Philanthropy, Voluntarism, and Grantmaking

United Way of Mower County, Inc.

Live United

Austin, MN


United Way of Mower County is dedicated to enhancing the ability of the community to care for one another. This is accomplished by volunteers who assess needs, raise funds, allocate resources, and encourage cooperative efforts to build a better community.

Ruling Year


Executive Director

Molly Lanke

Main Address

PO Box 605

Austin, MN 55912 USA


United Way





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (T12)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (S12)

Philanthropy / Charity / Voluntarism Promotion (General) (T50)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

United Way fights for the education, health, financial stability, and basic needs of every person in Mower County. We work to improve lives and community conditions by bringing people and resources together to focus on the local issues that matter most. We operate by the philosophy that together, united, we accomplish far more than any individual or single agency could achieve alone. United Way taps into the collective power of personal giving, corporate participation, expertise in the delivery of human services, the passion of volunteers and the work of like-minded organizations. United Way leverages contributions to make a greater impact by combining them with volunteer efforts, advocacy, and best practices – all focused on community priorities. United Way’s unique position allows us to work across traditional boundaries between the private, non-profit and public sectors so that we’re able to multiply the impact results of charitable dollars.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Community Investment

Where we work

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

The UWMC envisions Mower County as a place where every community is a strong one, with jobs that pay a livable wage, good schools, and a healthy environment. Locally, we engage people and organizations in innovative solutions that are transforming that vision into reality.

Things are not business as usual within the organization as we strive to make further changes that will enhance our work and stretch the limited resources we have. We are implementing processes and procedures that demand accountability and ensure real, lasting progress is made. The 25 agencies we currently support will be challenged to take risks and think outside the box in terms of programming, funding, and operations. All programs receiving United Way funding must establish measurable goals and outcomes, report accurately on goals and outcomes, and execute programs in a way that supports these measures. This allows us to track the effectiveness of our work and address potential needs, issues, or gaps. We maximize impact and relevance by sharing community information that is up-to-date and accurate. We operate efficiently by making sure no two agencies are doing the same exact work. We initiate collaborations among like-minded programs that offer support that allows agencies to make the most of their time and resources. We make informed decisions by educating volunteers, engaging content and context experts, and by conducting frequent research and data analysis. Most importantly, we foster relationships that are critical to Mower County by connecting people, agencies, and promise.

There are no similar programs in Mower County. United Way looks at the spectrum of issues and needs that affect individuals, families, and communities in Mower County. Our strategy is to locate and mobilize resources and align them for impact. Instead of having small pockets of money and effort scattered across a broad swath of need, United Way ensures that resources are targeted strategically to achieve the most powerful results in the critical areas of Education, Income, Health, and Basic Needs. United Way occupies a unique philanthropic niche by considering the total picture of what it takes for people to succeed and communities to prosper. We focus on long term solutions while we help highly-effective human service programs meet immediate needs.

We will know our work is effective when agencies meet their goals and community statistics improve. Each United Way-supported program measures its effectiveness through its outcomes and success stories. When agencies are meeting their outcomes, their clients become stabilized and no longer need their services, that is a success. While we do see change happening, we still have many new families in our community that need a hand up and resources to become stable. It is vital that with the help of our agency partners, our employers, our schools, and citizens, we continually adapt to the changing needs of our community. What works today will not necessarily work tomorrow. The willingness to learn, and work together is key to the health and strength of our community. While it is hard to measure the effectiveness of programs through so much change, we know we are successful when groups organically reach out for help and share resources to solve problems. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, but we are definitely heading in the right direction.

Many agency programs would not exist without the help of the United Way. Because we focus on the areas of Education, Income, Health and Basic Needs, we are ensuring that families have what they need to thrive in Mower County. While not every family is currently stabilized, our funded programs provide the essential tools to get them there. Whether it is food support, educational tools, mental health programs, transportation or job skills, help is available.   By focusing on these four specific areas, United Way support offers a ‘full-circle’ effect for Mower County. A strong economy depends on the good health of its citizens. Healthy people may be better able to work and secure higher levels of education, which contributes to personal wealth and regional prosperity. And when basic needs are met, we all prosper.   In the past twenty years alone, the UWMC has invested over $15,000,000 in local programs, averaging 26 funded partner organizations per year. This has been accomplished by engaging more than 3,000 volunteers, conducting 20 fundraising campaigns, and mobilizing the caring power of the fourteen communities we serve.

External Reviews



United Way of Mower County, Inc.

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FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

See what's included

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Not Applicable


Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Not Applicable


Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Not Applicable


Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Not Applicable


Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Not Applicable