One hundred years ago, on April 24, 1922, the first united fundraising campaign for a collection of local charities was launched, sparking a century of service in Greenville County.
Back then, we were called the “Community Fund” and the mission was simply to provide a central, convenient way for members of the community to give back and support our neighbors. As Greenville County has grown and evolved over the last century, so have we.
From the Great Depression to the COVID-19 pandemic and every day in between, United Way has been there for Greenville County, harnessing the collective generosity of this community to help those in need, and constantly innovating to rise to the needs of the day.
Today our focus is centered on improving economic mobility and making sure everyone who lives here can share in the success of our community.
We are deeply appreciative of our donors and volunteers, past and present, who have played an integral role in shaping our history and impact. Without you, none of our work is possible.
Greenville County establishes the Greenville Community Fund which raises $82,000 in five days. Prior to World War II, the organization becomes known as the Community Chest of Greater Greenville.
The Community Planning Council (CPC) conducts community research, needs assessments, program development and public policy advocacy. The CPC proves to be a valuable collaborator for the Community Chest of Greater Greenville, spending decades as a funded partner until 1980.
The Community Chest of Greater Greenville evolves into a county-wide organization and adopts a new name: The United Fund of Greenville County. Under the United Fund, multiple agencies combine their fund raising and volunteer manpower in an effort to scale work and stretch the donor dollar for maximum impact. The inaugural United Fund campaign of 1955 doubles the previous Community Chest campaign.
The national association that encompasses Community Chest, United Fund, Red Feather, etc., decides that the diversity of names is impeding the effectiveness of the fundraising movement. It changes its name to United Way of America, encouraging local groups to adopt the same name.
The United Fund of Greenville County officially adopts the name United Way of Greenville County — and it sticks!
United Way of Greenville County and the Community Planning Council (CPC) of Greenville County consolidate their staffs to form closer ties with their work and leadership. This new union blends successful annual fund raising and allocation with the CPC’s community research expertise.
The United Way Board of Trustees approves the implementation of a new planning and funding system, bringing significant change to measuring impact and accountability. A new Community Impact System is established in 2004 with five focus areas: Nurturing young children, helping youth succeed, strengthening families and neighborhoods, building a healthy community, and caring for neighbors in crisis.
We’ve come a long way in the century since the Greenville Community Fund was formed. Today, United Way of Greenville County invests over $12 million annually into our community, helping more than 35,000 of our neighbors each year. United Way programs like OnTrack Greenville and VITA serve local families and individuals directly. And we’re continuing to evolve our work to build a Greenville County where all people have access to the opportunities to achieve their full potential.
In celebration of our 100th anniversary, we’re sharing 100 stories throughout the year including profiles of people we’ve helped, key figures in our history, United Way partners, and the donors and volunteers who change lives with their support.
Eleven years after first meeting Mackenzie and her family in the 2011 United Way campaign video, she continues to inspire. Born prematurely at just over 2 lbs., Mackenzie’s
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The success and growth we’ve seen in Greenville County is not something that happened overnight. Generations of generous community members and civic leaders laid the foundation.
Now, it’s our turn to shape the future.
While some areas of Greenville County continue to boom, many others are struggling. Growing disparities across the board in education, income, housing and healthcare are preventing far too many people from reaching their full potential. We must do better. For all of us.
At this pivotal moment, we ask you to join us and help shape the kind of community we will be for the next 20, 50 and 100 years – one where a child’s future isn’t determined by the neighborhood in which they grow up. One where all people have access to the opportunities to achieve their full potential.
Make a gift of $100 or more via this special campaign to be recognized as a member of our Centennial Circle.
Thank you for joining us to build a stronger, more equitable Greenville County for all. Please complete the form below to stay connected with us.