About United Way of The Lakeshore

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Live United!


Let’s face it: When it comes to supporting a charitable agency, you have lots of choices. So why support United Way?


United Way does what no single organization can do alone: We tackle the toughest issues facing our community by mobilizing every resource, partner and voice to solve those challenges.

You can count on us to help people today and equip them to succeed for the future.

Our Mission: Uniting to inspire change and build thriving communities.

Our Bold Goal: 10,000 more working families meet their basic needs by 2025.

Our Serving Community: Muskegon, Newaygo, and Oceana Counties



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Our Work:

Our work is to identify, launch and participate in community problem-solving initiatives. We help more than one person, one charity or one issue by magnifying the investment of many in the community to create positive, measurable change.

Advancing the common good begins by recruiting dedicated volunteers from our community who are passionate and knowledgeable of community needs.  After extensive training, research and strategizing proposals for funding, these dedicated volunteers begin the process.  For this United Way, that process is conducted every other year, generally over the course of several months and ending in June.  Trained volunteers are asked to donate approximately 15-20 hours to read applications and proposals for funding of programs and compare requests to strategies that align and bridge service of needs in our counties.

Volunteers are looking to make sure that proposals make a significant impact on the identified need and that the organization has the capacity and infrastructure to be successful.  Volunteers are reviewing the organizations to make sure each is financially sound, effective and efficient.  Funding is based on results and which program can make the most difference in improving the quality of life, for those in need, in our communities.

Being the “community safety net” will always be a major role of United Way.  We will continue to provide for those in need, whether it is food, shelter, transportation or physical or mental health related issues.  No one knows when an unexpected situation might cause individuals or families to need help.  It is also important that we look at ways that we can focus on prevention, by engaging our community in critical issues like education, health and income.

There are 1,350 United Way affiliates nationwide. United Way of the Lakeshore is independently run and organized as a separate corporation with local management and board governance.

United Way of the Lakeshore holds itself to the highest standards of professionalism, accountability and transparency in our stewardship of donor dollars and financial management. Internal control procedures include a detailed checks and balances system that strictly prohibits the same individuals from handling all aspects of a transaction. Reporting to the chief executive officer, the finance director and the office manager are assigned specific duties to safeguard against theft. No staff member has the ability to individually process anything from start to finish.

The Finance Committee meets regularly to address all matters of fiscal operation and is charged with financial oversight and control. Collection loss is reviewed regularly and in complete detail. An independent accounting firm audits our records annually. The United Way Finance Committee serves as the audit committee and the Board of Directors made up of local volunteers reviews and approves the annual audit with the auditors.

Diversity Inclusion Statement

We commit to developing racially conscious partnerships and processes that anticipate unintended outcomes and ensure the inclusion of all people we serve, for our community, and our organization.


Each individual associated with United Way of the Lakeshore will be treated with dignity and respect.  United Way of the Lakeshore will seek out and implement innovative methods to include all the diverse elements that make up the unique fabric of our community.  We commit to positive action to represent in all aspects of our organization our community as it currently exists and evolves.  Discrimination in employment or volunteer activities and harassment of any individuals is strictly prohibited.  United Way will abide by all legal laws related to race, color, religion, creed, age, sex, national origin or ancestry, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, disability or any consideration made unlawful by federal, state or local law.  To support and uphold these practices, we will:  (1) Recognize the distinct differences of individuals and respect those differences; (2) Respect the work related needs of others, and adhere to all United Way personnel policies and practices; (3) Refuse to engage in or tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment; (4) Strive to create an environment conducive to professionalism and diversity.

Confidentiality is a Hallmark of Professionalism
United Way of the Lakeshore uses reasonable commercial efforts to avoid disclosure of information which is confidential, privileged or nonpublic other than in accordance with this privacy policy.

Information Collection, Use, and Sharing
United Way of the Lakeshore gathers personally identifiable data when voluntarily submitted by a user, which may include: name, addresses, zip codes, e-mail addresses, donor choice information, etc. For example, personally identifiable information may be collected in order to record a stated desire to donate online to United Way of the Lakeshore via a direct gift or through a company sponsored campaign. This information is used solely by United Way of the Lakeshore or other parties to the transaction for the purpose of executing the transaction, to improve your experience with us, and for the internal business purposes of United Way of the Lakeshore.

We are the sole owners of the information collected. We will not sell or rent this information to anyone.

We will not share your information with any third party outside of our organization other than affiliates, contractors, advisors, service providers or in our reasonable discretion to investigate or prevent fraud, illegal activity or misuse of our web site.

Periodically United Way of the Lakeshore will send electronic communications in newsletter format or another format to our constituents, which include donors, volunteers and other business contacts. Typically these communications include information regarding community investment reporting, funded program information and results, news and events, as well as other pertinent information we feel should be reported to our constituents. Recipients retain the option to opt-out of these communications at any point in time.

If you sign up to receive news and information from us via our web site, you are electing to receive e-mail communication from us. During registration a user is required to give certain information (such as name and email address). This information is used to contact you about our programs and other areas on our site in which you have expressed interest. At your option, you may also provide additional preference information, but it is not required.

