Greater Mankato Area United Way's mission is to unite the community to secure and invest resources to improve people's lives.
Greater Mankato Area United Way serves communities in the following four counties:
- Blue Earth County
- Le Sueur County
- Nicollet County
- Waseca County
For more than 90 years, United Way has been committed to keeping our region strong and balanced! We have a rich history of community-led initiatives to improve lives and build a better tomorrow for all.
During the Depression years of the 1930s, area businesses did what they could to help struggling families. In 1931, when unemployment and relief needs became critical in Mankato, a group of representative citizens, including the Chamber of Commerce, organized the Mankato Community Chest. Their objective was to care for emergency and unemployment needs and to avoid duplication. A similar fund was established in St. Peter and received support from businesses there, too.
A fund of $6,000 was shared by four agencies, with the general welfare receiving the largest share at that time. The Boy Scouts, Camp Fire Girls, Salvation Army and Red Cross also shared. In succeeding years, the scope of the Community Chest widened and covered eight organizations: Boy Scouts, YMCA, YWCA, Salvation Army, Camp Fire Girls, Alpine Attic, Welfare and Milk Fund, and U.S.O.
The Community Chest Fund was incorporated 25 years later on April 18, 1956, and became United Fund. In 1974, the United Fund was changed to the United Way. This change allowed the local effort to capitalize on the national advertising of the United Way campaign. The change to the United Way campaign aligned with efforts a community-by-community change to coordinate campaign drives and make the public aware of the organization.
In 2011, Greater Mankato Area United Way merged with United Way of St. Peter. In 2015, Greater Mankato Area United Way took on Waseca County, bringing its service area to four counties: Blue Earth, Le Sueur, Nicollet and Waseca. In 2021, Greater Mankato Area United Way celebrated its 90th anniversary.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Statement
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are at the heart of what it means to LIVE UNITED.
Incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusion will promote mutual respect and make possible the full, effective use of talents, investments, resources, and abilities of all to achieve the mission of Greater Mankato Area United Way (GMAUW). GMAUW values and seeks to achieve diversity, equity, and inclusion among its employees, staff, and volunteers. We are committed to identifying, developing, and implementing impact strategies, practices, processes, and messaging that drive more equitable outcomes in our region.
Since GMAUW’s founding in 1931, diversity, equity, and inclusion have been vital to achieving our mission, living our values, and advancing the common good. GMAUW recognizes that structural racism, socio-economic barriers, and other forms of oppression have and continue to contribute to persistent disparities. We recognize our role is to be a leader in the fight for equity.
GMAUW seeks to dismantle barriers to equity by fostering a culture that minimizes bias, recognizes and addresses systemic inequities, and promotes a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment. By leveraging the unique contributions of individuals and organizations in all aspects of our work, we can help create communities where everyone has the resources, opportunities, and support they need to thrive. We strive to engage community members, especially those whose voices have traditionally been marginalized, by connecting people, expanding perspectives, and empowering change. By cultivating diversity in our board, staff, volunteers, and programs as well as focusing on removing historical barriers to equity, GMAUW can create opportunity-filled futures for everyone in our community.
We are stronger united.