United Way of the Greater Capital RegionUnited Way of the Greater Capital Region
United Way of the Greater Capital Region

Our History

Community ChestThe United Way movement began in 1887 in Denver when four clergymen, seeking to help large numbers of people with financial needs, conceived the idea of a united annual fundraising campaign. The campaign was successful and the idea of raising money “the United Way” spread across the country and around the globe.

Local United Ways are independent, separately incorporated entities. United Way of the Greater Capital Region formed in 2007 from the merger of United Way of Northeastern New York and United Way of Schenectady County. The goal was to become more efficient and to increase impact by combining regional and local solutions.

Since its founding, United Way has grown to achieve impact beyond raising and distributing dollars. United Way understands that it takes the whole community working together to reach mutual goals. To that end, United Way mobilizes funds, volunteers, advocacy, expertise and strategic partnerships in order to create lasting, positive change.

Today, United Way of the Greater Capital Region maintains its commitment to address the root cause of problems and focus on the building blocks for a good life so our children have a bright future and our community remains an attractive place in which to live, work, raise a family and conduct business.

Significant Dates

1887 Denver, Colorado: a priest, two ministers and a rabbi coordinate a single campaign for ten health and human service agencies, raising $21,700 in this first united effort.

1924, the United Way came to Schenectady County to meet the community service needs of the burgeoning Electric City and its environs. Led by Rev. G.H. Baker, United Way raised an amazing $159,033.

1925 The Albany Community Chest is officially incorporated.

1938 The Troy Community Chest holds its first federated campaign.

1957 The Community Chest of Saratoga, Inc. is created.

1978 United Fund of the Albany Area, Inc. and United Way of Saratoga County, Inc. combine into an area-wide organization known as United Way of Northeastern New York, Inc.

1987 United Way of America celebrates its 100th birthday calling for a bold effort to double its volunteer involvement and dollars raised.

1988 United Way of Mohawk-Hudson Area, Inc. and United Way of Northeastern New York, Inc. formally consolidate.

2007 United Way of Schenectady County, Inc. and United Way of Northeastern New York, Inc. joined to form one new regional United Way entity known as United Way of the Greater Capital Region

Today United Way of the Greater Capital Region is taking a regional approach, with local solutions, to the needs of our community and families in Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady and Schoharie Counties.