The United Way of Wythe County and the Community Foundation of the New River Valley (CFNRV) have joined forces to establish the Wythe County United Legacy Fund, an endowment that will support Wythe County nonprofits and those they serve for generations to come.

With the help of many businesses and individuals, the United Way of Wythe County has provided critical financial support to nonprofits for decades. The funds raised during its annual campaign regularly supported two dozen organizations, including the Agape Food Pantry and Hope, Inc., an agency focused on meeting both immediate and long-term housing needs. As both the United Way Worldwide model and charitable giving trends have evolved, however, it became increasingly challenging to maintain United Way of Wythe County as an independent organization. In response, the board of directors is retiring the organization and establishing a donor-advised endowment at the CFNRV to ensure that partner organizations will continue to receive support for their programs now and in perpetuity. The CFNRV will manage the endowment, and receive and acknowledge all donations, as it does for the more than 200 endowed funds already under its umbrella. It will solicit grant applications and work with a team of advisors drawn from the former United Way to award grants annually.

United Way of Wythe County executive director C.M. Walters sees the CFNRV as a logical partner to continue his organization’s work, “Our United Way supplied funding for many health and human service organizations serving those in need in Wythe County for many years.  The Board of Directors and I wanted to find a way to be able to continue supporting their efforts going forward.  We believe the partnering with CFNRV is the best avenue to accomplish this.”  Beyond these grants, Wythe County agencies will also be able to access the CFNRV’s many workshops and training programs for nonprofit leaders and participate in the Annual GiveLocalNRV Online Giving Day.

Jessica Wirgau, executive director of the CFNRV, sees the partnership as an important way to honor the work of the United Way of Wythe County’s staff, board, volunteers, and donors, and to provide peace of mind to the organizations they have long supported. “Much like the United Way of Wythe County, we work with donors who want their dollars to benefit their local community, and we work with organizations that rely on that money each year to deliver essential services. With this endowment, the United Way’s donors can rest assured that their gifts will continue to support agencies serving Wythe County, and partner organizations can continue to apply for grants. We are grateful to the United Way’s board of directors for entrusting us with the money they worked so hard to raise, and for being active partners in making grants from their endowed fund.”

Barbara Sewell, president of the United Way of Wythe County’s board, shares this gratitude for the partnership, “It warms my heart to know that a service foundation such as CFNRV shares our vision of supporting local agencies that continue to serve the needs of Wythe County communities now and into the future.”

Over the next several months, the CFNRV will be reaching out to nonprofits in Wythe County to provide further details on how to apply for grants and participate in CFNRV programs. In addition, businesses, individuals, and families who have supported the United Way of Wythe County can continue to do so by making a tax-deductible gift to the Wythe County United Legacy Fund. Additional details about giving online or via check can be found at https://www.givelocalnrv.org/story/Wytheunited, or you can contact the CFNRV at 540-381-8999 or by email at cfnrv@cfnrv.org.