It is autumn, which, for many companies, means a flurry of white envelopes marked United Way of the Midlands. The organization’s yearly fundraising campaign includes over 700 organizations that range from large corporations to mom-and-pop stores.
Greg Vassios is the senior vice president of UWM. He is responsible for corporate relations and plays an integral part in the donation process.
United Way was the original multi-impact organization, that buzzword associated with organizations such as Omaha Community Foundation and several others. United Way started in 1887, when Frances Wisebart Jacobs and three clergymen came together to collect funds for 10 health and welfare agencies. The company still believes in contributing to those areas of charity, especially those helping to reduce poverty.
“Poverty is incredibly complex,” Vassios said. “There is a lot of moving parts and individual components that sometimes come together and to address issues around poverty is very complicated. The advantage United Way has is we collaborate with the community to really look at the overall impact of what’s going on.”
There are now many multi-impact organizations in the area: Omaha Community Foundation started in 1982, Sherwood Foundation started in 1999, Thrivinci started in 2016. The latest, SHARE Omaha, started this year. Still, UWM is one of the biggest nonprofits in the region.
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