Our History

1940 campaign

November 1922 — The Chamber of Commerce felt that a Community Chest and a central body of health and welfare agencies were needed in the community.

March 1923 — The constitution of the newly formed Springfield Council of Social Agencies was passed. Mr. Robert C. Lanphier served as the Chair, and about $150,000 was raised.

1934 — The name was changed to Associated Welfare Agencies, with Fred Schrader serving as President and Robert Troxell serving as Campaign Chairman. Approximately $112,000 was raised during this year.

1939 — George A. Bengal, President, and George E. Day, Campaign Chairman, again reorganized and changed the name to The Springfield Community Chest. Another $150,000 was raised during this year.

United Way 1945 Poster

1942 — After additional reorganization, the name was changed to The War Fund Council. Leadership included Edward S. Perry serving as President and Leon E. Fisher serving as Campaign Chairman. $340,000 was raised under their leadership.

1946 — This year marked another time of reorganization and revamping for the organization, as its name was changed to The Community Chest of Springfield and Sangamon County. Van Courtney Crane, serving as President, and Thomas F. Paris, serving as Campaign Chairman, together raised $270,000.

1955 — George K. Blanchard, President, and James H. Patton, Campaign Chairman, decided to take a slightly different direction by including a larger territory and changing the name of the organization to United Community Services of Springfield and Sangamon County. During this year, $370,000 was raised.

1971 — This was the first campaign to raise over $1 million. Funds raised were approximately $1,026,000 under the leadership of John R. Chapin as President and John M. Bunn as Campaign Chairman.

original uw logo

1975 — United Community Funds joined 2,200 local United Ways around the country by becoming the United Way of Sangamon County. The organization was under the leadership of Halbert A. Schussele as President and William R. Schnirring as Campaign Chairman, and about $1,310,000 was raised during this year.

1980 — Howard C. Humphrey as President and Douglas S. Freyder as Campaign Chairman raised $1,850,000 during this year, and the organization’s name was changed to United Way of Sangamon County, Inc.

1981 — The campaign surpassed the 2 million dollar mark under the leadership of Paul F. Mahon, MD as President and Arthur F. Quem as Campaign Chairman.

1995 — The organization’s name was changed to the United Way of Central Illinois, Inc. to refelct the organization’s service throughout the region. During this year, Dr. Robert C. Hill was Chairman of the Board and Gary D. Neubauer was the Campaign Chairman. This campaign raised about $2,536,000.

1996 — Dr. Robert C. Hill was the President of the Board of Directors and Robert A. Stuart, Jr. was the Campaign Chair. $2,525,638 was raised during this year.

1997 — The United Way of Central Illinois implemented a 100% message, under which selected corporate gifts underwrote all expenses associated with the Community Fund. Volunteer leadership included Ronald L. Wanless as Board Chair and Richard D. Barclay as Campaign Chair. The campaigns raised $2,442,315 during this year.

2001 — Following the events of September 11, 2001, the United Way of Central Illinois raised $2,810,117, which was the most ever raised to that point. Volunteer leadership included Dr. Glen Cope as Board Chair and Gene and Elaine Wilkinson as Campaign Co-Chairs.

2006 — The campaign surpassed the 3 million dollar mark under the leadership of Harry Mitchell as Board Chair and Susan Wallace as Campaign Chair.

TODAY — United Way of Central Illinois is the largest private funder of health and human services in Sangamon County.

To learn about the history of United Way of America,click here.