Preschoolers at Cairo Academy
Preschoolers at CAIRO Academy | Kyla Yeoman

A year United
made possible by You

2017–2018 Impact Report

A volunteer at Woodmere Elementary, Comcast Cares Day
A volunteer at Woodmere Elementary, Comcast Cares Day | Kate Willson
kids & families served
directly invested
community partners

Thank you for investing in our region’s kids & families

A school where kids can thrive

“Parents tell me that their preschool child is ahead of their kindergarten child in public school. I see the progress they are making. It’s exponential.”
Bashir, founder of CAIRO Academy

He started CAIRO Academy, a preschool where kids feel at home and where parents learn how to engage with local public schools. The results have been profound.

For families, being able to speak Somali in the classroom, communicate easily with teachers and trust that cultural food restrictions will be honored, takes much of the stress out of the first school experience. That means kids can focus on learning and be ready for the first day of kindergarten.

Our United Impact

You make it possible for us to:

  • Engage culturally specific and culturally responsive organizations to give kids the right support at the right time, from preschool to graduation
  • Create high-quality preschools and align early learning efforts in Multnomah and Washington counties so kids are better prepared for kindergarten and beyond
  • Lead our region’s largest high school graduation initiative in two Oregon school districts, using research and a data-driven approach to transform how schools support students of color
Preschoolers at CAIRO academy looking at flash cards
Preschoolers at CAIRO Academy | Kyla Yeoman
Oregon has the 3rd worst graduation rate in the nation1
culturally specific early learning kits and books delivered
kids of color received wraparound support to ensure they graduate
educators trained to help families get kids school-ready
new preschool classrooms created for 510 kids

A family with a place to call home

“Everybody should be able to at least have a place to come home to.”
Stephanie, recipient of United Way support

Through Community Action, a United Way partner, Stephanie and Teja were able to move into a family shelter and later an apartment. They were also connected to resources for food boxes, school supplies and more.

Now, they have a place to call home. Teja has a best friend across the street and is exceling in school. Stephanie can finally give her daughter what she needs to learn, grow and be healthy.

Our United Impact

You make it possible for us to:

  • Invest in partners that identify families on the edge of houselessness and fund rent and utilities assistance programs to keep them housed
  • Stabilize families by working with community partners to provide resources like job training, access to medical care and food
  • Secure tax credits and benefits for low-income families to help build their financial foundation and ensure a sustainable future
Stephanie hugging Teja
Stephanie & Teja in their home | Megan Zabel Holmes
1 in 3
families can’t pay for basic needs like rent and groceries2
families received rent & utilities assistance
of families remain in permanent housing one year later
in tax credits secured for 21,478 working families

A community made stronger by passionate volunteers

“For me, volunteering is that connection to something bigger than yourself. It’s the connection to community.”
Larry, volunteer of 14 years

Larry started volunteering with Hands On Greater Portland, a United Way program, in 2004 and hasn’t stopped since. Over the last 14 years, he’s led and participated in hundreds of projects—from spreading mulch and planting trees in parks, to fixing bikes and serving meals to homeless families.

Through volunteering, Larry also passes along important life lessons to his two daughters. They’ve grown up volunteering with him, learning that sincere, unselfish giving is a key part of building community. Now, as adults, they’re volunteers too, tangibly improving the lives of kids and families in our region, one project at a time.

Our United Impact

You make it possible for us to:

  • Provide one-time Catalyst Fund investments that promote innovation and strengthen community networks in our region
  • Convene a cohort of nonprofits to share knowledge, adopt proven practices and increase equity to ensure communities in our region have access to the best services
  • Activate the village through our Hands On Greater Portland program, connecting thousands of volunteers each year to projects that directly benefit kids and families
Larry and other volunteers fixing kids’ bikes in a bike shop
Larry at the Community Cycling Center | Megan Zabel Holmes
1 in 2
nonprofits turn clients away due to lack of volunteers & resources3
in service value to hundreds of regional nonprofits
volunteer connections with 350+ organizations
of volunteers say their experience was meaningful

United, we Amplify the impact

Supporters like you have stood with us for nearly 100 years. You make it possible for us to bring together the people and organizations working hard to address childhood poverty in our region.

Here’s How You Create Change with United Way

To address childhood poverty and racial inequities in our region, United Way of the Columbia-Willamette brings people and organizations together to build awareness, focus on where the need is greatest and scale what works. So, together, we can make schools, families & communities stronger for kids in our region.

