About the Alliance

About the Lenawee Community Foundation & Lenawee United Way Alliance

Many people were surprised to learn recently that the Lenawee United Way and the Lenawee Community Foundation were forming an alliance.  While all of the details haven’t been worked out yet and we are awaiting a vote by the United Way members, following are some questions you may have about the proposed alliance with answers.

  1. How did the alliance discussion begin?

Lenawee United Way reached out to its state and national associations, neighboring United Ways, and Lenawee Community Foundation to explore if an alliance could increase their capability to serve the community, while increasing operating efficiency in a time of declining revenues and staff turnover.  Because both United Way and the Community Foundation exist solely to serve the local community and have similar missions, this alliance made the most sense.

  1. What will happen to the annual United Way campaign?

An annual campaign will continue under the name Lenawee Cares.  The United Way name and logo will not be utilized, and we will no longer have to pay a percentage of all revenue to the national and state associations.  Current United Way volunteers, who wish to continue, will assist with the Lenawee Cares campaign.  The Young Leaders and Pillars Club concepts will continue.  10% of the funds raised the first year will be placed in a permanent endowment to begin to build for the future.

  1. What will happen to the United Way programs?

Grant making to local nonprofits will continue through Lenawee Cares.  The Emerging Leaders program was not offered this year, however options to reinstate the program are being explored.  The FamilyWize prescription discount card partners with 100,000 nonprofits, and is free; anyone can register online or download the app, whether insured or uninsured.  The 2-1-1 information and referral contract with Jackson will be discontinued, because the cost currently exceeds $13 per call and our community can be better served by utilizing local resources.  Information and referral will continue to be available through our local nonprofits and Lenawee Community Foundation, which has provided a community resource directory since 2008, and has staff members with a combined 40 years of experience in this area.

  1. Will I be able to designate my gift?

Yes. You will be able to designate to any 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Lenawee County.

  1. What will be the funding focus of Lenawee Cares?

Lenawee Cares will focus on health and human services with an emphasis on meeting basic needs.

  1. What will happen to the current United Way office?

The office will close in the near future.  This will result in a significant decrease in overhead, and allow more funds to go towards local nonprofit programs and services.

  1. What will the United Way board of directors do?

The Board of Directors will wrap up all business.  Two members will join the Lenawee Community Foundation board of directors.  Any board member, who wishes to continue to volunteer, will be welcomed to assist with Lenawee Community Foundation’s annual Lenawee Cares campaign and serve on the Foundation’s Health & Human Services advisory board to make grant recommendations.

  1. What is the ultimate goal?

To best serve our Lenawee County.  We will significantly decrease overhead, increase service to local residents, and build a better community.  We will grow philanthropy for Lenawee’s future.

Do you have other questions?  If so, please don’t hesitate to contact the Lenawee Community Foundation at (517) 423-1729.


Suann Hammersmith, President and CEO of the Lenawee Community Foundation, assists individuals, corporations, and organizations in fulfilling their charitable goals for our community.  Services include: planned giving; information about charities and places to volunteer; and presentations about philanthropy.  If you have questions or would like assistance, contact the Lenawee Community Foundation at (517) 423-1729 or sue@lenaweecf.com.