Innovative Community Collaborations

United Way is in the collaboration business! Partnered solutions measurably impact the big challenges our community faces. We encourage partnerships and initiatives that address specific challenges related to poverty to help our neighbors in need and have a community-wide impact.

Many entrenched social problems in our community cannot be solved by a single organization. We all must work together to address those challenges, help our neighbors and build a stronger community.

United Way of Pierce County encourages partnerships among our partner agencies and considers investments in nonprofit collaborations that have a community-wide impact and meet the following criteria:

  • Community Challenge
  • Collaborators
  • Shared Goal
  • Communication
  • Diverse Funding


Creative Approaches to Reduce Poverty through Community Engagement

We are seeking creative approaches via an innovation challenge that provides funding, support and recognition to individuals and community-led groups who have big ideas that address family financial instability. Participants will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas to the community for potential funding and additional support.

Learn more… 


Collectively providing food for hungry children and families

Food insecurity is a huge problem in our area, and we know that we can’t face it alone. We have partnered with several organizations in our area to tackle it from
all angles, including Emergency Food Network (EFN), Nourish Pierce County, WSU Extension, Peninsula Community Foundation, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department,
St. Leo’s Food Connection and local farmer’s markets. Together, this Hunger-Free Pierce County collaborative identifies and fills in gaps that will make the system providing food
to our citizens more effective.

Together, we have:

  • purchased refrigerated vans to expand summer meal site services, perishable food pick up and increase food delivery in challenged areas;
  • assisted in a program that distributes crockpots to low-income families 
  • connected more families to food through Farmer’s Market matching vouchers 
  • provided funding for an outreach person to help families sign up for SNAP benefits 
  • continued to extend the reach of local backpack programs, such as PowerPack, which addresses child hunger 
  • and invested in an additional hoop house for EFN’s Mother Earth Farm for year-round production to increase fresh, healthy foods for local food system


Willie Stewart Awards