Skip to main content


We’ve had several names, but one goal: Advance the common good by creating a better life for all. 

  • Born in 1941 out of the Lawrence business community’s desire to serve the most vulnerable members of our community efficiently, our first name was The Community Chest. Under the leadership of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, the Community Chest launched the first organized group fundraising effort of Lawrence residents, raising $9,000 for local social service agencies.
  • In the early 1950s, we were renamed the Lawrence United Fund and the number of community partners who benefited from the $46,000 fundraising efforts grew to 11.
  • We became the United Way of Douglas County in 1986, motivated by a changing comunity to focus on outcomes.
  • In 2009 we focused our efforts on recruiting the people and organizations who bring the passion, expertise and resources needed to ensure everyone in Douglas County can achieve education, health and self sufficiency, the  foundations of a good quality of life.