About Us

United Ways of the Pacific Northwest (UWPNW) is the regional trade association for local United Ways in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. United Ways in the Pacific Northwest are committed to improving lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities to advance the common good in the areas of education, income and health.  

Our Mission

To equitably advance the common good throughout the Pacific Northwest by enhancing the individual and collective ability of member United Ways to impact their communities and collaborate on regional and statewide issues.

Our Vision

United Ways in the Pacific Northwest will increase their ability both to impact their local communities and collaborate effectively on regional and statewide issues. Working together we will create opportunities for a better life for all.

Our Core Values

  • Community Voices – Individually and collectively, United Ways are a strong unified voice advocating for their communities.
  • Collective Impact – The state association is a leader and facilitator, helping United Ways learn, plan and succeed in local collective impact efforts.
  • Collaboration – It takes whole communities working together to achieve long-term lasting change and advance the common good.
  • Networking and Relationships – Our greatest asset is our ability to build effective networks and relationships, mobilizing people and organizations.
  • Integrity – We are known for our integrity and commitment to improving our communities. With every action we earn the trust of our members and partners.
  • Accountability – We hold ourselves accountable for achieving results with the resources entrusted to us.
  • Inspiring – We work to demonstrate how the very best in people and communities adds up to a force for positive change.
  • Common Ground – We acknowledge that people and communities differ in character, beliefs and values. As local United Ways and as an Association we continuously strive to be a place where people and institutions forge a shared understanding and vision for the common good.

Our Unique Value to Our Members

  • Networking.  Ability to connect in-person with United Way executive peers at least four times a year at board meetings, plus trainings and phone calls. Members-only website provides secure, 24/7 venue to seek feedback on any item. Relationships with executive peers provide the ability to call for help and advice at any time.
  • Training and Resources. UWPNW provides reasonably priced training opportunities, including a biannual conference and monthly networking calls for small cities and marketing staff.  UWPNW raises awareness about best practices and thinking via monthly board education items.
  • Collective Projects.  UWPNW relationships with PNW private and corporate foundations facilitate support for collective projects such as the Kindergarten Readiness calendar and Peer Group Coaching.
  • Advocacy.  UWPNW works to identify issues that are universal to local United Ways. When every United Way in the region contributes to a common priority, our ability to speak with one voice contributes to each community advancing the common good. Our state association works our shared agenda and maintains an active presence in Olympia & Salem on issues of importance to United Ways.  During the legislative session, UWPNW represents United Ways at key policy tables.  UWPNW annual Lobby Day has grown in stature and provides a great opportunity for communities to meet with decision makers.
  • Single statewide contact.  Many partner organizations prefer to work through one entity rather than responding to multiple similar requests. We have seen this play out with the kindergarten calendars (Boeing grant) and also with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Building Community Philanthropy project). UWPNW is seen as credible and trusted and is regularly sought after for feedback on the landscape of United Way in our state.

Diversity Statement

Diversity and inclusion are at the heart of what it means to LIVE UNITED. To effectively and authentically address our community’s most pressing needs requires an outward and intentional commitment to inclusion across all dimensions (race, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, physical or mental ability.)

Inclusiveness and Respectfulness

We are strong only when we are respectful of others and inclusive in our actions.

  • We aspire to involve every segment of the community in every aspect of our work,
  • We act in ways that respect the dignity, uniqueness and intrinsic worth of every person within our community:  the donors, our own staff and family, board, volunteers and beneficiaries.
  • We believe in a movement built from the rich diversity and gifts of all people in all systems
  • We strive to respect and include all human service organization in the work of United Way.

Equity Definition

Equity is the intentional inclusion of everyone in society. Equity is achieved when systemic, institutional, and historical barriers based on race, gender, sexual orientation, and other identities are dismantled and no longer predict socioeconomic, education and health outcomes.

Our Vision for Equity

We recognize structural racism and other forms of oppression have contributed to persistent disparities which United Way seeks to dismantle. Our United Way network strives to engage community members, especially those whose voices have traditionally been marginalized. We work with residents and public and private partners to co-create solutions that ensure everyone has the resources, supports, opportunities and networks they need to thrive. We commit to leveraging all our assets (convening, strategic investments, awareness building, advocacy) to create more equitable communities.