Overview of Programs & Partnerships

At our core, United Way is a connector and convener. We believe that long-lasting change occurs when we partner together and work toward a common goal. That’s why we’ve teamed up with organizations such as the Chicago Federation of Labor and the NFL to turn ideas into action. Through our partnership programs, we’re able to make tangible progress toward meeting the health, education and financial stability needs of our neighbors.

Ongoing programs & partnerships


Systematic change starts at the neighborhood level. Each year, United Way selects AmeriCorps members to serve as leaders within our Neighborhood Network communities. Members work in a variety of roles to engage the community, support individuals and families, and move our Neighborhood Network initiatives forward.

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Board Leadership Institute

United Way of Metro Chicago has partnered with the Northwestern University Kellogg School Center for Nonprofit Management to bring you the Board Leadership Institute, a new program that prepares philanthropic business leaders for service on the boards of directors of local nonprofit organizations.

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Character Playbook

Middle school is a critical time in any child’s life. United Way and the Chicago Bears have teamed up to bring Character Playbook, an innovative curriculum that focuses on social-emotional learning and healthy relationships, to middle school classrooms across the region.

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Chicago Connected

Access to the internet has become necessary to fully participate in society. But for many of our neighbors, the lack of broadband has been an ongoing issue and the COVID-19 crisis highlighted the city’s digital equity divide. That’s why United Way is proud to partner with Mayor Lightfoot, CPS, and others to launch ‘Chicago Connected.’

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Hire360 (formerly Access United)

Unemployment currently affects 318,000 Illinois residents. Through Access United, United Way and the Chicago Federation of Labor are increasing job opportunities by connecting job seekers with the tools they need to succeed in the skilled trades. Access United is only possible through our partnerships with the Construction Industry Service Corporation and the Chicago and Cook County Building and Construction Trades Council.

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Virtual Mock Interviewing

Obtaining a job is a critical piece to individual and family success. Sometimes, the only thing keeping job seekers from getting a job is nailing that interview. Our Virtual Mock Interview Program offers Job Seekers the opportunity to gain experience and confidence through practice and Volunteer Interviewers an opportunity to provide support and advice to those seeking employment.

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Responsible Business Leaders

United Way of Metro Chicago and the Baumhart Center of Loyola University Chicago have partnered to launch the Responsible Business Leaders Program, a new equity and inclusion training series for business executives.

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United for ALICE

United for ALICE – Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed – brings together United Ways, foundations, academic institutions, corporations, and other state organizations to research and better understand the financial struggles many households face.

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United Neighborhoods Equity Fund

United Way of Metro Chicago is proud to launch the United Neighborhoods Equity Fund (UNEF) to support small, Black and brown-led nonprofits predominantly located in the city’s south and west sides and south suburban region, and connect them to new investment opportunities.

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Youth United Way

Youth United Way of Elgin (YUW) is a student-led volunteer group open to high school students interested in community service. The group primarily consists of students from high schools in and around Elgin. However, students from any high school in the area are welcome!

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Give Money.

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Share your time. Share your talents. Share your love for community.

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