United Way’s Advocacy Roles and Initiatives

At United Way, when we say “advocate,” we mean…lend us your voice to influence policy and help uplift the services that are indeed working and changing lives. We do this through writing letters, sending emails, hosting meetings with elected officials and sharing what issues matter to our partners and those we help serve. Our golden rule is: Politics do not equal policy. Our advocacy work is nonpartisan and totally issue-focused.

2020-2021 Public Policy & Advocacy Objectives

Our public policy goals are to play leadership, support and partnership roles in the following initiatives:

Volunteer & Donor Education

United Way strives to offer ongoing informational sessions for health and human service advocates, which include our Affinity Group members, volunteers and various donors. To ensure transparency on our public policy work, United Way shares up-to-date information with our policy advocates, via a monthly emailed public policy and advocacy newsletter.


United Way 2-1-1:

United Way of Greater Toledo seeks to leverage local, county, and when applicable, statewide support to strengthen 2-1-1 services in Lucas, Wood and Ottawa County.

United Way of Greater Toledo will continuously leverage 2-1-1 as a support system for our emergency management entities and local 9-1-1 services. Additionally, we will advocate for other specialized 2-1-1 programs, such as coordinated access.

United Way of Greater Toledo will actively advocate for 2-1-1, in an effort to minimize duplicative informational systems across our three counties, to create a better organized “single-point-of-entry” for those seeking help.

United Way of Greater Toledo will advocate for 2-1-1 services as a way to improve local digital infrastructure and connectivity to health and human services.


Community Data & Information

United Way of Greater Toledo will encourage the development of open source data systems across our three-county footprint. Via United Way’s 2-1-1 Counts software and Clear Impact software: We will urge other systems to publicly display and aggregate community information for all to consume. This will allow individuals to advocate on behalf of those in need by further understanding residents’ barriers to health and human services through data.

United Way of Greater Toledo, Collaborative Impact Model

As United Way of Greater Toledo moves to a collaborative partnership model with our funded programs, staff will support and help advocate for the policies imperative to health, education, financial stability and basic needs resources, as a way to ensure the collaboratives’ success.

Pre-Kindergarten Education for All

As a means of strengthening local educational services in our community, United Way of Greater Toledo will advocate for quality pre-kindergarten education for all Toledo children.

Responding to Local Issues

United Way of Greater Toledo actively monitors and responds to community requests on issues aligned with our mission. We participate in grassroots advocacy efforts, engage in conversations with elected officials and provide relevant, actionable information to our advocacy network.

2020 Census

United Way of Greater Toledo will be engaging in ongoing conversations with government entities and local institutions to ensure every citizen in Lucas, Wood and Ottawa County has the opportunity to participate in the upcoming 2020 Census, as a way to ensure that our community is not shortchanged on the $21 billion of federal funding Ohio receives for supportive infrastructure and health and human services.


Schools as Community Hubs

United Way of Greater Toledo will continuously advocate for strengthening services around our Schools as Community Hubs strategy. This will be accomplished via engaging local, state and federal elected officials in facility tours.

United Way of Greater Toledo will monitor legislation and policies in relation to the Schools as Community Hubs national model.

United Way Worldwide / Ohio United Way Platform

United Way of Greater Toledo will offer ongoing support to our state-wide and national United Way systems on topics such as Charitable Tax, SNAP (supplemental nutrition assistance program), healthcare, and other issue areas, when applicable.

Race, Equity & Inclusion

United Way of Greater Toledo will continue to support local, state and national legislation that bolsters equitable and inclusive strategies which remove barriers to an individual having access to education, health and financial stability resources.