To provide a greater understanding of United Way of San Joaquin County (UWSJC), we've answered several frequently asked questions.

Since 1926, United Way of San Joaquin County (UWSJC)’s mission has been to improve the lives of people by mobilizing the caring power of communities. This mission statement stands today and is at the core of how we address San Joaquin County’s more challenging issues.

United Way is engaged in more than 1,110 communities across more than 37 countries and territories worldwide. As one of the largest privately funded nonprofits in the world, we work with partners to fuel solutions that build stronger, more equitable communities. We're improving education, strengthening economic mobility and making communities healthier. But we don't do it alone. Nearly 1.5 million volunteers and 6.8 million donors are engaged with us across the world to advance community-based and community-led solutions.

We bring people and organizations together to do more together than any of us can do on our own. Employers, nonprofits, government, faith organizations, educators, labor, health providers, community leaders, youth and many others partner with us. Together, we tackle some of the world's toughest issues. We're after solutions that create real change. It's not simple, or easy. But we're making progress, and seeing results.

Our primary focus is to support and work directly with San Joaquin County (SJC) nonprofits to advance their work as effective and efficient agencies of care. We help nonprofits (over 2,000 nonprofits in SJC) build their own internal capacity so they in turn can help their clients, communities and causes.

For every dollar donated to United Way, 85 cents goes to our mission.

Overhead rates vary at local United Ways. In the U.S, the local United Way network-wide overhead rate is 15%, which is well below industry standards. United Way helps hundreds of other nonprofits maintain low overhead rates, too.

Historically, UWSJC has a long-standing role in the start-up of new nonprofits. Initial funding and consultative support from United Way has helped to launch the Stockton Police Chaplaincy, Council for the Spanish Speaking, Hospice of San Joaquin and the Lodi 180 teen center to name a few.

Programs Include: helping provision of training and education to nonprofit teams, strategic planning, finding resources, provision of partnership alignment with other nonprofits, peer support and more. The opening of the NEST—Nonprofit Enterprise Support Team is a 2,000 sq. st. Co-working space for nonprofits where training and education advanced the capacity of small to medium sized nonprofits.

Working examples:

  • United Way of San Joaquin helped distribute food boxes to low-income housing projects with Amazon and Second Harvest of the Greater SJ Valley.

  • United Way of San Joaquin helped to mobilize 500 volunteers for the Point In Time County in the County which helps to survey community members in the encampments.

  • United Way of San Joaquin as the neutral convener for the Connected Communities Network (CCN) has brought together over 100 nonprofit organizations to address social care via one united coordinate care system.

While we have many different initiatives we support each year, UWSJC’s focus for the past three years has been on two primary focus areas—homelessness and education. We call these our “social impact” areas of support.

For example, UWSJC has dedicated resources to be part of the “boots on the ground” team in providing support to our Shelter Providers in addressing homelessness. And UWSJC equally is dedicated to working with our SJC Office of Education to advance support to reducing chronic absenteeism and provide systems of referral support using a technological platform (CCN) to direct students and families for services.

In the advent of natural or emergency disaster (such as the pandemic) UWSJC is the “go to” agency for volunteer mobilization and support during these times of crisis. (COVID-19 Pandemic, Wild Fires)

Working Examples:

  • Directing city and county funds to shelter agencies serving as an administrative manager to oversee dissemination of dollars and management of stated project. (Pandemic level support).

  • Launched the county wide Mask On campaign and distributed over 100,000 Covid-19 prevention kits.

  • Organizing large scale events such as the Point in Time Count, setting up warming centers and cooling centers.

  • Research is key—UWSJC recently completed an encampment survey, EveryHumanBeing video series and white paper on homelessness.

  • Supported the City of Stockton and the Children’s Home of Stockton in the launch of the Catalyst program.

Workplace Giving Campaigns allows employees working within a company to make donations using payroll deduction.

Each employee can choose to direct funds to their favorite nonprofits or to UWSJC directly. Those funds are then “pooled” with other donors—checks are then distributed quarterly to each nonprofit based on the funds generated. UWSJC vets and reviews all gifts to each nonprofit to ensure that every nonprofit who receives funds is high functioning and meets their nonprofit status as a recognized 501(c)3.


Since UWSJC’s beginnings in 1926 over $100M has been raised and directed back to SJC nonprofits in support of their own mission or cause. In 2022, over 300 nonprofits were supported by a total of over $1.2M.

As is typical of most nonprofit contributions, using the payroll deduction system, 15% of each donation is credited back to UWSJC to support the payroll system, check distribution and income tax letters to each donor. This is not unique to UWSJC, but all other nonprofits who manage donations.

Response to natural and emergency disasters worldwide

Supporting our nonprofits

Money designated to nonprofits

NEST (Nonprofit Enterprise Support Team)

NCBP (Nonprofit Capacity Building Program)

Nonprofit CEO Leadership Collaborative monthly leadership development

CCN (Connected Communities Network)

Startup services (Fiscal sponsorship)

We have two primary social impact areas; education and homelessness.

We address the educational needs and those for experiencing homelessness in our community through analyzing those needs, investing in local nonprofit agencies, building awareness of important issues, creating partnerships and developing prevention-based programs aimed at stemming problems before they take root. The funded agencies of United Way of San Joaquin County provide these much-needed services to make San Joaquin County a better place to live and work.

The main difference between nonprofits and foundations lies in the definition. Nonprofits such as UWSJC, is associated with social causes and purposes and in the case of United Ways uses funds to be immediately directed to other nonprofits or as we call it: a pass through system where funds are immediately re-directed to nonprofits.

United Way of San Joaquin has also engaged locally with our communities whether it is to convene groups for a common cause or to help provide support via advocacy and volunteerism.

Foundations on the other hand are charitable organizations whose founders are typically corporate groups, families, or individuals. They are traditionally seen as wealth management agencies and tend to make grants to other charities.


Locally UWSJC works closely with our local foundations as partners in supporting similar projects. Hosting joint Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training with Community Foundation and establishing joint Endowment with Lodi Community Foundation.

Pandemic and mobilization during emergency situations and the largest charity in the US

    UWSJC is a 501(c)3

    Our Current Staff is at 7 FTE’s and has a 12-member Board of Directors 

    Located at 777 N. Pershing Ave, Suite 2B 

    Established in 1926