Our Impact

United Way unites people and organizations to solve big problems - together. 
We combine thousands of your gifts - big and small -
to make good things happen right here in South Hampton Roads.

>>> Workplace Giving Campaigns

Workplace giving campaigns at 200 local companies raised more than $16 million last year to provide critical services to our most vulnerable. Thanks to volunteers donating time and passion with this money, South Hampton Roads is becoming a better place for everyone to raise a family, build a business, and live a good life. 

198,000 were helped through United Way campaign donations last year! Here's how your donations continue to help your neighbors:

  • Children & their families break the cycle of poverty with extra support at school & at home
  • Neighbors in need get jobs, housing & life skills education
  • Disabled, elderly & sick neighbors receive essential & urgent care
  • Veterans & active duty military families get aid for health, housing, jobs, education and emergencies
  • Half of the $16 million raised goes directly to specific agencies that donors designate.
  • A third of the $16 million raised goes to the United Way General Fund, where it is used to do the most good in the community. United Way corporate and community volunteers vet the many partner agencies that receive this money. They spend hundreds of hours personally visiting the agencies, reviewing their financials and program results to be sure your donation is spent carefully. 
  • Less than 15% of the $16 million raised goes to United Way overhead. The Better Business Bureau says a well-run charity's overhead stays below 35%.
  • The remainder of the $16 million raised is used to expand community programs like United for Children, Mission United and GHRConnects.org.

>>> Community Programs

United for Children is a collection of 100 community partners with a common agenda: helping at-risk children succeed in school. Statistics show that academic success is the path out of poverty for these kids and their families. United Way of South Hampton Roads proudly provides coordination and staff support for UfC partners' collaborative actions. 

Summer LEAP (Learning & Enrichment for Academic Progress) drove significant gains in reading and math for thousands of students in Norfolk & Suffolk. Due to that success, the program has expanded to include Jacox, P.B. Young, Sr., Tidewater Park, Chesterfield Academy & Ruffner Middlle School in Norfolk. In Suffolk, 1,000 students will enjoy Summer LEAP at Elephant's Fork Elementary and John F. Kennedy Middle School. United for Children will expand to additional cities in South Hampton Roads, using variations of the UfC Norfolk model.

Mission United supports & solves problems for veterans, active-duty military & their families in the Greater Hampton Roads region by connecting them to the community's best resources and services. Last year, Mission United helped 11,000 in our military community with a broad range of needs. Soon, many more will find help via a new, web-based platform that connects all service providers under one umbrella to help the military community.

GHRConnects.org launched in June 2016, making possible the measurement of factors that most significantly impact the region's quality of life. As a one-stop shop for those seeking to understand how our region is changing - and those seeking to make change - ghrconnects.org helps identify where needs and gaps exist. Planners and community leaders can now make data-driven decisions that affect future outcomes, gauge real-time progress and demonstrate measurable success in the domains of health, economy, education, natural & built environment and social environment.

Mission Statement

United Way of South Hampton Roads provides leadership that brings resources together to reduce poverty, increase educational attainment and minimize health disparities for our most vulnerable neighbors.


The "Norfolk Community Fund" (NCF) was organized in 1923 with Judge Thomas H. Wilcox as Chief Volunteer Officer. That first campaign raised $298,207, which was used to fund community services and programs by local agencies. 

During the Great Depression, monies raised each year were consistently below $200,000. As a result, agencies were forced to conduct supplementary campaigns. During the 1939 Victory Dinner to celebrate the end of the campaign, a prominent community business leader, Mr. Royster, brought the campaign over its goal by providing a large contribution of more than $10,000. This brought the campaign $240 over its goal for a total of $204,997! For the two years following World War II, the annual appeal was called "The Norfolk United Fund" and in 1948 it adopted the name "Norfolk Community Chest." 

In 1957, the "Norfolk Community Chest" merged with the "Community Chest of Virginia Beach" and Princess Anne County to become the "United Communities Fund." (UCF) The UCF joined the "Portsmouth Area United Fund" (PAUF) to conduct the first "Four Cities United Way Campaign" with the UCF and PAUF each retaining their separate identity. In 1979, the UCF Board of Directors voted to change its name to "Four Cities United Way." The United Way of South Hampton Roads was not established until January 1984 and included the cities of Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach. Suffolk was added to the campaign in 1985 and Isle of Wight County in 1992. 

Today, the United Way of South Hampton Roads Campaign encompasses the six south side cities, and includes three other distinct annual campaigns: the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) for all area federal personnel; the Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign (CVC) for state employees; and the United Way and Combined Charities Campaign (CCC) for municipal and public school employees. Additionally, the United Way of South Hampton Roads conducts a Capital Campaign (CC) periodically. With a focus on Collective Impact, we've added our newest initiatives Mission United and United for Children. Additionally, United Way has established a community FOUNDATION that includes agencies as affiliates. The foundation is driven by donor wishes to endow agencies, programs or fields of interest in the community.