United Way of Lee County

Our Mission

To optimize collective resources supporting human service programs that improve the quality of life in Lee County.

The United Way of Lee County partners with many different non-profit organizations for various human service programs which advance the common good of Lee County.  United Way serves as the critical link bringing together our diverse communities to build stronger, healthier, and more sustainable communities as cost efficient and effective as possible.


Our History

1958: Community Chest

The idea to have one local fund drive that benefited many local non-profit agencies goes back to 1958 and Dixon’s first Community Chest.  Throughout the country, communities generally adopted either “Community Chest” or “United Fund” as the name of their local fund drive.

For that first campaign, Dixon adopted the Community Chest’s national slogan: “Everybody Benefits – Everybody Gives.”  The community-wide effort sought to reduce the many individual fund-raising efforts by local non-profits, consolidating their efforts into one local drive that helped them all.

Eight Dixon organizations received funding from that October 1958 drive: Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Salvation Army, Red Cross, Goodfellows, Jaycees Baseball (later known as Al Morrison Baseball), Dixon Youth Center (later known as the Dixon YMCA), and Truman School (later known as Kreider Services).

1965: Dixon United Fund

In 1965, the Dixon Community Chest changed its identity to the Dixon United Fund, joining the growing United Fund movement around the United States.  By 1968, the organization’s 10-year anniversary, the number of Dixon United Fund agencies had grown to 14.

1983: Dixon Area United Way

In 1983, the organization officially changed its name to the Dixon Area United Way.  This new name reflected the expanded reach of the organization to the “Dixon Area,” and joined the nation’s growing number of “United Funds” that had changed to “United Ways.”  The 1983 organization supported 19 agencies.

2000: United Way of Lee County

In 2000, the Dixon Area United Way officially became the United Way of Lee County.  The move reflected the expanded areas that were benefiting from United Way dollars.  The new name also helped pave the way for expanded fundraising efforts in more Lee County communities, as well as grow the potential for more services provide in Lee County.

Financial Accountability

Lee County organizations benefit from your donations

With the help of the Lee County community, United Way of Lee County will provide needed funding to 29 local non-profit organizations during the 2023-2024 funding cycle.  In addition, we fund community impact initiatives such as 211,  Summer Eats lunch program, Day of Caring, Free Little Libraries and our Community Impact Committee is continuously researching additional needs in our county.  Click here to learn about each United Way Partner Agency.

Less than 1 cent per dollar donated is directed to United Way Worldwide for the use of the United Way logos, training materials, online resources and more.  This fee to UWW is paid for by a designated gift from a local agency, so 100% of your donation stays local.