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Leading the Way: Your Impact Matters

In Philadelphia alone, 25% of our neighbors experience poverty. From the single mother looking to care for her children to the job seeker struggling to find a living wage, the cycle of poverty persists. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey is leading the way in finding solutions that have, and continue to have, an impact on fighting poverty at its core. Our annual publication, Leading the Way, highlights our critical work and walks you through our collective poverty-fighting impact by the numbers.

In a year full of challenges, your generous support has fueled rapid recovery efforts and groundbreaking initiatives to help our region forge ahead and expand opportunity for our neighbors most in need. We’ve strategically put your gift to work in 2019-20 to:

  • Enable 47,218 children grades K-3 to receive early grade literacy guidance through partner programs.
  • Help 13,188 students grades 4-9 to successfully advance grade levels because of meaningful work and investments.
  • Empower 312 individuals toward homeownership through United Way's individual development account (IDA) program.
  • And so much more.

Because of you, we were able to meet the moment and leverage our resources to support:

2020 CENSUS 

Last fall, we announced a match grant for every new donation to Philly Counts, up to $500,000, to raise a total of $1 million in new funding to target greater engagement of historically undercounted communities in the region. In partnership with business, union, and philanthropic leaders, we met that goal, raising more than $1 million for grassroots organizations across Philadelphia, Delaware County and Montgomery County to conduct 2020 Census outreach.


In March 2020, we came together with the City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Foundation to launch the rapid response PHL COVID-19 Fund for frontline organizations in our region. Raising over $18M in less than 10 months, it quickly became the region’s largest relief and response fund and with our partners, we continue to provide urgent resources to the nonprofits that are serving those disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.


We collaborated with The City of Philadelphia, School District of Philadelphia, Comcast and multiple philanthropic partners to help K-12 Philadelphia students and families connect to the internet through PHLConnectED. This partnership is a critical step in bridging the digital divide for Philadelphia. Since the program’s inception in August, city officials estimate more than 12,000 district and charter students and families have been connected to the internet for free through PHLConnectED.


United Way’s 211 helpline provides callers with free, confidential access to thousands of programs and services that can help with everyday needs and in crisis situations. This year, we connected more than 75,000 callers across Pennsylvania and New Jersey with the health and human services they needed.

As we look forward, we will continue to invest in the social and economic drivers that mitigate poverty—and focus on helping our region’s recovery efforts.

On behalf of our entire team, thank you for supporting your local United Way. None of these accomplishments would be possible without our supporters and partners, like you. To learn more on our impact and read the full Leading the Way publication, visit here: Leading the Way



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