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The Big Picture


As the Executive Director of your United Way, I welcome you to our website and hope you find it helpful and informative.

We have a county full of donors and volunteers along with a great network of agencies who are taking action to help better and advance the lives of low income and disadvantaged individuals and families. We are a community full of innovative and committed organizations and people.

United Way’s mission is to strengthen our community by mobilizing people and resources to meet identified human needs. For me, this means ongoing community building to:

  • Raise additional money from more diverse sources to fund and support the work of the network of non-profit agencies providing critical services

  • Mobilize the private and public sectors around community needs

  • Help strengthen the collaboration and excellence of the people and agencies providing services – low-income customers and donors alike have the expectation that we maximize our limited resources.

Funds raised in our annual campaign go to support dedicated 44 programs in nonprofit agencies across Thurston County.

We distribute grants following review of competitive proposals by our volunteer panels around these three United Way goals:

  1. Help children and youth learn and succeed

  2. Promote financial stability for families and individuals

  3. Improve people’s health

Our community investment panels review progress reports by agencies that help ensure quality as well as enable us to better understand our overall impact.  United Way is focusing on prevention and investing in the root causes of needs related to our goals above. We will continue to improve our value for our community.  I welcome your input and perspective as well as your involvement in United Way.  Live United!  is not just a slogan, it is an aspiration about how we can make a better community together.  Email me with your thoughts.  


Paul Knox
Executive Director, United Way of Thurston County