Steelcase Foundation and Heart of West Michigan United Way

Steelcase has a long history of supporting Heart of West Michigan United Way (HWMUW). Last year, with some help from the Steelcase Foundation, Steelcase Inc.’s United Way campaign raised $1,132,719, with $602,000 raised through employee contributions.

This year, the Foundation has awarded $450,000 to HWMUW, directing $400,000 to its Community Investment Fund (including $200,000 in Steelcase Inc. matching gift monies), and $50,000 toward donor, volunteer, and community engagement efforts, to ensure HWMUW has a thriving donor pool, and can support our community for years to come.

Through its Community Investment Fund, HWMUW will serve the nearly 90,000 households in Kent County who are unable to meet their basic needs, and partner with its 51 support agencies to invest in solutions that reduce poverty in West Michigan. HWMUW monitors partner agency progress closely using quantitative indicators that hold organizations accountable in their efforts to reduce poverty. Examples of family stability, youth education, and financial security outcomes include:

  • Increases in STEM proficiency and engagement in STEM subjects among middle school youth;
  • Assisting individuals to obtain employment and achieve economic stability;
  • Empowering residents to obtain and/or maintain safe, stable, and affordable housing.

HWMUW collects data and meets with partner agency program staff biannually to ensure organizations are making positive process toward these outcomes.

HWMUW has been a great partner through its active leadership in pressing community concerns, and its unique multi-dimensional role as funder, accountability partner, fundraiser, convener, incubator, and service provider. We’re enthusiastic about the pivotal role United Way plays in collective efforts to reduce poverty in West Michigan.