To address childhood poverty and racial inequities in our region…

Causes of Poverty

Barriers to quality education for all
Increased cost of living
Limited jobs with good wages
Historical injustice and current systemic disparities
Rising housing costs and gentrification
United Way of the Columbia-Willamette brings people and organizations together to build awareness, focus on where the need is greatest and scale what works…

Impact Strategy



approach-circle2 Created with Sketch. Invest Convene Inform Advocate Mobilize Corporate Government Nonprofit Individual Foundation EQUITY



Impact Initiatives

Schools for Kids
Early learning
High school graduation

Families for Kids
Housing stability
Financial education

Communities for Kids
Volunteer engagement
Connected & supportive communities

so, together, we can make schools, families & communities stronger for kids in our region.

2025 Regional Outcomes

of students graduate from high school
of vulnerable families keep their homes
individuals support United Way
Women volunteers weeding in a garden at Gilbert Park Elementary school
Volunteers at Gilbert Park Elementary, MLK Weekend of Service | Megan Zabel Holmes

Maximizing your impact

87 cents of every dollar goes directly to community programs

Allocation of expenses

  • 87% Community programs
  • 7% Fundraising
  • 6% Management & general
View 2016-2017 financials
Volunteers at Oregon Food Bank, MLK Weekend of Service | Megan Zabel Holmes

Partners like you make all of this possible

There’s so much real need in our region right now. At the same time, there are many good people and organizations working to improve our community. It’s hard to know the best place to donate. That’s why we’ve always given to United Way. Year after year, United Way has proven that it invests our donations where they have the most effective impact.
Marcia Randall
YWCA’s partnership with United Way has given focus to our racial equity work and provided tools to keep driving it forward. Through the cohort led by United Way, we established relationships with local organizations who share a commitment to advancing equity in our region, providing support and accountability.
Stephanie Barr, Director of Programs
A stable job, a home, and a connected community are at the heart of possibility for all of us. At U.S. Bank, we invest our time, resources and passion in economic development by supporting United Way’s efforts to connect and support those working hard to address poverty in our region, where we all live, work and play.
Stacey M Dodson, Market President
By bringing nonprofits together in a collaborative space, United Way of the Columbia-Willamette increases efficiency and amplifies impact. And United Way embodies the mandate of our founder, Fred Meyer — ‘Even small amounts can accomplish great tasks’ — proving that thoughtful, targeted investments can drive better outcomes for our most vulnerable youth and families.
Michelle J. DePass, President & CEO
Volunteers sorting school supplies into bins
Volunteers at Schoolhouse Supplies for MLK Weekend of Service I Megan Zabel Holmes

We are deeply grateful for the support of our capable partners and generous donors who make this work real

  • Individual Donors

    • $100,000+

      • Al & Nancy Jubitz
    • $25,000–$99,999

      • Pete & Julie Fleming
      • Robert & Elizabeth Warren Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation
      • Alan Yordy & Joan Kropf
    • $10,000–$24,999

      • Anonymous (3)
      • Mary Bishop
      • Eric & Janice Hoffman
      • Nancy Lematta
      • Richard & Delight Leonard
      • H. Craig Ramey
      • Sabrina Rokovitz & Leslie Johnson
      • Christiana Smith Shi
      • Keith & Edie Thomajan
    • $5,000–$9,999

      • Anonymous
      • Ray & Jean Auel
      • Michael & Michele Biehler
      • Stefan & Valerie Bird
      • The Cameron Family Charitable Fund
      • Laura & Chris Carlisle
      • Anita & John Drew
      • Wayne & Julie Drinkward
      • Edwards Lienhart Family Foundation
      • Chris & Joni Feryn
      • Heather Guthrie & Gil Parker
      • The Irwin Family Fund of the Renaissance Charitable Foundation
      • Leon Jallo
      • Jane R. Kendall Family Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation
      • Jennifer & Jim Mark
      • Mike Mayberry
      • Nancie Stevens McGraw
      • Timothy McMahan & Mia Nicholson
      • Rob & Margaret Morton
      • Milo E. & Beverly Ormseth
      • Larry Paulson
      • Mark & Jenny Poling
      • John Prevost
      • Marcia Randall
      • Robert & Marilyn Ridgley
      • Keith & Ann Ristau
      • Steven & Violet Schad
      • David Scott
      • Merlin & Valerie Wilkinson
      • Annetta M. Young
  • Institutional & Corporate Donors

    • $250,000+

      • Meyer Memorial Trust
      • Multnomah County, Dept. of Human Services, Youth & Family Services Division
      • Philanthropy Northwest
      • Robert D. & Marcia H. Randall Charitable Trust
      • State of Oregon, Dept. of Education
      • UPS
      • U.S. Bank
    • $100,000–$249,999

