Our history

United Way of Greater Stark County reaches a population of nearly 400,000, serving all of Stark County and parts of Carroll County. One of more than 1,350 local United Way organizations nationwide – United Way of Greater Stark County formed in 2004 with the merger of Alliance Area United Way, United Way of Central Stark County and United Way of Western Stark County.


Canton’s “community chest”

During the early 1900s, “community chests” began to form across the United States and Canada. These fundraising organizations collected money from local businesses and their employees to support projects in their respective communities.

The first community chest formed in Cleveland in 1913, drawing regional and national recognition. In 1922, a group of prominent Canton-area businessmen – William R. Timken, Paul Belden and H.C. Pontius – looked into the Cleveland organization and then set about forming their own community chest for the Canton area.

Mr. Pontius drew up a constitution and by-laws based upon the experience of the chests already in operation. A cardinal principle insisted on by Mr. Timken was that under no circumstances was the community chest to assume responsibility or direction of operation of the agencies.

The articles of incorporation were signed February 20, 1922 where nine principles were adopted:

To work out methods of cooperation between agencies
To eliminate superficial, unnecessary and overlapping work
To study local conditions, to make plans to fill existing gaps in social work
By official join action to bring about greater usefulness of public administrative departments
To inaugurate and carry out join activities for all agencies
By educational propaganda to acquaint the city with the service of the social agencies
To bring about consultation regarding budgets and effecting mutually agreed upon changes
To bring about the development of a community fund and to participate in the formation and administration of same

To engage in such other enterprises as may be wisely carried out

The first campaign

The first community campaign in May 1922 raised $321,879. Agencies participating were:
  • Mercy Hospital
  • Salvation Army
  • Social Service Exchange
  • Urban League
  • Visiting Nurse Society
  • American Red Cross
  • Aultman Home
  • Aultman Hospital
  • Boy Scouts
  • Goodwill Mission
  • K of C Boys’ Department
  • YMCA and YWCA
  • Bethshan Home
  • Briar Brae Home
  • Ann Day Nursery
  • Recreation Council

Stark County Merger

Members from the Alliance, Central Stark County and Western Stark County organizations in 2004 set forth four new guiding principles for the creation of a new United Way chapter:
  • The new Board will be representative of the entire greater Stark County area and the communities served.

  • The new organization will provide a two-year period of stable funding of services in each founding community to prepare for a new system of allocations.

  • The new organization will maintain some form of local presence in each of the founding organizations’ communities.

  • There will be a period of transition to the new allocation model that will be determined by the new organization.

The Evolution of the United Way Logo

1922 – 1952


1952 – 1972


1975 – 2004


2004 – Present