Our Mission

Our Mission United Way


We ignite our community to give, advocate and volunteer so that our youth succeed in school and life, our residents are healthy, and our families are financially independent.




What We Do

At United Way, we partner with donors, volunteers, advocates, governments, other nonprofits, and people like you who are committed to making our community the best it can be. We bring together all of these groups because they are building blocks of our lives and community.




United 4 Youth

Building a Brighter Future for Youth and Families

We created a community empowerment model, United 4 Youth, that assembles teams of nonprofits to co-design innovative collaborative programs that lead to positive and sustainable outcomes for our highest needs youth. 

To ensure youth have the opportunity to reach their greatest potential, the United 4 Youth collaborative provides wrap-around services and leadership support to promote:

Education & Lifelong  • Learning Health & Wellness • Economic Sustainability • Community Connection



Strategic Plan Cover

United 2020- Bold Community Plan

United 2020 is Santa Cruz County's 5-year strategic plan to make meaningful, measurable improvements in the lives of people in our community by the year 2020. Developed by key leaders and experts in our county, United 2020 outlines key strategies that will help transform our community by addressing our most pressing needs:

To measure the community's progress toward the United 2020 goals, United Way of Santa Cruz County works with Applied Survey Research in Watsonville. Drawing from the researchers' analysis of local data including the Community Assessment Project, United Way tracks progress toward the United 2020 goals. United Way shares progress and reports with community program partners, philanthropists, corporate partners, volunteers and others to facilitate coordinated responses to the challenges.

What Gets Measured, Gets Done

United Way also leverages the data to align its work with efforts to help Santa Cruz County achieve the United 2020 goals - we want every dollar given and every hour volunteered to make the biggest impact possible in someone's life. United Way impacts Youth Success, Family Financial Stability, and Health by investing in exceptional local programs and developing initiatives that address key gaps.

Learn the United 2020 Goals and Strategies.