      • Cascade Corporation
      • Comcast
      • COSTCO Wholesale
      • Enterprise
      • Hoffman Construction Company
      • The Oregon Community Foundation
      • PacifiCorp
      • Wells Fargo
    • $50,000–$99,999

      • Anonymous
      • Far West Recycling
      • Hyster-Yale Group
      • Intel
      • KeyBank
      • Nordstrom
      • NW Natural
      • Providence Health & Services
      • Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon
      • Target
    • $25,000–$49,999

      • Bi-Mart
      • CenturyLink
      • Epson Portland Inc.
      • ESCO Corporation
      • FedEx
      • Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund
      • Geffen Mesher & Company
      • Illinois Tool Works
      • Kaiser Permanente
      • OnPoint Community Credit Union
      • Pendleton Woolen Mills
      • Principal Financial Group
      • The Randall Group
      • Regency Centers
      • Rockwell Collins Flight Dynamics
      • Stoel Rives LLP
      • Washington County
  • Funded Partners

    • 211info
    • Adelante Mujeres
    • Amazing Minds Learning Center
    • Amazing Minds Child Development Center
    • American Leadership Forum
    • Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO)
    • Asian Reporter
    • Banks School District
    • Beaverton School District
    • Bienestar
    • Black United Fund
    • Bridge Meadows
    • CAIRO
    • Cash Oregon
    • Centro Cultural de Washington County
    • Child Care Resource & Referral of Multnomah County
    • Children First for Oregon
    • Children’s Institute
    • City Club of Portland
    • Clackamas County Public Health
    • Clackamas Service Center
    • Clackamas Women’s Services
    • Coalition of Communities of Color
    • Community Action of Washington County
    • Community Housing Resource Center
    • Council for the Homeless
    • Elevate Oregon
    • Farah’s Adult Day Care Center
    • Faubion Elementary School
    • Forest Grove School District
    • Friends of the Children
    • Gaston School District
    • Greater Than
    • Hacienda Community Development Corp. (Hacienda CDC)
    • Healthy Living Collaborative/SW Washington Accountable Communities of Health
    • Hillsboro School District
    • Home Forward
    • Human Solutions
    • Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization (IRCO)
    • Impact NW
    • Iraqi Society of Oregon
    • Oregon Child Development Coalition (OCDC)
    • Oregon Community Health Worker Association (ORCHWA)
    • Innovative Changes
    • Kairos PDX
    • Kúkátónón African Dance Troupe
    • Labor Community Services
    • Latino Network
    • Lewis & Clark Montessori
    • LifeWorks Northwest
    • Metropolitan Family Services
    • Milagro (Miracle Theatre)
    • Mill Park Elementary
    • Morrison Child & Family Services
    • Mt. Hood Community College Child Development & Family Center
    • Native American Youth & Family Center (NAYA)
    • Neighborhood House Head Start
    • NW Housing Alternatives
    • Open School
    • Oregon School-Based Health Alliance
    • Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon
    • Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette
    • Portland Community Reinvestment (PCRI)
    • Portland Metro STEM Partnership
    • Project Access Now
    • Proud Ground
    • Providence Health & Services
    • Reading Results
    • Second Step Housing
    • Self Enhancement Inc. (SEI)
    • Shaver Elementary School
    • Sherwood School District
    • Tigard-Tualatin School District
    • Todos Juntos
    • Urban League
    • Verde
    • Village Childcare
    • Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation
    • Washington County Cooperative Library Services
    • Youth Educating Police (YEP)
    • YMCA of Columbia-Willamette
    • YWCA Clark County
  • Coordinating Partners

    • Centennial School District
    • Center for Equity & Inclusion
    • Clackamas Early Learning Hub
    • David Douglas School District
    • Dress for Success Oregon
    • Gresham Barlow School District
    • Health Share of Oregon
    • Mother & Child Education Center
    • Multnomah County, Dept. of Human Services, Youth & Family Services Division
    • Multnomah Early Childhood Program
    • Multnomah Education Service District
    • Northeast Emergency Food Program
    • Northwest Children’s Outreach
    • Northwest Early Learning Hub
    • Northwest Health Foundation
    • Northwest Regional Education District
    • Oregon Dept. of Human Services
    • Parkrose School District
    • Portland Children’s Levy
    • Portland Parks & Recreation
    • Portland Public Schools
    • Portland State University
    • Reynolds School District
    • Social Venture Partners
    • Virginia Garcia Memorial Trust
    • Washington County Mental Health Dept.
    • Washington County WIC Program
Two cheerful young women in a casual portrait photo
Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization’s Youth Leadership Council members | Megan Zabel Holmes

Thanks to you, more of our region’s kids are free from poverty and free to

reach their potential