United Way of Troy, Ohio


In 1887, a Denver woman, a priest, two ministers and a rabbi recognized the need for cooperative action to address their city’s welfare problems. Frances Wisebart Jacobs, the Rev. Myron W. Reed, Msgr. William J.O’Ryan, Dean H. Martyn Hart and Rabbi William S. Friedman put their heads together to plan the first united campaign for ten health and welfare agencies. They created an organization to serve as an agent to collect funds for local charities, as well as to coordinate relief services, counsel and refer clients to cooperating agencies, and make emergency assistance grants in cases which could not be referred. That year, Denver raised $21,700 and created a movement that would spread throughout the country to become the United Way. Over 118 years later, United Way is still focused on mobilizing the caring power of communities and making a difference in people’s lives. United Way Worldwide now incorporates over 1800 organizations in 46 nations across the globe.

In 1958 a loose organization of charitable agencies in Troy, Ohio founded the Troy United Fund. In prior years this group of agencies had operated a “Community Chest”, funded by an annual campaign that was organized by a rotating leadership of member agencies. The Troy United Fund grew to a point that it could no longer be operated solely by volunteers, and management services were contracted by the Troy Area Chamber of Commerce. By 1987 the day to day activities of the United Fund had increased significantly, and the board of trustees decided to establish an independently administered year round operation governed by a board of local volunteers.

In order to better identify its membership of a globally recognized brand, the Troy United Fund board approved the decision to change its name to United Way of Troy, Ohio in 2001. While an affiliate of United Way Worldwide, United Way of Troy remains an autonomous, self-governing entity that serves its local community. While the name has changed, the mission remains the same- to assess, on a continuing basis, the need for human services in the community and to develop the financial resources needed to meet those needs.