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History

Brief History of the United Way


Based on the successful community-wide campaign to raise money for relief efforts following the Great Dayton Flood of 1913, civic leaders decided to apply the same principal of federated fund raising to meet the ongoing health and human service needs of Dayton Area. This was the beginning of our local United Way.

In 1914, the Federation of Charity and Philanthropy was organized under the auspices of the greater Dayton Association (forerunner of the Chamber of Commerce) with ten cooperating agencies: Humane Society, Milk Commission, Tuberculosis Committee, Dayton Day Nursery, Visiting Nurses Association, Associated Charities, Association for the Blind, Salvation Army (Relief Department), Playgrounds and Gardens Association, and Boy Scouts.

In 1918, the Dayton War Chest was organized, also under the auspices of the Greater Dayton Association. An Ohio Charter was granted to "The Community War Chest of Dayton and Montgomery County" on April 9, 1918.

In 1919, the Dayton War Chest became the Community Chest, governed by the Board of Directors of the Dayton Bureau of Community Service. Its purpose was "to foster the moral, mental and physical welfare of the community to seek to harmonize the efforts of civic, charitable and philanthropic organizations for the sake of civic unity and greater efficiency."

The Dayton Community Chest Association was incorporated in 1920 as a non-profit corporation under the laws of the State of Ohio. Its Board of Directors, Budget Committee members and campaign workers serve without pay.

The Dayton Community Chest Association extended its area of operation to Greene County in 1960 when the campaign goal included the needs of ten Greene County agencies.

On March 17, 1965, action was taken by the Board of Directors to change the name of the Dayton Community Chest Association to United Fund, Inc. of Dayton Area.

On June 18, 1969, the United Fund Board of Directors approved the merger of the Eaton Community Chest and Preble County agencies with the United Fund of Montgomery and Greene Counties. The Eaton Community Chest, which served the Preble County area, was thereby dissolved. The campaign held in the Fall of 1969 for 1970 allocations was the first all inclusive United Appeal Campaign for Montgomery, Greene and Preble Counties.

The United Way name was adopted in 1974 after a year-long long range planning process to better described the more comprehensive fund raising program and planning and allocations responsibilities of the organization.

Today, United Way of the Greater Dayton Area is on the cutting edge in using outcome evaluation to ensure that the funded programs achieve real results. United Way shifted from funding member agencies to supporting specific programs in 1997 to provide greater accountability and make sure the dollars were making the biggest difference.