What is United Way


What the National United Way Does


In 1887, a Denver woman, a priest, two ministers and a rabbi recognized the need for cooperative action to address their city’s welfare problems. Frances Wisebart Jacobs, the Rev. Myron W. Reed, Msgr. William J.O’Ryan, Dean H. Martyn Hart and Rabbi William S. Friedman put their heads together to plan the first united campaign for ten health and welfare agencies. They created an organization to serve as an agent to collect funds for local charities, as well as to coordinate relief services, counsel and refer clients to cooperating agencies, and make emergency assistance grants in cases which could not be referred.  That year, Denver raised $21,700 and created a movement that would spread throughout the country to become the United Way. More than 125 years later, United Way is still focused on mobilizing the caring power of communities and making a difference in people’s lives.


Our Goal


In 2008, United Way initiated a 10-year program designed to achieve the following goals by 2018:


  • Improve education, and cut the number of high school dropouts — 1.2 million students, every year — in half.
  • Help people achieve financial stability, and get 1.9 million working families — half the number of lower-income families who are financially unstable — on the road to economic independence.
  • Promote healthy lives, and increase by one-third the number of youth and adults who are healthy and avoid risky behaviors.


Our goals are ambitious, but with your help, and by utilizing our core strengths — a national network, committed partners and public engagement capacity — we can achieve them.



What the United Way of Crookston Does


The United Way of Crookston raises and directs funds to agencies that address community needs. The organization enables community members to help many people in many different ways, with one gift. 


United Way of Crookston History 


1982: A group of business people planned and began the United Way of Crookston Organization. That fall saw the first United Way fundraising campaign. 


1983: First executive president hired


1995: Crookston Chamber of Commerce and United Way of Crookston agreed to share location and staff. The United Way of Crookston was a stand alone organization until 1995.


2008: United Way of Crookston Board accepts the national challenge of working toward the goals of the common good. 


2014: United Way of Crookston separated from the Crookston Chamber of Commerce / CVB and sought it's own Executive Director and location in order to continue the mission of the United Way of Crookston.


United Way of Crookston Structure 


Board: The role of the Board is to make policy in areas of finance, personnel, and legal issues and to provide leadership in setting the vision and developing goals for the organization.  


Executive Director: The United Way Executive Director is a paid, part time position. The Executive Director acts as the liaison between the UW Board and the agencies we serve. They are ultimately responsible for the campaign and fundraising efforts. The Executive Director presents Leader training, is a Leader for the larger businesses in Crookston and generally promotes the United Way. 


Office Staff: One part time staff person is available to assist the Executive Director. Office staff is responsible for depositing, setting up all campaign packets and tracking funds received during campaign.