We may collect your IP (Internet Protocol) address to administer our web site. When a web browser or email application requests a web page or email from another computer on the Internet, it automatically gives that computer the address where it should send the information. This is called the computer's "IP address". This "address" does not contain any personally identifiable information.

Cookies that are used on the web site are called "session" cookies, and are used to identify a particular visit to the web site. Session cookies expire after a short time or when you close your web browser. Due to the communications standards on the Internet, when you visit the web site United Way of the Lakeshore automatically receives the URL of the web site from which you came and the web site to which you are going when you leave the web site. We also receive the IP address of your computer (or the proxy server you use to access the World Wide Web) , your computer operating system and type of web browser you are using, as well as the name of your internet service provider (ISP). We may use this information to analyze overall trends to help us improve our services, but we do not generally link this information to personally identifiable information in any way.

The information which United Way of the Lakeshore automatically gathers, such as the numbers and frequency of visitors to our site and its areas, is used only in the aggregate very much like television ratings that tell the networks how many people tuned in to a program. This collective data helps us determine how much our visitors use parts of the site, so that we can continuously improve our site. We also may provide aggregated statistical "ratings" information, never information about you personally, to our partners about how our visitors, collectively use our web site.

Your Access To and Control Over Information
You are given the opportunity to "opt-out" of having your personally identifiable data used for communication purposes. You can do the following at any time:
•    Change/correct any data we have about you.
•    "Opt-out" of having your personally identifiable data used for communication purposes.
•    Express any concern you have about our use of your data.

If at any time you would like to update, correct or delete your information, you can simply contact us directly to change your information. You may also select to opt-out to receive any future communications from us on any of our e-mail communications, registration or pledge forms or by contacting us directly using the contact information provided at the bottom of this page.

This web site contains links to other web sites. These web sites that you may link to from our site, including our partners' web sites, have their own privacy policies. United Way of the Lakeshore is not responsible for the privacy practices of other web sites or affiliate. We encourage you to review the privacy policies of web sites or affiliate agencies before providing them with any of your personally identifiable data.

We have put in place commercially reasonable physical, electronic, and managerial procedures designed to safeguard and secure the information we collect online for reasonable foreseeable risk. However, due to the open communication nature of the Internet we cannot guarantee that communication between you and us and us and you will be free from unauthorized access by third parties. UNITED WAY OF THE LAKESHORE MAKES NO WARRANTIES AS TO THE SECURITY OF YOUR DATA COMMUNICATIONS, OR THAT THIRD PARTIES WILL NOT GAIN UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS TO OR MONITOR YOUR COMPUTER(S) OR ONLINE COMMUNICATIONS. YOU AGREE THAT UNITED WAY OF THE LAKESHORE WILL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY SUCH ACCESS.

Acceptance of Privacy Policy
By using this web site (volunteer.unitedwaylakeshore.org), you indicate your acceptance of this Privacy Policy. If you have any concerns about our privacy policy, please contact us at 231-722-3134. Any changes to our privacy policy will be posted to this URL. Please return and check it regularly to be certain you are aware at all times. To the extent permitted by applicable law, your use of our web site and our use of your personally identifiable information shall be governed by the most current privacy policy.

How to Contact Us
Should you have other questions or concerns about these privacy policies, please send us an email at info@unitedwaylakeshore.org.

Annual Reports

View the 2022 United Way of the Lakeshore Annual Report here.

United Way is a partner in change, working with a broad range of people and organizations to identify and resolve pressing community issues. United Way leads the nonprofit sector in the call for transparent accountability and measurable results. We encourage you to learn where United Way is helping in the community and how your contributions are working to provide measurable results that improve lives.

View Previous Annual Reports

2021 Annual Report

2020 Annual Report

2019 Annual Report 

2017 Annual Report

2016 Annual Report
Addendum to 2016 Annual Report


   Inserts for 2015 Annual Report:
    Workplace Campaigns
    Leadership Circle Donors, page 1
    Leadership Circle Donors, page 2
    Muskegon County
    Newaygo County
    Oceana County


Check Out Our Friday Five! 

The Friday Five is a weekly e-newsletter that highlights five things happening along the lakeshore and your United Way! Stay up to date on special events, advocacy updates, volunteer opportunities, and great news stories in Muskegon, Newaygo, and Oceana counties! 

100 Years 


United Way of the Lakeshore is celebrating 100 years of caring for our community in 2018!

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our 100 Year Celebration on May 10. It was a wonderful birthday party!

100 Years. 100 Voices.

Mike Vogas put his amazing film-making skills to work with Clayton Hardiman's beautiful writing and JC Howe's wonderful voice to create a moving tribute video to celebrate our 100 years of caring. If you missed the premiere at our celebration, you can watch it here.

To create the video, Mike interviewed our donors, volunteers, staff, and supporters to hear their stories of what United Way of the Lakeshore means to them and how it's impacted their lives. In addition to the video, short audio clips were created from each interview. Listen to those voices here.  You'll hear some wonderful stories!

