United Way Timeline
1887 › ESTABLISHMENT
In Denver, religious leaders founded the Charity Organizations Society, the first “United Way” organization, which planned and coordinated local services and conducted a single fund-raising campaign for 22 agencies.
First United Way campaign in Denver raised $21,700.
Charitable institutions became exempt from the first federal act that imposed a tax on all corporations organized for profit.
The nation’s first modern Community Chest was born in Cleveland, where a program for allocating campaign funds was developed.
Executives of 12 fund-raising federations met in Chicago and formed the American Association for Community Organizations (AACO), the predecessor to United Way of America.
Rochester, New York used the name Community Chest, a name widely adopted by United Way organizations and used until the early 1950s. This year began a 10-year growth period in the number of Community Chests: 39 in 1919; 353 in 1929.
United Way of Greater Fall River is first incorporated as the Community Fund in Fall River. Little information is known about United Way of Greater Fall River at this time, however we do know that the agency worked with a professional fundraiser from New York to raise funds.
More than 1,000 communities had established United Way organizations.
Two competing fundraising organizations in Greater Fall River vote to merge into a single entity. The United Fund of Greater Fall River, later the United Way of Greater Fall River, is officially formed. Seven of our current member agencies were partnered with the United Way of Greater Fall River at this time.
The NFL and the United Way establish their partnership to increase public awareness of social service issues facing the country. In addition to public service announcements in which volunteer NFL players, coaches and owners appear, NFL players support their local United ways through personal appearances, special programs, and sitting on United Way governing boards.
United Ways raised $1,038,995,000 in America and Canada — the first time in history that an annual campaign of a single organization raised more than $1 billion. United Ways undertook with the National Football League (NFL) the largest public-service campaign in the nation’s history; a major part of that campaign was Great Moments, the televised United Way/NFL public-service announcements.
During the Persian Gulf War, a fully staffed Operations Center at United Way of America worked closely with other organizations to ensure that those in need received help.
The Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG) announced its selection of United Way of America and the United Way system as the primary provider of community support and volunteer services for the1996 Olympic Torch Relay. In its role, United Way was responsible for assisting ACOG with the selection of torchbearers, organizing community celebrations to greet the arrival of the Olympic Flame, and coordinating volunteers for those functions. United Way of America’s Board of Governors unanimously approved the adoption of Strategic Direction for United Way: Charting the Path for Building Better Communities.
In January, Brian Gallagher assumes the position of United Way of America president and CEO. A 20-year veteran of United Way, Gallagher was president of the United Way of Central Ohio in Columbus, the 16th largest United Way in the country. Gallagher becomes UWA’s fourth president, succeeding Betty Stanley Beene, whom concluded her service to United Way on January 31, 2001.
United Way of America and MTV created Storm Corps, an Alternative Spring Break program that invites young people to help United Way rebuild the Gulf Coast after the devastating hurricanes of 2005. Nearly 100 young adults traveled to Biloxi, MS, and Foley, AL, to assist with rebuilding and recovery efforts.
United Way introduced the bold goals for the common good focused on education, income and health, and LIVE UNITED, a new call to action for everyone to become a part of the change.
United Way celebrates its 125th anniversary and enters into partnerships with CNN and CNN international to share the LIVE UNITED message in communities around the world.
Over 70 volunteers join United Way of Greater Fall River staff for the annual Day of Caring cleanup efforts
Executive Director Emeritus Robert L. Horne, only the 5th executive director in United Way of Greater Fall River, retires after nearly 25 years of service.