Description of United Way International


United Way International (UWI) is a not-for-profit organization whose purpose is to strengthen communities and improve lives around the world. By mobilizing local people and companies to give time and money and by helping local charities become more effective, United Way organizations in 41 countries outside the U.S. help create long-term solutions to local human needs.
United Way International was created in 1974 to respond to requests for assistance from companies wishing to establish global philanthropic programs and from the international United Way community. UWI guides communities in forming new United Way organizations or improving existing ones. UWI is a self-governing organization separate from United Way of America, with its own budget, staff and a board of directors from nine countries and territories. UWI is funded by corporations, private foundations, organized labor, individuals and local United Way organizations in the U.S and Canada.

Currently, over 3,000 community-based fundraising organizations outside the U.S. are members of United Way International. Many are known by names other than “United Way” such as Community Chest, Matan (Hebrew), Fondo Unido or Dividendo (Spanish). Collectively, these organizations raise over US$723 million annually through appeals that mobilize more than two million volunteers.

UWI members are independent organizations that raise and allocate funds locally to support a wide range of programs and charities, including health and human services, childhood and university education, literacy and the arts, and much more. UWI employs great sensitivity when working with its members to adapt to each culture’s unique approach to philanthropy and volunteering. Funds raised by UWI members remain in the country to meet local needs in non-partisan, non-political ways.

UWI adds value to the work of our members and the interests of our donors. We provide our various services with unflinching integrity and accountability. We create opportunities for involvement that engage a lasting effort, and which transcends the power of any one nation. To deliver on this promise requires sensitivity, knowledge, commitment, and a very careful approach to our work that is conducted in plain sight of all the players.

The following are just a few of the many things that we do all around the world, day-in and day-out, to create change and stimulate responsible growth. UWI:

Serves as a resource for corporations and their employees seeking to expand their philanthropy initiatives, including workplace giving programs, in overseas communities.
Administers a donor-advised gift program for corporate and individual donors interested in practicing global philanthropy and supporting local, long-term crisis recovery efforts.
Supports its worldwide members through ongoing technical assistance and consultation.
Develops new United Way organizations in close cooperation with local community leaders in countries without community-wide fundraising appeals.
Advises international groups - including foreign officials, companies and non-profit organizations - on the potential of a single community-wide fundraising appeal in support of local charitable causes.
Organizes training programs, as well as regional and world conferences for the professional staff, governing boards and key volunteers of UWI’s member organizations, and local and global United Way corporate partners.