aka UWCL   |   Alexandria, LA   |


Our Mission: The United Way of Central Louisiana empowers members of the community through access and improvement in education, health and financial stability.

Ruling year info


President / CEO

Michelle Purl

Main address

1101 Fourth St Suite 202

Alexandria, LA 71301 USA

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NTEE code info

Fund Raising Organizations That Cross Categories includes Community Funds/Trusts and Federated Giving Programs) e.g. United Way (T70)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Our eight-parish region of central Louisiana is quite rural, with about 325,000 people spread around an area the size of Massachusetts. Half of that population resides in the central urban parish (Rapides). The entire area has high levels of poverty, with the social isolation that poverty and distance create. Educational attainment is low, and more than half our households have income levels below a minimum sustainable budget. There are few large employers other than school districts and local government.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Funding for human services

The United Way of Central Louisiana is a coalition of human service agencies, businesses, government agencies, volunteers, donors, and other leaders to advance the common good - a "think tank for helping each other," in other words. Our historical roots lie in mobilizing resources to address human needs through a network of local agencies. We are broadening our vision in terms of how we achieve an impact in the community, funding many local programs but also creating needed programs that don't exist already. We fund programs in eight central Louisiana parishes (Guidestar only allows us to list five on the map): Avoyelles, Catahoula, Concordia, Grant, LaSalle, Rapides, Vernon, and Winn.

Population(s) Served

Connecting local residents to needed services through an online database and 211 call centers

Population(s) Served

Powered by a three-year grant from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation, the Strong Neighborhoods Project focuses on three census tracts in Pineville, Louisiana. This area includes both severe poverty and significant wealth. Our goal is to connect neighbors to each other, identifying their skills and interests as well as their needs so that neighbors can help each other and forge lasting relationships. The Project is built around seven "pillars" of a strong neighborhood: the Quality of Care neighbors provide for each other; Medical and Mental Health; Child Wellbeing; Economic health; quality food; environmental health; and public safety. This idea was taken from "The Abundant Community" by Peter Block and John McKnight.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

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

We work to connect people and resources in a community with high poverty and isolation. We interpret this mission in five primary ways:
* helping people achieve educational goals from early childhood past high school graduation;
* helping people be financially stable;
* helping people achieve better levels of health;
* providing basic needs such as food and shelter; and
* improving the not-for-profit sector in central Louisiana.
We are in essence a local think tank for helping people, but also much more - a forum to identify community issues, then develop evidence-based solutions, and to secure the resources to apply those solutions and strategies.

We connect people to each other through voluntarism, and we connect agencies to each other - sometimes working to establish new needed agencies such as the Family Justice Center in recent years. We also help consolidate agencies to put scarce resources to work more efficiently and effectively. We recently created the Strong Neighborhood Project, a collective impact project with many public and private organizations that builds upon - and is guided by - the strengths and assets of neighborhood residents. We support the project as the backbone organization.

1. We facilitate community discussions and research to determine local needs and issues. We then create strategies based on that information to make our community a better place for all.

a. Education: Years ago, we issued a request for proposals to help very young children become ready to enter pre-K at age four. Our local school systems had reported that a third to one-half of 4-year-olds were behind by age four. As a result, we began funding an evidence-based program known as Parents as Teachers. We are also sponsoring The Leader in Me at Pineville Elementary School, a school transformation process based on Stephen Covey's "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People." TLIM develops "soft skills" and leadership among children, improving attendance and grades while decreasing behavioral problems. We've created a Child Wellbeing Roundtable to facilitate this work. We also fund the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and YWCA to provide broad programs for kids across our region.

b. Income Stability: We created a Financial Stability Roundtable of bankers and financial professionals to host a conversation on how we could help more local households become financially stable. Out of this Roundtable grew our VITA program - certified volunteers who file tax returns for low- to moderate-income households at no charge. We are working to create a Financial Success Center, where volunteers can sit down with residents and help them create budgets, repair credit scores, and so forth. We facilitate financial education workshops in low-income neighborhoods (part of our Strong Neighborhoods Project). We fund the Homeless Coalition to help people stabilize.

