Blog: The Why Behind the Way

About “The Why Behind the Way”

October 2016

 It’s United Way of Forsyth County’s 2016 Campaign slogan, but what does it really mean?

Why don’t some people in our community have the same opportunities as others? Why is United Way implementing new initiatives and partnering with community stakeholders? Why does your support of United Way make such a difference right here in Forsyth County?

Take a moment to learn “The Why Behind The Way.”

 Today in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County

Winston-Salem and Forsyth County have made tremendous progress over the years. By working together, this community has become a unique place where education, arts, and innovation are thriving. Our revitalized downtown, our civic assets, and our quality of life are admired across the country.

However, too many of our residents don’t have the same opportunities to live a stable and healthy life. These challenges are also becoming concentrated in certain neighborhoods.

Addressing Root Causes

Root causes are the underlying factors that create challenges in people’s lives. The opportunity for a good life begins in our families, schools, and jobs. And it begins in our neighborhoods. Think about a sick person with a disease:


  • Maybe that disease developed because this person lives in a moldy house in a location with high pollution levels;
  • Maybe that house was the only place the person could afford because they have a low-paying job;
  • Maybe that low-paying job was the only one they could get because they have don’t have a high school diploma.
  • And maybe that person didn’t get that high school diploma because they just didn’t have the same opportunity or resources as others.


These are root causes – and you can see how they are interrelated and complex. But what can we do about them?

Integrated Solutions

At United Way, we convene key stakeholders – residents, nonprofit organizations, the faith-based community, and business and education leaders – in an inclusive approach focused on fundamental and sustainable change in the key areas of Education, Financial Stability, Health, and Basic Needs.

While these areas may be separate, their root causes are all closely interconnected. It is those root causes United Way is addressing, so all Forsyth County residents benefit from the progress our community is making. United Way is building upon past community success to partner with groups from across Forsyth County to maximize our donor investments and give all our residents the chance to improve their lives.

 Making This Community Better – Together

The United Way of Forsyth County has accomplished much over its history. It has also successfully made the transformation from simply a fundraising agency to a community institution that convenes stakeholders, serves as a catalyst for change, and strategically invests in resources to address complex and interconnected issues facing our residents.  .

By leading and collaborating with others to impact Forsyth County’s greatest needs, we maximize our donor investments by:


  • Aligning resources for greater efficiency and effectiveness,
  • Leveraging funds to sustain change, and increase the impact and return of investments by each individual, couple, or organization.
  • Building sustainable approaches through the collective buy-in and action of many groups that will lead to measurable and deeper results.

Every year, the money United Way raises goes straight back into your community. In 2016, United Way will invest over $12 million in local programs and agencies that are improving the lives of Forsyth County residents.

And new this year, United Way’s Place Matters initiative is investing $2.8 Million in programs focused on strengthening 13 neighborhoods in northeast Winston-Salem. These are innovative, collaborative initiatives that engage existing community assets, especially residents themselves, to further enhance these neighborhoods and the lives of those who live there.

Every day, your generous and loyal support of the United Way helps people right here in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. Because of you, once-struggling students are thriving in school; displaced workers are finding new jobs; cancer patients are taking life-saving medicine they can’t afford; and families are receiving food they need to get through the week.

By joining with over 12,000 other United Way supporters, we are showing this community’s enduring commitment to provide each of our neighbors with the opportunity to live a stable and healthy life. Together – United – we are making Forsyth County a better place. And at the most fundamental level, your donations are changing peoples’ lives.

That’s the Why Behind the Way.


Donate to support United Way and help our neighbors live better and stronger lives.