COVID-19 devastated our community. In response, United Way of Greater Cincinnati launched a comprehensive program to help thousands across our region.

United, We Can

Building a strong community where all people can thrive depends on your generous support.


COVID-19 devastated our community. During the toughest times, United Way of Greater Cincinnati does the toughest work. Building upon more than 100 years of leadership in addressing community challenges, we launched a comprehensive response to help hundreds of thousands across our region.

United Way of Greater Cincinnati launched a new fund to help this community recover from the ongoing effects of COVID-19. This is a comprehensive approach addressing needs in four ways:

  • Stabilizing the critical nonprofit system of care for families accessing basic needs and other services.

  • Providing direct relief to families impacted by COVID-19.

  • Empowering families to get help where they live, work and worship by building new partnerships.

  • Supporting capacity building, innovation and advocacy as the nonprofit sector adapts to our changed environment.


In gift cards distributed to nearly 4,000 recently unemployed residents.

$7.2 Million

Raised for 200+ nonprofits, faith-based organizations and neighborhood groups.

1.5 Million

Masks distributed to help keep our communities safe.


Distributed in rental assistance to help families keep their homes.


Since mid-March 2020, United Way has led COVID-19 relief efforts across Greater Cincinnati, including:

  • Running a direct relief program providing $160,000 in gift cards to nearly 4,000 residents recently out of work due to COVID-19.

  • Activating the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund with Greater Cincinnati Foundation to raise and grant more than $7.2 million dollars in responsive grants to more than 200 community nonprofits, faith-based organizations and neighborhood groups.

  • Partnering with grassroots groups, faith-based organizations and United Way agency partners to distribute more than 1.5 million masks and sanitizer to help keep our communities safe.

  • Advocating with United Way Worldwide in support of the CARES Act and CDC eviction moratorium.

  • Connecting with the Family Independence Initiative to distribute $225,000 in rental assistance.

  • Launching the NKY Digital Equity Initiative {hyperlink} for more than 1,000 K-12 students and their families to access free internet in Northern Kentucky.

  • Establishing United Way's 211 team {hyperlink} as a one-stop-shop to connect callers with COVID-19 relief resources, such as the $3.5 million in Hamilton County CARES Act money dedicated to the eviction crisis.


The COVID-19 Regional Response Fund, activated by United Way of Greater Cincinnati (UWGC) and Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF), raised more than $7.2 million in emergency relief for more than 260 nonprofit organizations serving the region's most vulnerable individuals and families. The Fund exceeded its $5 million goal within seven weeks.

Grants were made between March and May 2020 to organizations across the focus areas of:

$924,50061 Grants
$88,90011 Grants
$1,273,40034 Grants
$120,0007 Grants
$1,496,28070 Grants
$95,0008 Grants
$395,0007 Grants
$160,0002 Grants
$690,0008 Grants
$76,0004 Grants
$1,805,60470 Grants
$136,00022 Grants

*Includes grants to support services or resources across more than one focus area.



Individuals and families moved from emergency shelters.

5 New

Childcare providers opened pandemic care centers for essential workers.


Meals served to families, older adults and other individuals in need.


The collective generosity of our Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky community helped more than 200 organizations providing front-line responses and meeting immediate needs arising from the pandemic. From child care for emergency responders to emergency shelter for domestic violence victims to emergency meals for seniors, donations to the fund helped hundreds of thousands of our neighbors' Impact stories from the fund can be found at

Due to the responsive nature of the fund, grantees were not required to formally report impact, Below provides a snapshot of quantifiable impact:

  • More than 330 individuals and families safely moved from emergency shelters or congregating living into hotel/ motels before transitioning to permanent housing.

  • 5 childcare providers opened pandemic childcare for essential workers.

  • Hospital systems across the region received support to purchase COVID-19 testing devices, anesthesia machines, ventilators, and PPE to meet the increased volume of COVID-19 cases.

  • An estimated 600,000+ meals were served to families, older adults and individuals through drive-through services, home delivery, and pantries located in faith-based and community organizations. On average, pantries saw a 3x to 4x increase in demand for services through early May.

    Specific examples include:

    • Meals on Wheels served 32,000 meals to older adults in one week in March, more than half its typical monthly service prior to COVID-19.

    • La Soupe increased services to provide15,000 prepared meals, up from 6,000, for four weeks between late March and April.

    • Rising Sun School Corporation expanded food delivery in Ohio county for an additional 150 seniors and children for eight weeks.

    • CT Cares served more than 500 people through cooked dinners and emergency food boxes.

Funding partners included: bi3, Charles H Dater Foundation, Deaconess Associations Foundation, Fifth Third Foundation, First Financial Bancorp, Hearst Foundations, Humana Foundation, The Kroger Co Zero Hunger Zero Waste Foundation, P&G, Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trusts, Scripps Howard Foundation, Skyline Chili, Western & Southern Financial Groups, and many other community supports. A full list can be found at

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