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90th Anniversary “Did You Know”

90 Years of Caring – in the community, for the community


Led by District Court Judge Danny Macpherson, more than 100 prominent citizens voted to organize the first Albuquerque Community Chest on June 7, 1934. In October, 250 volunteers attended the campaign kick-off breakfast at the Franciscan Hotel and heard encouragement from Dr. James F. Zimmerman, President of the University of New Mexico.

$33,000 was raised for Boy Scouts, Chistina Kent Day Nursery, the Salvation Army, Traveler’s Aid, St. Anthony’s Orphanage, the Y.W.C.A., the Girl Scouts, and The American Red Cross.

founding members
Founding Members


Ten years after the founding of the community chest, volunteers raised $121,000 for 14 agencies. Campaign slogan: “Come On, Contribute!”


Community Chest volunteers went door-to-door collecting “Red Feather Dollars.” Those who wished to contribute left their porch lights on. 1952 – 23 agencies received $185,000. Funding shifted towards human services and educational opportunities.

1956 – Name was changed to “United Community Chest” and included a 21-member board.
1958 – Campaign slogan: “You have a hand in so many people’s happiness”


The 1960s, marked by turmoil, violence at home and war abroad, proved a significant testing time for the United Community Fund. Following four campaigns that failed to meet their goal, the UCF began a transition that resulted not only in the most successful campaigns ever, first reaching, then surpassing the million-dollar mark, but in creating a broader, more powerful base of support in the community as well. Methods of governance, priorities and leadership style in effect since the 1930s were examined and changed to keep pace with changing times

1961 – United Community Chest renamed the United Community Fund (UCF)
1962 – First year for use of payroll deductions. Campaign slogan: “One gift works many wonders”
1964 – Campaign slogan: “Think a million” (First million-dollar campaign achieved)
1969 – Campaign slogan: “Sock it to UCF” was accompanied by the call to ‘give the fair share way – one hour’s pay per month’ to 27 health and welfare agencies.”


The whirlwind of social change cooled and slowed as the decade progressed, runaway inflation plagued the economy, and the mood of Americans turned inward. The declining economy put Albuquerque’s off-again, on-again boom on hold as the city attempted to increase the number of jobs available by luring business and industry, particularly high-tech industry, to this corner of the Sunbelt.

Despite these challenges, the 1970s brought several spectacularly successful and very memorable campaigns, among them the 1974 appeal which exceeded the two-million-dollar mark for the first time.


Name change: United Way of Greater Albuquerque to more clearly identify the local agency with the national service headquarters, United Way of America.


Returning fiscal responsibility to the states from the federal government and the transition from an industrial to a high-tech economy meant millions of Americans were unemployed and had hard times at levels unseen since the Depression. The burden of federally-supported health, education, and social programs was shifted to the states and local communities. Social problems multiplied, and fewer resources were available to help more needy people. The United Way took on greater importance than ever before in more people’s lives, as Albuquerqueans responded generously to assist the sick, the elderly, the handicapped, and the displaced – all those caught in a challenging era of transition.

1980 – United Way of Greater Albuquerque became a four county United Way in 1980.
1982 – First time United Way raised over $4 million in a campaign. First year that contributors could designate their contributions to any 501(C)(3). The Loaned Executive program was expanded to include full-time loaned executives who served during the 11-week fall campaign.
1983 – HELPLINE began to provide information and referral services to callers in the areas of health, education, and social services. Approximately 300 calls a month.


United Way of Greater Albuquerque created the New Mexico Gang Strategies Coalition to sponsor a gang prevention and intervention proposal for a grant offered by the New Mexico Youth Authority. The Coalition included 30 task force members representing youth service agencies such as schools, police, corrections, and social services. They met monthly to discuss anti-violence initiatives and other city agency activities directed toward juveniles.


In the Early 2000s, with feedback from donors and corporate partners, UW adopted a new funding strategy, a competitive process instead of funding Member Agencies.

2002 – July 2002 saw the rollout of UW’s new funding strategies. For the first time in its history, UW eliminated the member agency model it had used for over 60 years, allowing any 501(C)(3) health and human service agency in central New Mexico to apply for funding in an open competitive process. Over 70 organizations applied, with 56 agencies funded, totaling $4,581,670 within three research-based Priority Focus Areas.

2002 – Women in Leadership established

2003 – Young Leaders Society established

2005 – “When you give, you get” advertising campaign

2007 – Family Advocacy Center was established as a joint effort between the City of Albuquerque and United Way of Central New Mexico

2008 – Hispano Philanthropic Society established

2009 – $25 million raised


2011 – NM Tax Help was funded in 1979 at CNM; CNM later lost State funding, and the IRS approached UWCNM to take over by sponsoring and administering it.

NM Tax Help Logo

2013 – Mission: Graduate launched to increase educational outcomes. Goal: “to improve the lives of New Mexico’s youth and promote a prosperous, local economy.”

2015Guys Give established

Guys Give Logo

2018 – Mission: Families launched to help families build their resilience. Goal: “Reducing the number of adverse childhood experiences in central New Mexico.”


2020 – DEI United was instituted at UWNCNM.

2021 – UWCNM Board votes to include Santa Fe County in UWCNMs service area.

2022 – Name changed to United Way of North Central New Mexico.

2022 – Ride United was established in Santa Fe County.

Ride United Logo


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