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December Blog: Modern United Way

The Modern United Way: More Than Fundraisers, We Are Change Makers!

United Way began in Sheboygan County as a community fund in 1934. Services included collecting dollars for local charities, coordinating relief services, providing emergency assistance grants, and referring neighbors in need to local resources. The modern United Way of Sheboygan County (UWSC) continues to be community-owned and still provides these original services but has also expanded to offer so much more. As a catalyst for social change and long-lasting impact, we let data drive decisions, implement collective impact initiatives, and continue to evolve to meet our community’s needs, including expanding services to the nonprofit sector.  

Mission: To Improve Lives and Community Conditions in Measurable, Lasting Ways

The building blocks of a successful life focus on education, health, and financial stability. To create collaborative and innovative approaches to solving complex social issues, we work together with community stakeholders, contributors, and organizations across sectors. We also have evolved to lead our own initiatives as the backbone agency in three collective impact programs: Sheboygan County Community Partnership for Children (CPC), Providing Access To Healing (PATH), and the Volunteer Center of Sheboygan County. These programs were developed to fill gaps in service and solutions to local needs.

Nonprofit Sector Support

UWSC believes a flourishing nonprofit sector working collaboratively helps meet our organization’s vision: a community where everyone can achieve their full potential. UWSC supports the nonprofit sector through fiscal investments, professional development, and networking opportunities. Helping donor dollars go further, UWSC invests in programs that address the most critical issues and community needs through our Partner Agency model. Currently, over 40 programs (administered by 24 local nonprofits) receive Partner Agency year-long funding and receive annual evaluations from United Way’s Community Action Team of trained volunteers.  Programs report outcome measurements, and the consistent support helps these nonprofits leverage additional funds to sustain, grow, and develop new programs.  UWSC also invests in the nonprofit sector by providing additional funding opportunities open to any local 501(c)3 organization in Sheboygan County through one-time requests for small grants, emergency reserve grants and Day of Caring mini-grants.

Outside of financial investments made possible by donor dollars, United Way provides nonprofits with networking and professional development opportunities. Open to all local nonprofits, the Sheboygan County Nonprofit Resource Network meets to discuss current people and condition needs in the community, new resources, and ways to collaborate. The Volunteer Center Network, also open to any local nonprofit, provides opportunities for nonprofits to share volunteer opportunities, connect to individuals and businesses, and leverage the gift of time shared by community members. Lastly, ongoing professional development is vital in any field, and the nonprofit sector is no different. One of UWSC’s organization values statements reads, “Education & Learning – serving with a growth mindset and curiosity working toward systems change.” Board and staff benefit from participating in professional development opportunities all year long.

Please reach out if you have questions about United Way or want to learn how to get involved.

~ Kate Baer, United Way of Sheboygan County Executive Director,

Check out the many ways you can impact Sheboygan County with United Way of Sheboygan County.

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