c. Health: We partner with our regional Office of Public Health to host community meetings. We provide FamilyWize prescription discount cares that have saved local families over $1,000,000 to date. Partnering with the Louisiana College School of Nursing and local hospitals, we are conducting health screenings and educational workshops in target neighborhoods.

d. Basic Needs: We allocate funds to local shelters, a free lunch program, and domestic violence programs. We also support the leadership of our local Homeless Coalition in pulling this work together, and we convene the local disaster response effort known as the Central Louisiana VOAD.

e. System Excellence: We created the Agency Excellence Initiative, certifying local agencies who demonstrate a high level of excellence according to our "Agency Excellence Workbook," a 75-page checklist with eight modules that spell out what excellence means across all facets of nonprofit work. We fund 211 to help people know where to go for help.

2. To enable this work, we raise funds through payroll deduction and other donations, and then our teams of community volunteers allocate the funds to local programs after visiting and reviewing their work. We also secure program-specific grants.

We have a 30-member Board of Directors, drawn from across our community, in addition to a growing network of community volunteers in various programs. We have six staff members, two of which are funded by a grant for the Strong Neighborhood Project. We typically have a healthy cash reserve of six to eight months of operations, since our region is prone to either hurricanes or evacuations from further south. This also gives us the strength to try new initiatives such as 211, The Leader in Me, the Strong Neighborhood Project, and others.

Our CEO, David Britt, holds an earned doctorate and has 36 years of management experience in the not-for-profit and higher education sectors. He has taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels for the University of Louisville, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisiana State University-Shreveport, and Louisiana College.

Our Director of Operations, Debbie Dove, has 31 years of experience with this United Way and knows our finances extremely well. Sharon Greiner, our Director of Community Investment, has 14 years of experience with us and many years of previous experience with the not-for-profit sector. Abby Blocker is our Vice President of Campaign and Marketing, coming to us from the Capital Area United Way in Baton Rouge.

Since 1954 we have enabled a variety of local agencies and community programs to flourish, from the Salvation Army to Scouts to our more recent and innovative Homeless Coalition. Our Strong Neighborhood Project is our latest success; as a collective impact effort, we have connected more community partners than ever before in a focused effort to improve the quality of life for residents of three census tracts with very high rates of poverty. This innovative project bridges the gulf between formal social service systems and the personal and interpersonal bonds that create community.

We are now conducting a strategic planning initiative with a respected outside consultant. Our business model has shifted from old (take in money, fund member agencies) to a community impact model that engages a growing number of community residents and leaders to focus on our community's most serious concerns.



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


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Board of directors
as of 11/21/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Ms. Toma Epps

First Federal Bank of Louisiana

Term: 2021 - 2021

Board co-chair

Rev. Frank Jackson

St. Matthew Baptist Church

Term: 2021 - 2021

Toma Epps

First Federal Bank of Louisiana

Christy Frederic

City of Pineville

Nycole Johnson

Red River Bank

Donna Mathews

Office of Public Health

Lenná Mouton

Rapides Parish Library

Amy Pillarisetti


Brooke Taylor


Carly Long

Family Justice Center

Lisa Doney


Tim Heflin

St. James Episcopal Church

Eric Kent

Pathway Advisors

Sandra McQuain

England Authority

Randy Ponthie

Southern Heritage Bank

John Rowan

LSU Alexandria

Susan Sullivan

Montessori School

Kea Surgent


Shameka Turner

We Care Behavioral Health

Kitty Wynn

Central Louisiana Human Services District

Tim Williford

Salvation Army

Jonathan Bolen

Rapides Area Planning Commission

Sally Cowan

Cenla Community Action Committee

Evelyn Dean

Louisiana College

Frank Jackson

St. Matthew Baptist Church

Mary Beth Palmer

Louisiana College

Patti Pate

Meyer Meyer Lacroix Hixson

Marshall Pierite

Tunica Biloxi Tribe

LeCrete Robinson

State Representative District 26

John Shaughnessy

CHRISTUS Cabrini Hospital

Shantelle Slaughter

USDA Forest Service

Gail Wilking

Town of Ball

Kathleen Nolen

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    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? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/28/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation