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Uniting Our Neighbors
For More Than 100 Years

Our roots have run deep and wide through the Greater Twin Cities. Throughout our existence we’ve
brought together generations of changemakers to respond to the needs of our neighbors
— a tradition we carry into our work today and tomorrow.

Our History

1915

United Way of Minneapolis Area is formed by local civic leaders.

1920

Civic leaders form United Way of St. Paul Area.

1930s

Increase in government-funded social services allows area United Ways to shift focus from relief to prevention.

1940s

World War II changes the community and workforce. United Way comes to the aid of families of servicemen by organizing salvage drives and providing nursery schools for children of working mothers.

GTCUW 1940s Community Fund

1948

First Call for Help (precursor to United Way 211) answers 3,307 calls.

1950s

The Twin Cities and surrounding suburbs grow rapidly due to the baby boom. In response, area United Ways devote more resources to youth and family services.

1960s

In response to ethnic and social transformation, area United Ways serve more Communities of Color and people from low-income homes.

GTCUW 1960s Social Transformation
GTCUW 1970s Neighborhood Services

1970s

Concern for deteriorating neighborhoods in the East Metro prompts United Way of the St. Paul Area to devote 40 percent of funds to neighborhood-based services.

1980s

United Way of Minneapolis Area launched its first major community initiative, Success By 6.

1990s

With rapid advancements in technology changing our world, United Way of Minneapolis Area develops Service Through Technology, a special initiative to help 200 nonprofit partners transition to new technologies like PCs and electronic data.

2001

United Way of Minneapolis and United Way of the St. Paul Area merge for greater efficiency and effectiveness to become Greater Twin Cities United Way.

2010

As the Great Recession deepens, United Way convenes the first United Front gathering of nonprofit, philanthropic, business and government leaders to discuss better ways of working together for the community in difficult times.

GTCUW United Front Gathering
211 Helpline staff assisting callers

2018

United Way 211 now makes 460,000+ referrals annually.

2020

Raised $4.8M for COVID-19 relief efforts and $3.2M for small businesses owned by Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander and People of Color in the wake of civil unrest.

The Tradition Continues

Taking the lessons we’ve learned over more than a century of serving the Greater Twin Cities, we continue to unite changemakers to fuel lasting change through our work.

Make History With Us

Whether it’s making a donation, lending your voice to a critical cause or spending time as a volunteer, we need you to help change the course of our community for the better.