We fight poverty

We fight poverty – the kind that traps families for generations. Why? Because poverty determines a child’s educational experiences, healthcare, nutrition and life expectancy. Because a child born into poverty is more likely to raise her own family in poverty one day. Because this cycle of poverty severely limits our region’s potential.  

Intergenerational poverty looms as the most pressing challenge facing our region, which is home to Philadelphia, the nation’s poorest big city, and some of the poorest areas in southeastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey. In our region alone, more than 705,000 adults and children struggle to survive a life of poverty every day.

At United Way, we Live United against intergenerational poverty by fighting for the success of every child and the stability of every family in our region.

Research shows that children succeed when their parents or caregivers succeed. That’s why we take a two-generation approach to help people break the cycle of poverty with an emphasis on three proven areas of focus:

  • Early Learning
  • Career Pathways & Pipelines
  • Economic Empowerment

We can’t do this work alone. That’s why we invest in nonprofit partners that deliver education, financial stability, health and basic needs outcomes that support the development of youth success and family stability for the long term.

Making the case for United Way

Youth Success

We believe that a child’s zip code shouldn’t determine whether he has access to the quality educational experiences necessary to succeed as an adult.

So we’re helping more children start school ready to learn, supporting family literacy and involvement with school, and helping kids stay on track to graduation.

Family Stability

The stability of a family’s finances and housing have a direct effect on a child’s health and ability to reach her full potential in school.

We’re helping more adults qualify for work that pays a living wage and offers advancement, and teaching them how to build assets for the future.

With your support


will read on a grade level by the end of the third grade.


Dealing with anger and bullying, Shawn lashed out in high school. He ended up in the juvenile justice system and was ordered to get on…

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youth aged 15–25 will reconnect to school or work with your support.



Alfonso was stressed and overwhelmed by competing work–life responsibilities.

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Despite knowing that he wanted a better life, Anthony was

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With your support, we will help


individuals overcome poverty.

How we fight poverty


United Way rallies individuals and organizations in communities across nine counties throughout our region to Live United against one cause: ending intergenerational poverty.


Corporate partners and individual donors invest in United Way’s Impact Fund, which leverages the giving power of 100,000 donors to end intergenerational poverty.


We convene the business, nonprofit and public sectors to identify and solve the biggest challenges in our local communities and understand how they connect across our regional footprint.


We invest our Impact Fund in nonprofit partners that deliver measurable results in the areas of education, financial stability, health and basic needs to support youth success and family stability.


Impact Fund support also enables United Way to advocate for sound public policy in our focus areas and help the nonprofit sector build capacity to serve more people in need, efficiently.


We mobilize the caring power of 10,000 corporate and individual volunteers to support youth success in school, adult financial literacy, and connect our nonprofit partners with the extra hands they need to serve those who need our support.

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