What's New

United Way of New York State Welcomes Hugh R. Parry as President of UWNYS and 211 NYS

Hugh R. Parry is a career nonprofit executive leading human service and public health organizations at the local, state, national and international levels. After jobs in the NYS Senate Majority Leader's Office and as an administrator in the City Colleges of Chicago, Hugh joined United Way in 1980 engaging major corporations in Chicago, and then on a national level at United Way of America in 1988. He then took the reins as President at the United Way of Illinois in 1992, where he sharpened public policy efforts and helped build capacity in local United Ways. Seven years later, Hugh was called back to the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, first as chief operating officer then as interim president. In 2002, Hugh became CEO of the National Society to Prevent Blindness where he transformed one of the nation's oldest charities into a public health organization with strengths in public policy, patient advocacy and health information. His work in vision and eye health led to international efforts to combat chronic diseases of the aging eye. In 2021 Hugh returned to United Way to lead 2-1-1 New York, where he's focused on building a partnership with the NYeHealth Collaborative and a goal to integrate health referral resources with those of community based human service providers.
He was a founding member and chair of the Illinois Public Health Institute, chair of the First Nonprofit Insurance Company, and currently chairs the First Nonprofit Unemployment Savings Program. He is also a mentor at the Harris School of Public Affairs at the University of Chicago.
Hugh has is B.A. from SUNY Plattsburgh, his MPA from the Rockefeller College of Public Administration at the University of Albany and his J.D. from The John Marshall Law School. Hugh is a native of Lake George, NY. He is married to Charyl and has three adult sons.

United Way of New York State Welcomes Kelly Dodd as 211 NY Director

United Way of New York State announced the appointment of Kelly Dodd to the position of 211 NY Director effective immediately. Kelly is a highly respected 211 veteran from western New York who brings a wealth of experience working with non-profits and government to create collaborations that benefit communities.
"The covid pandemic was a challenge for our state's social services network. Fortunately, our 211NY helpline was there to connect citizens with food pantries, housing assistance and other services. Kelly Dodd was instrumental in making sure 211 was effective for the western portion of New York before and during this crisis, and now we are pleased to have her working to ensure our state's 211 contact centers continue to help our vulnerable population economically recover from the pandemic," said United Way NYS Board Chair, Robert Gorman.
Ms. Dodd has 15 years of experience with 211 WNY, part of the team hired to launch the program in 2007, starting as a Resource Specialist managing the 211 database of community services and worked her way up the ranks to Director of Contact Center Services.
211 NY Board Chair Alan Hertel shares the board's sentiments, "We are excited to welcome Kelly to 211 NY. She brings a wealth of hands-on experience in all aspects of 211. This experience and knowledge will lead us to continued expansion of services and the creation of new partnerships to provide even better service to the residents of New York State."
Under her leadership, 211 WNY established a strong relationship with many community partners including Erie County Department of Social Services and expanded 211's role in areas of holiday assistance, housing emergencies, and free tax preparations services.

News Updates from United Way of New York State are posted below.

Our plans for 2020:

Strategic Work Plan 2020

Please review the amazing work our network accomplished in 2019!


2018 ALICE Report Released 9/16/18

New Yorkers Still Face Financial Hardship Despite Increases in Employment and Median Income

Updated ALICE® Report Released by United Way of New York State Reveals Continued Economic Hardship for Working Class New Yorkers

ALBANY, NY – Despite an overall improvement in employment and gains in median household income, the economic recovery in New York State has been uneven, according to an updated report released by United Way of New York State. The 2018 ALICE Report released today details how a large number of New Yorkers, 3.2 million households, or 45% of the overall population, cannot afford basic needs and lack sufficient income and resources to pay for housing, food, child care, transportation and health care.

The United Way ALICE Report provides a framework, language, and tools to measure and understand the struggles of a population called ALICE — an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. ALICE is a hardworking member of the community and earns above the federal poverty level, yet does not earn enough to afford a bare-bones household budget, or "household survival budget." The Report then examines how households across the state have fared since the Great Recession ended in 2010.

New York State released its first ALICE Report in 2016 and today released an updated report which shows that many ALICE households continue to face challenges from low wages, reduced work hours, depleted savings, and increasing costs of living. Since 2016, increases in the cost of living have pushed nearly 30,000 households below the ALICE Threshold, defined in the report as the "average income that a household needs to afford the basic necessities defined by the household survival budget for each county in New York."

In addition, the Report finds that ALICE households are not benefitting financially from seemingly positive economic trends. While there has been significant job growth in some areas (i.e. home health aides, teachers aides, personal care aides, retail salesperson), a number of these occupations continue to pay wages that are insufficient to support a basic household survival budget.

