Birmingham shines. Here’s how United Way of Central Alabama and United Way Worldwide stack up


United Way of Central Alabama staff. Photo courtesy of United Way of Central Alabama

You’ve heard that Birmingham is one of the most philanthropic cities in the U.S., and it’s true! We help each other. Our giving nature makes Birmingham special. And, we have organizations here, including the United Way of Central AL, that are leading the impact of our giving. How do they stack up against other philanthropic organizations across the nation and the world? Find out below.

United Way of Central AL

This past May, Bham Now reported that, for the 17th consecutive year, the United Way of Central Alabama (UWCA) received 4-stars, its highest rating, from Charity Navigator, the nation’s largest independent charity evaluator. Not to be outdone, this fall United Way Worldwide, the national arm of UWCA, was ranked #1 in two top philanthropy trade media publications.

So, it is no surprise that those outstanding rankings have put Birmingham in the national spotlight for cities with the most philanthropic residents.

Magnify Money by LendingTree released The Most (and Least) Charitable Places in the U.S., and the Magic City ranked Number 2. Key findings from data show that in Birmingham, more than 89% of the tax returns itemized deduction donations to charity.

“These honors put United Way of Central Alabama in an elite group of high performing charities. Our donors and volunteers should be confident that their generosity to United Way will responsibly support programs that improve our community”, said Drew Langloh, President & CEO, United Way of Central Alabama.

Drew Langloh, President & CEO and Mallie Ireland, Board Chair. Photo courtesy of United Way of Central Alabama

Birmingham’s local United Way now sits at fifth place, on Charity Navigator’s national Top 10 list of charities with the most 4-star ratings. A closer look at the rankings shows that it leads the number of charities that made a list a minimum of 17 times. Receiving Charity Navigator’s top distinction indicates the organization adheres to best nonprofit practices and executes its mission in a financially efficient way.

United Way Worldwide Ranked #1 National Charity

United Way Worldwide, which provides support services to local, independent United Way organizations across the country, was ranked #1 in The Chronicle of Philanthropy list of America’s Favorite Charities and first in The NonProfit Times’ NPT 2019 Top 100 public support category.

UWW officials say the takeaway from both rankings is that United Way remains the mission of choice for everyday people-and many of America’s largest corporations-who want to support stronger communities and help those in need.

United Way volunteers and staff. Photo courtesy of United Way of Central Alabama

Both Brian Gallagher, President & CEO of United Way Worldwide and Drew Langloh, President & CEO of United Way of Central Alabama, credit United Way’s donors, volunteers, and staff for their success and accountability.

“Credit for this recognition goes to every partner, donor, advocate, and volunteer who shares our vision and has joined us in the fight for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community,” said Gallagher.

Your Support Makes a Difference

Putting the “fun” in fundraising, Jeff Stone (with the glasses and cape) leads the 2019 campaign. Photo courtesy of United Way of Central Alabama

United Way of Central Alabama kicked off its 2019 Campaign in September to raise $36.5 million that will benefit more than 80 programs and initiatives. “We live in this community, we work in this community, we raise our families here in this community, so let’s all own this campaign together and make it successful,” said Jeff Stone, Brasfield & Gorrie, and 2019 campaign chair.

Your financial contributions help ensure every member of every community across Central Alabama has quality education, financial stability, a healthier community, and access to services in times of crisis. This community’s spirit of giving fosters both individual and collective success.

To help build a better community, give at

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Pat Byington
Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.
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