Our History

For more than 93 years, United Way of El Paso County has focused on creating long-term, lasting change to make El Paso a better community for everyone. UWEPC also serves as the manager/fiscal agent for the city, county, state and federal employee campaigns. 




In 1923, to avoid duplicating fundraising efforts and expenses, members of the Kiwanis Club established the El Paso Community Chest. This was El Paso’s first community-wide fundraising campaign on behalf of local “charitable and character building organizations.” It ran a one-week campaign to raise $150,000 for charity and benevolent work. 




By 1957, the Community Chest became the United Fund of El Paso and El Paso County. At that time, 16 agencies were represented including human service agencies and for the first time health organizations. Previously, the Chest was primarily an association of charitable agencies but The United Fund was based on the premise that each donor was a member of corporation. Representatives of the givers now made decisions rather than the agencies. 




The United Fund became United Way of El Paso County in 1976. The functional concept of the organization broadened to what is still today’s comprehensive system for addressing community problems through planning, fundraising and allocations. It led to the formation of an independent organization that’s governed by a local board of directors who are business, labor and education representatives as well as community volunteers. Since then, UWEPC has conducted an annual community-wide, primarily workplace giving campaign and by contract serves as the fiscal agent and manager of the city, county, state and federal employee’s charitable campaign. 




The most significant organizational change since the mid-70s occurred in 2004. Challenged by the ever changing economic and social conditions, UWEPC started a journey toward Community Impact that would create lasting change beyond the dollars raised or the number of programs/services funded. 




In 2007, the board of directors approved the strategic plan with a new mission and vision statement. Moreover, it gave UWEPC three impact areas to focus on– Education, Basic Needs and Income. 





United Way builds strategies that weave diverse resources in clearly defined places to collectively improve outcomes for children, youth, families and neighborhoods. Through the caring power of the community, UWEPC pilots community partnerships to create a positive impact. We also create a collaborative culture through volunteerism, service learning and networking. 


2017 - 2018


After an extensive process, the board of directors approved a new strategic plan in January 2017 that reframes our business model from funder of agencies to connector of resources. Through the community's feedback, an overlay of research and expert data, and discussions with stakeholders and community leaders, United Way strategically narrowed down its impact priorities. Simultaneously, United Way also launched an inclusive process to develop a new funding model.