housed. The slow trickle of income wasn’t enough and he no longer could afford rent. This military veteran and his young children unfortunately became homeless. Allen slept in a car parked behind his friend’s house as his children shared the bedrooms of his friend’s kids. 

Despite a string of setbacks, including an accident that totaled his car, Allen tried to remain focused on the little hope he had left. Allen then called South Sound 211, a telephone hotline operated by United Way of Pierce County that connects people to a wide array of community services designed to help them become self-sufficient.

211 has an extensive referral database of community services ranging from childcare to transportation to employment services—all support systems that can help families transition successfully out of homelessness.

Allen credits 211 for assisting him in his journey from being homeless to being housed. “I was accepted into a townhouse and I took my entire paycheck and used it to move us in. We had no food and no furniture but we had our own place. My kids were happy, which is all that mattered to me. I told myself that we’d struggle for a little while but I would do everything I could to get us on our feet. Thanks to 211 we are on our way.”


Why solving poverty matters

We are leading the fight against poverty in Pierce County because poverty has a widespread impact,contributing to issues like crime, unemployment, poor health, domestic violence, isolation and depression. The cost of basic needs has risen faster than both the rate of inflation and wages. A growing number of households earn less than what it costs to maintain a Household Survival Budget. For a family of four in Pierce County that is $72,000 a year. That’s why we are focused on providing resources for ALICE families to attain lasting economic self-sufficiency.


How will we measure all three strategies?

First, this work is complex and does not fit neatly into one metric. That said, we track multiple data points such as income, credit and assets, including the Self-Sufficiency Matrix, a proven tool that assesses key observable changes along a continuum from crisis to self-sufficiency. 


The economic and social ROI
The return on investment from lifting 100 households out of poverty increases purchasing power and sales tax by $4.6 million annually in our local community.




We need your help to raise $8 million to continue this important work in our community.

Working together, we can break the cycle of poverty.


Creating Possibilities Together

Solving poverty is complex and United Way of Pierce County has a unique role. We bring people together like no other organization in our community by doing work that would otherwise not  occur. With your help, we unite diverse stakeholders  
to find solutions that magnify, not duplicate, one  
another’s work—to break the cycle of poverty.

We humbly ask you to consider making a gift  to change our community’s future by creating  possibilities for children, families and individuals.

3 wmen

Your gift matters
Giving options include cash, endowment and/or planned gift to the Creating Possibilities Together centennial campaign. It will help secure United Way of Pierce County’s continuing efforts so more families may leave poverty behind for good. Pledges can be made in one year or multiple years (up to 5 years). You can also involve your entire family by asking them to be part of this decision and make a multi-generational gift together. 

To help now: Cash
Support the important existing work we are doing to lift 15,000 families with children out of poverty and moving them to financial stability by 2028.

To help now and for the future: Endowment
The endowment fund is a sustainable funding source that provides current and future revenue streams. It is invested for the long-term and each year a percentage is distributed to support the most critical needs of our community in perpetuity. 

To help for the future: Planned Gift 
We invite you to join our Legacy Society. Leaving a gift in your will or trust is one of the easiest ways to support United Way. You may designate a specific dollar amount or asset, or donate a percentage of your estate. To help donors create or update their wills, United Way of Pierce County offers the complimentary Free Will service. 

Please consult your attorney or tax advisor to determine the best gift strategy for you.

Together, we will help break the cycle of poverty