Frequently Asked Questions

Not your Grandfather's United Way


United Way of Greater Cleveland will develop goals and accountability measures to share with community partners.
United Way will also maintain the Hub’s role as an educational network for health and human service agencies, hosting and leading community conversations about solutions to the poverty crisis in Cleveland.
United Way’s next large-scale progress report will be held on September 10, 2020 at the organization’s Annual Meeting.

United Way will continue to support its work on the Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition and with partners at Legal Aid on Right to Counsel which will both have long-term, significant impact on the community. Through collaborations such as these across the private, public and nonprofit sectors, significant progress has been made to pass vital legislation to support this fight against poverty.


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Yes. We have received broad support from our community partners across the public, private and nonprofit sectors who also recognize that we are one community and therefore, we have one fight against poverty. Though we know change is not easy, it is necessary to help those living deepest poverty in the most meaningful, long-term ways. This is exactly what our business transformation was designed to do through the formation of the Hub and Impact Institute.


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This business pivot is the final phase of United Way of Greater Cleveland’s three-year strategic plan that began in 2016.
It is the culmination of the work announced last June to create the interconnected Community Hub for Basic Needs and Impact Institute:

  • To meet the immediate needs of people living in poverty, including food and shelter, the Community Hub for Basic Needs was created to educate and engage the community, including other nonprofit, public and private sector partners, in conversations about major issues we must work together on to solve for Cleveland.
  • To focus on long-term solutions to the deeply rooted causes of poverty, including systemic racism, lack of quality housing and childhood abuse, the Impact Institute, a think tank with an action plan, brings together public, private and nonprofit sector leaders under the leadership of Dr. Delos “Toby” Cosgrove, Distinguished Chair, to identify and create long-term solutions to address these root causes.

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Today’s announcement is the last step in the business transformation and the final realization of the Community Hub for Basic Needs. The Hub will be a select group of funded partners working together to realize specific, United Way-determined goals that are driven by the needs of our community.

This is a shift from serving the health and human services system toward serving the person in need.

By establishing United Way-directed goals, we’re increasing the accountability of the resources that our supporters trust us with.

We will advance one connected network under the Hub that will provide real-time help for real-world problems focused on initiatives and solutions that will have the greatest impact on people living in the deepest poverty.


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Poverty rates in Cleveland have continued to surge, creating a crisis in our community which demands our immediate attention and action. According to data from the Center for Community Solutions (CCS): Cleveland’s childhood poverty rate is now the highest in the nation at 51%, Cleveland’s poverty rate for working adults is the second worst in the nation at 30% and our poverty rate for seniors is the third highest in the nation at 22%.

United Way of Greater Cleveland is changing because we must tackle the growing poverty crisis in our community head on through programs that will have the greatest impact for people in need.

As a community, the work we have done together is good, but it is no longer enough to stem the rising tide of poverty in Cleveland. We must do better. The people who live in the deepest poverty in our city are counting on our community to work together to provide the tools and long-term solutions necessary to tackle this poverty crisis head on.

To accomplish this goal, we are changing the way the Community Hub for Basic Needs funds community agencies to be more effective than ever before.

We are no longer a pass-through funder for hundreds of organizations. Instead, we will fund a select group of partners with the capabilities and missions to meet specific goals, determined by United Way of Greater Cleveland.


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