United Way of Deschutes County Kicks Off Annual Fundraising Campaign

Goal to Raise $1.23 Million to Benefit Central Oregonians

On September 26th, United Way of Deschutes County officially began its 2018-2019 community and workplace fundraising campaign. At its Campaign Kickoff event that took place at the Deschutes Brewery Mountain Room, the nonprofit announced its fundraising goal to nonprofit and corporate partners, volunteers, and community members. This year, the goal is $1.23 million.

Every year, our local United Way launches a community campaign to raise funds used to address the most pertinent, unmet needs of individuals and families in our Central Oregon community. The campaign includes not only corporate leaders, but also employees from businesses and nonprofits all over our region, as well as individual community members. Funds are raised for a number of different United Way programs, as well as for other local, regional, and national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations based on donor wishes.

For 66 years, United Way of Deschutes County has focused on health, education, and financial stability as the foundation of wellbeing and opportunity. Recently, the organization made an upstream move to also take on childhood trauma (aka Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACEs) as a root cause of the immediate problems faced by so many in our community. For years, toxic stress during childhood has been known to cause physical, behavioral, and mental health issues later in life. To combat the impacts of trauma, the organization has also taken on building resilience: the ability to manage hardship, cope with stress, and bounce back.

“Focusing on building resilience and reducing the impacts of trauma is a big deal, in part because trauma spans every segment of our community,” said Diana Fischetti, director of development and marketing at United Way. “Trauma does not know socioeconomic status or age or race or gender or sexual orientation boundaries. Trauma affects each and every one of us.”

United Way works to improve lives and foster a healthier Central Oregon in four main ways.

First, they provide a free donation platform for over 100 local businesses and nonprofits in our region.

Second, through grantmaking, the nonprofit provides financial support to local, direct-service organizations and programs that focus on a wide range of human health and wellness issues in our region, from child abuse to homelessness to youth development. Recently, United Way announced the award of $309,000 in grants to 20 local agencies, including Tax-Aide and 2-1-1.

Third, the organization conducts needs assessment. One study recently commissioned by United Way – the ALICE Project – found that up to 49% of households in Central Oregon are either already living below the federal poverty level or one unexpected expense away from financial crisis.

Fourth, United Way serves as an incubator for community movements, initiatives, and programs that are lacking in our region by bringing together leaders and partners to construct answers to those unmet needs. Following the successful incubation and spinoff of the now-independent nonprofit Thrive, United Way is now incubating TRACEs (Trauma, Resilience, and Adverse Childhood Experiences). TRACEs is a community-wide movement focused on building resilience. The goal is to dramatically improve the health and well-being of our community by addressing childhood trauma as a root cause of regional health issues.


United Way of Deschutes County fights for the health, education, financial stability, and resilience of every person in our community. As the backbone of opportunity and success, these things are the center of the nonprofit’s efforts.  Over the past 15 years, the organization has raised and allocated over $ 15 million for effective and efficient local social service programs. In any form, supporting United Way of Deschutes County means working toward our community’s human and social service needs to improve lives and create measureable, sustained change. To learn more or donate, visit or call (541)389-6507.