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United Way Neighborhood Network

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The Neighborhood Network is United Way of Metro Chicago’s region-wide strategic initiative to address local community challenges by driving focused collaboration to achieve lasting change. We help neighborhoods solve their most pressing problems through community- specific strategies.

Community stakeholders−residents, schools, nonprofits, government officials, churches, hospitals, businesses−work with United Way to identify challenges that the collective group works toward solving.

Working with a lead partner in the community, United Way funds and guides the work of the Neighborhood Network toward achieving its collective goal.

Neighborhood Network


United Way of Metro Chicago implemented the United Way Neighborhood Network Initiative in 10 communities across the Chicago region. Communities were selected based on:

  • The level of need in the areas of education, income, and health
  • The number of United Way-funded and community partners already collaborating.

Neighborhood Network Communities:

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Our Goal: Bringing focused collaboration to big challenges to achieve sustainable results.

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The Collective Impact Model

United Way Neighborhood Network communities are grounded in collective impact—designed to break down siloed systems and practices in order to achieve more efficient and effective impact in communities. Serving as the backbone organization to achieve real change and achieve community goals, United Way:

  • Coordinates, participates and creates a “toolkit” for communities
  • Creates shared planning and measurement platforms
  • Brings a region-wide, community-wide lens to inform planning and actions
  • Works in partnership with community leaders
  • Provides best practice training, capacity building, leadership development and networking for community leaders
  • Enables access to corporate resources
  • Provides long-term sustainable funding

Our Service Area

Neighborhood Network Map

Our Collective Impact Model

Collective Impact

The United Way Neighborhood Network Initiative is supported by a Cornerstone Gift from BMO Harris Bank, and by generous contributions from ArcelorMittal, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, The George R. Kendall Foundation, Magellan Corporation, Mesirow Financial, Nicor Gas, Northwestern Medicine, Northwestern University, Peoples Gas, Serve Illinois-AmeriCorps, The Siemer Institute, Wells Fargo and The Whitehead Foundation.