"More than four out of 10 working people in New York State live at or below the ALICE survival threshold, sometimes working multiple jobs in attempt to make ends meet," said Ruth Mahoney, Capital Region president and regional retail leader, KeyBank, which was a major sponsor of the ALICE project. "The ALICE Report shines a light on how deep this crisis is, and through KeyBank's support of and partnership with the United Way, we hope to raise awareness and advance dialogue around the understanding that if we want our communities to be stronger, the people who live and work in them need improved pathways to financial stability and the opportunity to thrive."

Other key findings from the updated ALICE Report include:

• In order to meet the ALICE Threshold for survival, a 4-person household (2 adults, 1 infant, 1 preschooler), needs an annual income of $68,808 or $34.40 per hour. An individual needs an annual income of $23,148 or $11.57 per hour. This is 7 percent higher for single and 9% higher for the 4-person household compared to the report issued in 2016.

• Fifty-one percent of all jobs in NYS pay less than $20/hour or $40,000 annually for full time work. Even working multiple jobs often does not provide sufficient income to meet the ALICE Threshold.

• ALICE is everywhere. All but one of New York's 62 counties has 30% or more households earning less than what is needed to afford a basic household budget.

The United Way ALICE Report uses measures to provide a more accurate picture of financial insecurity at the state, county, and municipal level. Both the cost of living and job opportunities vary greatly across New York State and this breakdown makes those differences readily apparent. Data sources include the U.S. Census and the American Community Survey.

"The success of a community is directly related to the financial stability of its members and the ALICE report raises awareness about a huge but hidden segment of our community that is struggling," said Brenda Episcopo President of United Way of New York State. "Everyone knows an ALICE. ALICE is your child care worker, your parent on Social Security, the cashier at your supermarket, the salesperson at your big box store, your waitress, a home health aide, an office clerk etc… ALICE is essential to our communities' economic well-being and when ALICE is forced to make difficult choices, the entire community faces consequences."

United Ways across the state work with many community partners to provide support to ALICE families by assisting with financial literacy, education and workforce readiness on a daily basis. In addition, United Way of New York State hopes that the ALICE Report will shed light on a growing population in New York State and start conversations about how to help more families achieve financial security. Nine United Way chapters in New York are also administering $16 million in state grants to develop new strategies to combat poverty. The United Way's 2-1-1 information and referral phone number has also assisted more than 400,000 New Yorkers with housing and other human service issues.

For the ALICE Report and Data visit www.UnitedWayALICE.org/newyork

About the United Ways in New York United Ways across New York state advance the common good by creating opportunities for all, with a particular focus on education, income/financial security, health and basic needs – the building blocks for a good quality of life. Our work is a testament to what we can accomplish when individuals, government, businesses, academia, health agencies, faith-based groups and nonprofits join together in common cause.


UWNYS SUMMER CONFERENCE- Register Now! July 18-20, 2018

United Ways of New York State Annual Summer Conference will be held on July 18-20, 2018 at the Queensbury Hotel in Glens Falls, NY!

Workshops include: Mary Sellers, U.S. President of United Way Worldwide

William Browning, United Way Worldwide on Salesforce Philanthropy Cloud

Matt Episcopo, International Speaker, Author, Coach, on the POWER of Networking

Product Development, Community Impact, Digital Marketing, Innovation in Fund-Raising, Human Resources: retention, culture building and many more!

Connect with your peers and learn from the best!


United Way New York State Names New CEO

Albany, NY (Oct.19, 2017) – The Board of Directors of United Way of New York State (UWNYS) has named Brenda Episcopo as the organization's new President and CEO.

For the full press release, see here.


>NYS United Way Summer Conference Update

Over 60 members of the NYS United Way network met at the Summer Conference in Ithaca in late July.

Highlights included a presentation from Lisa Bowman, Executive Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer, UWW, on the brand and messaging directions for United Way.

At the MAC meeting held at the conference, John Bernardi, CEO of United Way of the Adirondack Region, was elected the new Chair.

Materials from the conference are available in the Dropbox.


New York Gives Day 2017 Coming!

NYGives Day will be held on Tuesday, November 28, 2017, again in conjunction with Giving Tuesday. UWNYS is the co-sponsor of NYGives Day. Last year, across the state, giving for the day totaled $11.3 million. More than a dozen local UWs actively participated. Our partner in the day is NYCON, and our technology partner is GiveGab. NYGives Day is a one-day, online giving event for all nonprofits in New York State. The public was asked to consider making donations to charities that are participating in the event.

Free training webinars with information on how to best use the internet to fundraise are available to all nonprofit organizations. Participating organizations are given a free online giving platform for the day. More information is available at the #NYGivesDay website!