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Greater Twin Cities United Way Builds Strong Momentum in Second Year of Transformation Under Leadership of President, CEO John Wilgers

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United Way Staff


Organization Releases 2019 Results, New Funding Sources

MINNEAPOLIS (Nov. 6, 2020) – Greater Twin Cities United Way announced today its 2019 community impact results, the second year of executing its long-range, transformation plan. Based on a vision of a community where all people thrive – regardless of income, race or place – United Way served 500,000 people in 2019 who have experienced the greatest disparities caused by unjust systems and policies, including people with low incomes as well as Black, Indigenous and People of Color.

“Through our 211 Resource Helpline, innovation initiatives, advocacy efforts and partnerships with individuals, nonprofits, companies and foundations, 500,000 people in our community received critical services in 2019, including access to housing, healthy food, education and the workforce,” said John Wilgers, President and CEO of Greater Twin Cities United Way. “We also diversified our funding sources through a sizeable government grant, planned gifts, Salesforce Philanthropy Cloud and giving opportunities year-round.”

United Way’s announcement coincides with the release of the organization’s IRS 990 financial report, which showed $61.3 million in revenue in 2019. “In addition to the funding reflected in the 990 report, we also secured a government grant and millions in planned gifts, bringing our 2019 fundraising total to $71.1 million.” Contributors include 60,000 individuals, 643 companies, 38 foundations and government entities.

United Way’s 211 Resource Helpline Provided 460,000 Referrals to Services, Free Lyft Rides

  • United Way addressed 52 urgent needs every hour, every day of 2019. Every dollar invested in 211 provided $2.38 in services. (Source: Policy Analysis & Program Evaluation Services. Making Connections, Creating Value: Greater Twin Cities United Way 211 Benefits Cost Analysis 2013-2023)
  • Through a partnership between 211 and Lyft, United Way provided free transportation to veterans experiencing homelessness in Ramsey County and rides for job seekers to get to interviews and their first day of work.

United Way’s Innovation Initiatives Resulted in New Jobs, Career Pathways for Students, New Corporate Funding Stream

  • Full Lives (2017 – 2019): This food system initiative in North Minneapolis – led by 11 nonprofits as well as residents – resulted in 14 new food businesses and 278 new jobs, a new supermarket offering healthy food and 12 acres of community gardens, benefiting 50,000 people.
  • Career Academies: Through this career pathway initiative, high school students in the program to date have earned over 3,500 college and technical school credits, collectively saving them over $1 million in tuition. Additionally, participants’ hourly wages increased by $2.80.
  • Salesforce Philanthropy Cloud: This digital platform enables companies to engage their employees in year-round giving, volunteering and advocacy initiatives with over 1.5 million nonprofits. In 2019, United Way expanded its sales pipeline and approach which has led to a significant increase in corporate adoption of the platform in 2020.

United Way’s Advocacy Work with Government Officials Helped Unlock Funding, Policies for Support

  • Significant state investments in early learning scholarships to help children meet critical developmental milestones that impact their ability to thrive into adulthood.
  • Home visiting services for families to help strengthen relationships and support healthy physical, social and emotional development of children birth to age three.
  • Workforce training and placement services for underserved workers to help improve long-term employment opportunities that allow for advancement and provide family sustaining wages.


About Greater Twin Cities United Way: Greater Twin Cities United Way unites changemakers, advocates for social good and develops solutions to address the challenges no one can solve alone to create a community where all people thrive, regardless of income, race or place. For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook, TwitterInstagram and LinkedIn.

About the Author

Greater Twin Cities United Way unites changemakers, advocates for social good and develops solutions to address the challenges no one can solve alone to create a community where all people thrive. Together with our partners, we’re meeting immediate community needs while transforming inequitable systems in the areas of housing, food, education and jobs.

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