United Way of Salt Lake

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For over 100 years, United Way of Salt Lake has helped families achieve their potential through education, income stability, and encouraging healthy lifestyles.

First established as the Salt Lake Charity Association in 1904, the organization’s original mission was to aid the poor, battle panhandling, and coordinate social programs. Since then, United Way of Salt Lake has transformed itself into an agent of social change by focusing on building healthy communities, identifying new and critical issues, and developing lasting solutions. Today, the group serves families throughout northern Utah, representing nearly 1.4 million people – roughly 52 percent of Utah’s population.

The United Way of Salt Lake is changing the way communities approach problem-solving through its innovative “Collective Impact” model. No single department, organization, or program can address the increasingly complex issues facing our communities on their own. Collective impact tackles these problems by facilitating collaborative efforts between the business, non-profit, philanthropic, government, and citizen activist communities. Entities must come together in a cooperative manner to agree on a common agenda, share tracking and measurement data, leverage each organizations' strengths and expertise, and have a strong, independent backbone infrastructure to support ongoing efforts.

The United Way of Salt Lake acts as the backbone infrastructure in the collective impact model, ensuring all of the elements are aligned and working towards success. The Granite School District and Salt Lake County’s recent success around early childhood education is a great example of the collective impact in action.

Starting in 2010, the United Way of Salt Lake partnered with Voices for Utah Children and the Granite School District to research the impact of high-quality preschool programs on low income, at-risk children. The results were astounding. While 25 to 33 percent of low-income pre-K students were high risks for school failure, those who went through the pre-K program entered kindergarten at the top of their class. Even more encouraging, only 11 of 238 previously high-risk students were in need of special education services when tracked through the third grade.

Leveraging this success, the United Way helped bring together Goldman Sachs, Salt Lake County, and other partners to expand the program. Currently, schools in the program have raised third-grade reading outcomes of non-native English speakers by 5% and projected high school graduation rates by nearly 8%. There is now an effort to expand the success experienced within the Granite School District statewide.

Jane and Tami are proud and dedicated supporters of United Way of Salt Lake. For further information or to donate to United Way of Salt Lake, visit http://www.uw.org/