United Way of the Columbia- Willamette

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aka UWCW   |   Portland, OR   |  http://www.unitedway-pdx.org

Mission

Our mission is to improve lives, strengthen communities, and advance equity by mobilizing the caring power of people across our region. For 100 years, United Way of the Columbia-Willamette has been working to meet the needs of vulnerable families. Through our Resilient Families Initiative, we are building a more equitable and inclusive region where all families have the resources and opportunities to thrive. Our three themes of resilient families are united in serving the goal of racial equity Three elements of our Resilient Families Initiative are Education, Housing Stability and Disaster Response.

Ruling year info

1970

President and CEO

Ms. Cindy Adams

Main address

619 SW 11th Ave

Portland, OR 97205 USA

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EIN

93-0582124

NTEE code info

Fund Raising Organizations That Cross Categories includes Community Funds/Trusts and Federated Giving Programs) e.g. United Way (T70)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (S12)

Public, Society Benefit - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (W99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Resilient Families Initiative

For 100 years, United Way of the Columbia-Willamette has been working to meet the needs of vulnerable families. Through our Resilient Families Initiative, we are building a more equitable and inclusive region where all families have the resources and opportunities to thrive.
Housing Stability
Increasing housing stability & accessibility through rental assistance, developing pathways and supporting advocacy.
• Transitional Housing
• Rental Assistance
• Emergency Services
Early Learning
Collaborating with community partners to create equitable educational systems where every child can learn, grow, and succeed
• Albina-Rockwood Promise Neighborhood Initiative
• Early Learning Multnomah County
• Early Learning Washington County
Disaster response
Supporting disaster preparedness, relief and recovery by prioritizing communities of color & the needs of our community-based partners.
• Rapid Response Disaster Fund
• Healing Collaborative
• Inclusive Messaging Campaign
• COVID-19 Response

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work

Accreditations

Charity Navigator 2011

Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance 2012

Awards

Most Admired Non-Profit 2009

Portland Business Journal

Most Admired Non-Profits 2008

Portland Business Journal

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We seek to break the cycle of childhood poverty in the 4-county Portland metro area, where nearly 19 percent of children live in poverty. Poverty rates are highest for children of color, with African Americans (43%), American Indians/Native Alaskans (36%) and Latinos/Hispanics (33%) topping the list.

We focus our investments in organizations and strategies that (1) improve academic success for children, from early life to post-secondary education and training; (2) increase the financial and physical stability of families through income and housing; and (3) create enhanced support through greater participation in the fate of our communities. We also invest in creating a real safety net of key social services that prevent children and families from falling deeper into poverty.

Long-term success (4-7 years) will mean more children and their families will live in communities where healthy and affordable housing is within reach for all, health care and child care are available and accessible, and where schools educate and graduate students ready to contribute to their communities. Long-term success will also mean that entrenched barriers in the system that disproportionately affect people of color will be eroded away through collective advocacy.

UWCW implements three key strategies designed to break the cycle of childhood poverty: ensure the academic success of our children; improve the financial and physical stability of the families in which those children live; and ensure communities have the resources and services needed to support the families living there.

We do this by galvanizing and connecting individuals, businesses, nonprofits, faith communities and governments to design, implement or invest in proven initiatives and programs, and to improve systems through policy change. We use data and information about the effectiveness of our efforts to make wiser investments in our community; and, to generate knowledge that can be incorporated by others to improve efficiency and quality of outcomes.

UWCW is working with community partners to create an infrastructure for collective impact and knowledge sharing. This will allow us to build a common agenda of objectives, an effective accountability mechanism, and shared measurements of success. We believe this collective impact approach is the only viable approach to tackling a complex, multi-sector systemic issue like childhood poverty.

We have committed more than $3.5 million for a collaborative effort of culturally-specific education partners and service providers to develop and implement a blueprint that improves academic and social success of children of color. This innovative approach is one of the most significant investments in proven programs aimed at reducing deeply embedded disparities in our communities.

UWCW raises, invests and leverages millions of dollars annually to create and support innovative and effective programs and approaches which generate sustained impact in local communities.

Our staff is diverse and talented, bringing a broad array of skills and expertise in a variety of issue areas. Staff and Board are deeply committed to deepening relationships with leaders and members of the community, where we seek to incorporate their insight and expertise to enhance the quality of our work.

Through our volunteer program – Hands On Greater Portland – we mobilize thousands of volunteers every year to provide critical labor, skills and resources to our community.

The last two years have resulted in a historic reorganization of UWCW and the development of a strategic plan focused on breaking the cycle of childhood poverty. We designed two innovative investment strategies and have committed nearly $7 million over the next 3-5 years to a cohort of community based organizations to organize around a collective impact model; and, we seek to involve other stakeholders to leverage additional investments for this collective effort.

We are in the process of developing a data and knowledge sharing infrastructure to ensure we are learning from our failures as much as from our successes. These data – and whatever we can learn from their analysis – will be critical to the success of our collective impact approach.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    SMS text surveys, Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

United Way of the Columbia- Willamette
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

United Way of the Columbia- Willamette

Board of directors
as of 07/20/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

John Ewert

SheerID


Board co-chair

Charlene Zidell

Zidell Family Foundation

Chris Delaney

Phreesia

John Ewert

SheerID

Greg Geshel

Comcast

Jason Green

CBRE

Charlene Zidell

Zidell Companies

Sean Edwards

Village Family Capital

Patrick Purvis

Community Leader

Ashlee Irwin

Kaiser Permanente

Layla Zare

Bank of America

Mihir Patel

PacificSource

Keith Wymbs

Community Leader

Deborah Dang

OpenSesame

Kim Spaulding

Perkins & Co

Pradeep Tempalli

Allium Financial Advisors

Troy Emerson

UPS

Heather Friend

Allium Financial Advisors

Tichelle Sorensen

Portland State University

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/14/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Asian American/Pacific Islanders/Asian
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/17/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.