Thank you to our generous 100 Year Celebration event sponsors!


Thank you to the businesses & individuals who donated to our Silent Auction & Raffle!

313 Presents, American Steamship, Bernio's, Boyne Resorts, Broadway Liquor, Chateau Grand Traverse, Cinema Carousel, City-Side Hair Design, Comerica, Complete Restoration, Craig's Cruisers, Crayola, Crystal Mountain Resorts, Dee Stress U Massage Therapy, Detroit Red Wings, Di's Hallmark, Essing's Auto Body, Evolve Salon, Fetch Brewing, Fricano's, Gerber Products, Grand Rapids Griffins, Grand Rapids Public Museum, Green Bay Packers, Hobo's Tavern, Interlake Shipping, John Ball Zoo, Johnson's Great Outdoors, KL Industries, Lake Express Ferry, Lakeshore Massage Therapy, Lewis Farms, Little River Casino, Meat Block, Montgomery Inn, Muskegon Country Club, Muskegon Irish Fest, Newaygo County, Old Channel Inn, Parmenter Law, Pitkins, Pizza Ranch, Pub 111, Salon M, Scott's Meats, Shedd Aquarium, Shorts Brewing, Skeetown Tavern, Soaring Eagle Waterpark, SS Badger, Stonegate Golf Course, The Block, The Cheese Lady, The Hearthstone Bistro, The Station Grill, Toast & Jams, Topshelf Pizza, United Express/Muskegon Airport, United Way, Unruly Brewing, USS Silversides, Vanity Room, Veterans Advisory Committee, Wasserman's Flowers & Gifts, Waterdog Outfitters, West Michigan Whitecaps, White Lake Chamber of Commerce, White Lake Golf Course, Zeke's Charters, Bob and Mary Boyd, Nancy Boxter, Karen Brittner, Rob and Laura Carpenter, Bob Carter, Lisa Chamberlain, Pat & Julie Donahue, Jackie Engler, Ron Huey, Jill Jepsen, Linda Juarez, Dan & Sheryl Kuznar, George McDonnell, Mark Meyers, Gary Nelund, John and Sue Noling, Kendra & Dan Olsen, Laurie Pounder, Josh Reece, Christine & Marv Robere, Robert Ross, Barbara Saunders-Sims, Lisa Sabourin, Dave Sipka, Pat Shafer, Derrick Smith, Bobbie Springer, Marti & Kiersten Taliant, Greg VanWoerkem


Thank you everyone who helped make our 100 Year Celebration a success!

2017 Campaign Chair:  John Severson
2018 Campaign Chair:  Gary Nelund

Auction Committee:  Beth Sheldon, Lori O’Brien, Kendra Olsen, Laura Carpenter and Alicia Springer.

Event Volunteers:  Sally White, Lisa Chamberlain, Mary Vanderlaan, Rob Carpenter, Kiersten Tallant, Marti Tallant, Michelle Pridnia, Toby Schrier, Emily Olsen, Dan Olsen, Regan Wilcox, Pat McConnell,  Nancy & Lyle Robbins, Kevin Carlson, Samantha Ladegast. Aditi Baksji, Abhi Pathak, Chrissy Richardson.

Audio and Video:  Mike Vogas, Benchmark Productions,  Clayton Hardiman, J.C. Howe

Entertainment Committee: Andrew J Zahrt, Tim Lipan, Bob Scolnik, Ginny Sprague, Mike Vogas.

Singers/Musicians/Dancers: Hallie Ackerman, Bret Balcom, Raymond Brock, Elijah Nichols, Jared Peterson, Kim Sorenson, the Spotlight Dance Academy dancers.

Photographers:  Alex Conrad, K.T. Spencer.

History Committee:  Lori O’Brien, Judy Johnson, Nancy Bierenga,  Nancy McCarthy, Kay Ostrom, Jackie Engel, Roger & Marilyn Andersen, Ray Hanslits, Warren Westenburg

United Way “Ghosts”
Adam Winters as LC Walker (Greater Muskegon War, Progress and Relief Fund)
Tim Hamlin as Reverend Archibald Hadden (Muskegon Community Chest Chair)
Bruce Froelich as Colonel Frank Whitney (War Chest Board Chair)
Jackie Engle as Mrs. CJ Reese (First female campaign chair)
Bill Kenney as Carl Young (First Staff, Labor AFL)

History boards created by Fineline Creative and Custom Service Printers.

Music provided by:  Carol Juhl on the harp and Erik Olson on the piano

Special Thanks To:  Frauenthal Center, Muskegon Civic Theatre, Mart Dock, Radium Photo, Jason P. Bertoia, Dave LaChapelle, Andrew Cooper, Kirk Wahamaki, and the Reeths Puffer Techies.

Coasters provided by CWC Textron, with special thanks to Anderson Global for building the patterns and tooling; and Shoreline Fabricators for smoothing the pieces.

Catering by Above & Beyond Catering
Desserts catered by Tudor Event Services & Catering
Birthday Cake donated by Ryke’s

Thank you for all of your time, expertise, and passion for our mission; we appreciate your time and commitment!