About Us

Two Little Girls in Live United t-shirts

Who We Are

The United Way of Northern California was started in 1953 by a group of volunteers who wanted to make a difference in their community. Today, we’re a leading non-profit that works to help Northern California residents build better lives. We do this by running and supporting programs that focus on the building blocks of a good life – health, education, housing and financial stability. Our team is here for individuals and the community in times of public emergencies, disasters or other crises.

We are part of the world’s largest philanthropic network, with deep and enduring relationships across government, business and nonprofit sectors. United Way is engaged in nearly 1,800 communities across more than 40 countries and territories all over the world.

We collaborate with others in everything we do. Because of this, we have the strength and backing to take on complex issues. We believe in running toward the difficult problems facing our communities, rather than running away from them.

We proudly serve a nine-county region that includes:

  • Butte
  • Glenn
  • Lassen
  • Modoc
  • Plumas
  • Shasta
  • Siskiyou
  • Tehama
  • Trinity

Our Mission  

Our mission is to fight for the health, education and financial stability of every person in our community, and to be there for the community and its residents during times of crisis.

Our Vision

Our vision is to enhance the quality of life in our community by mobilizing the desire and capacity of people to care for one another.

Our Commitment to Antiracism

United Way of Northern California (UWNC) stands firmly against racism and for equal justice. We promote equity in our mission to improve health, education, financial wellness and disaster recovery for ALL people in Northern California. Read our full Antiracism Statement below.

Antiracism Statement


How We Help

Meeting People in Times of Crisis

We provide direct support to members of the community through several initiatives:

  • We’ve helped more than 10,000 individuals affected by the Camp Fire, Carr Fire and other wildfires in our region.
  • Our United Way operates 2-1-1 in Shasta and Tehama counties. 2-1-1 provides information and referrals to people needing help in any realm of health or human services. In 2019, more than 7,000 Shasta and Tehama county residents called and texted 2-1-1 NorCal. Our website, 211norcal.org, has recorded more than 170,000 searches and 40,000 unique web users in the past year. The 2-1-1 information line is staffed by live specialists and is available to the public 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
  • Financial support through the VITA free tax preparation program, CalSavers retirement savings program and Bank On to help individuals acquire bank accounts and boost savings.

Innovative Solutions to Our Community’s Toughest Problems

We provide grants to nonprofits whose work aligns with our mission. In the 2019-20 cycle, United Way of Northern California awarded grants totaling over $700,000 to several dozen nonprofit agencies involved in disaster relief and recovery, disaster prevention, and initiatives in the areas of health, education and financial stability.

Other initiatives include:

  • Volunteer NorCal, a website designed to match local agencies in our nine-county area with individuals looking to serve their community by volunteering.
  • Our United Way acts as a convener and backbone agency for collective impact efforts, including the Prosperity Initiative, which aims to improve financial stability for Shasta County residents.
  • United Way of Northern California is a proud member of the Redding Shasta Homeless Continuum of Care.