Rappahannock United Way has been an integral part of our local community for over 75 years. RUW was formed in 1939 as the Community Care Fund: a voluntary community organization intent upon raising and distributing charitable contributions to benefit the community. Since then the organization has grown and evolved to meet the needs of our community. Thousands of volunteers have given their time through Rappahannock United Way to improve the social and economic well-being of residents in Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania, and Stafford counties and the city of Fredericksburg.
Incorporated in the state of Virginia, Rappahannock United Way is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3), charitable organization, recognized by the IRS as a tax deductible charity.
The Community Fund - 1939
C. O'Connor Goolrick served as the first president of the Community Care Fund. Other officers were John L. Pratt, Vice President and Cecil L. Reid, Treasurer. Member agencies were Salvation Army, Mary Washington Hospital Charity Fund, Nursery School, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Children's Home Society. The budget that first year was $15,000.
Becoming Rappahannock United Way
In 1962, under the leadership of Lemual Houston, the organization changed its name to United Givers Fund of Fredericksburg, Stafford, and Spotsylvania. The budget that year was $52,909. With the United Way name becoming prominent nationally, its name was changed to Rappahannock United Way in 1977 under RUW President William H. Ledbetter, Jr. That year, $180,433 was raised to support local agencies.
Making an Impact
In 2009, RUW began the process of becoming a Community Impact United Way. To make this transition, RUW turned to our community to learn about the needs and goals of the Greater Fredericksburg region in the areas of Education, Income and Health. Our Community Impact Task Force determined specific strategies to address local needs, and from that RUW created 10 outcomes that we need to achieve in our area in order to address the root causes of poverty. These outcomes currently serve as our funding and programming priorities.
Since establishing those priorities, RUW has developed a funding approach that relies on measurable outcomes. Each funded agency must demonstrate that their program is having an impact in our community. This approach ensures that we are investing our donor dollars in the programs that will have the greatest impact in the community.