History of United Way of Treasure Valley

United Way fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in our community


1887 - In Denver, Colorado, a woman, a priest, a rabbi and two ministers founded the Charity Organization Society, the first United Way. This organization planned and coordinated local services and conducted a single fundraising campaign for nearly two dozen organizations.

1888 - The first United Way campaign in Denver raised $21,700.


1928 - Incorporated as the Federation of Social Service Agencies of Boise.

1946 - Name changed to Boise Community Fund.

1957 - Name changed to Boise United Fund when national health agencies and International service agencies began receiving funds through the local federated organizations.

1971 - Renamed the United Fund of Ada County, Inc., when service and campaign areas were increased to include all of Ada County. Many firms in the Boise City limits had employees living throughout Ada County.   Those employees making pledges through a payroll deduction plan were entitled to services of participating agencies.

1974 - Renamed the United Way of Ada County, Inc. to symbolize a broader role of services; increase its communication effectiveness, fundraising potential and volunteer support; and to join with over 2,200 communities throughout the United States now using the national United Way name and symbol.

1985 - Adopted the Mission Statement:  “To increase the organized capacity of people to care for one another,” and took on the leadership role of community problem solver.

1985 - Introduced the “donor option” to any 501(c)3 agency to balance United Way’s core values with the wishes of contributors.

1993 - Fundamental policy change to focus on funding programs rather than agencies.

1996 - United Way of Ada County joined with Canyon Area United Way to form Treasure Valley United Way.  Both United Ways retain their own fundraising and distribution arms but eliminated duplication of administrative costs.

1998 - Treasure Valley United Way identified six funding priority areas called Impact Councils:  Promoting Independent Living, Success by 6, Investing in Youth, Meeting Basic Needs, Strengthening Families, and Building Community.   

2000 - Name changed to United Way of Treasure Valley.

2008 - United Way Worldwide launched LIVE UNITED, a call to action for everyone to become a part of the change.

2017 - United Way of Treasure Valley embraces United Way Worldwide's new brand anthem: United Way of Treasure Valley fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in our community. We win by Living United. By forging unlikely partnerships. By finding new solutions to old problems. By mobilizing the best resources. And by inspiring individuals to join the fight against our community’s most daunting social crises.