Community Investments

Trident United Way mobilizes your investments to make authentic impact in our community through a combination of initiatives, capacity-building tools and grants available to the entire community. Additionally, these investments support community engagement through volunteer and advocacy opportunities.

Our investors and partners represent a movement of people and organizations working together to create bold change. Trident United Way works in a collaborative, cross-sector way to solve complex, community-level issues. A key to meaningful collaboration is pursuing value-based partnerships where two or more organizations share in a mutually beneficial endeavor. The overall goal is to deliver the highest value to the community by focusing on improving family and individual outcomes while creating pathways to access resources.

The information shared below describes programs and initiatives impacting the community through the work of Trident United Way direct community investment dollars and leveraged investment dollars for the overall community benefit.


Teacher kneeling down next to a student writing in a notebook


Visit our *new* Agency Resources page, a simplified way to find additional information on resources available for local agencies and nonprofits!

Community Impact Investments

Trident United Way invests in programming led by local nonprofits through an open and competitive grant application process. Grants are awarded through a standardized volunteer led decision-making process to ensure that donor dollars are invested effectively and with results.  

Changemaker Grants

Trident United Way Changemaker Grants mobilize resources and empower nonprofits dedicated to making a positive impact in the Tri-County community. Grants are awarded in quarterly cycles, each with a cycle-specific focus on investing in the areas of greatest impact for TUW and its partners while aligning with TUW priorities. Each quarterly cycle will award $100,000 in total grants.

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Collective Impact Accelerator Funding is for initiatives that have systemic change in Collective Impact efforts. Roper St Francis AccessHealth Tri-County Network Diabetes Prevention Program was the first recipient of the Trident United Way Community Investment Grant from the Accelerator Pool. The program offers a dedicated staff and diverse selection of lifestyle coaches to help clients be successful.

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Trident United Way and SC Thrive have worked effectively together for more than a decade to provide free tax filing assistance. Self-service filing is available through Thrive Hub, and additional assistance in filing taxes is available through the Trident United Way Resource Connection Centers tax counselors.

2019-2020 Facts & Figures

  • 2,432 free state and federal tax returns filed in the Tri-County
  • $984,279 estimated in refunds through filings at TUW-affiliated tax sites and $331,968 saved in filing fees 

Due to COVID-19 and the IRS requirement to file taxes in person, tax assistance services were halted six weeks prior to the conclusion of tax season, which had an impact on the total number of tax services provided.

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Trident United Way has a long standing history of rallying the community in times of natural disaster or other major impacts. During these difficult times, Trident United Way commits to fundraising efforts to support agencies and organizations who are helping those in need. 

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Through the Duke Endowment Trident United Way and Healthy Tri-County have become a partner in Healthy People, Healthy Carolinas (HPHC). HPHC is an initiative designed to help community in North Carolina and South Carolina address chronic health issues such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Trident United Way is engaging leaders in health care, public health, social services, government, education, business and faith community to combine efforts and work to collaboratively addres the health challenges we face as a community, rather than going at it alone.

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January 2017 marked the launch of the Healthy Tri-County Initiative, powered by Trident United Way, in partnership with core partners, MUSC Health, Roper St. Francis Healthcare. Healthy Tri-County (HTC) a multi-sector regional initiative to improve health outcomes in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties in South Carolina. The long-term aspirational goal of HTC is to improve the health and well-being of every person and community within the Tri-County region. As of June 2021, 75 organizations have become formal HTC Members and approximately 1,100 individuals interact with network activities and utilize resources. 

Below are a sample of network activites.

Tri-County Health Symposium

The Tri-County Healthy Symposium brings industry and community outreach professionals together to discuss how to better healthcare outcomes in the Tri-County area. The event features keynote speaker presentations from local, state and national experts, breakout sessions, networking opportunities and the option to earn continuing education credits.

Community Conversations on Health

Three times a year Healthy Tri-County hosts community conversations on health, focused on a relevant and timely topic. Conversations are lead by local community experts in these topics, and an open dialogue is encouraged.

Community Health Needs Assessment

The Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) report provides an overview of the Tri-County health needs as identified by community respondents and key stakeholders. Data for the CHNA is collected from local individuals through online and paper surveys, focus groups and interviews. 

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Trident United Way, in partnership with the United Way Association of South Carolina, was pleased to serve as a subgrantee of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERA) in awarding grants to 18 local organizations providing housing stability services. 

The United Way Association of South Carolina (UWASC) was awarded $11 million in federal funds from SC Housing. These funds were allocated to 39 South Carolina counties through local United Way affiliates. Trident United Way was tasked with dispersing funds exclusively for Dorchester County, as Berkeley and Charleston counties have already received and expended direct federal funds for this purpose. While the funds were specifically allocated for Dorchester County, recipients of the services can reside in Berkeley, Charleston or Dorchester County. 

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As the convener for our region’s first Kindergarten Readiness Network, and in partnership with the Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative (TCCC), Trident United Way is positioned to provide the expertise and framework necessary to support hundreds of early learning organizations, providers, businesses, local governments, community volunteers and others to collect data that informs an ambitious common agenda, develop shared goals and milestones and identify and operationalize promising solutions. This move aims to improve academic and developmental outcomes for children from birth through age 5 by creating a cohesive and strategic plan in coordination with community, local and state stakeholders. There are currently 150 organizations working as part of the Kindergarten Readiness Network.

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National Diabetes Prevention Program is a CDC-recognized structured lifestyle change program developed specifically to prevent type 2 diabetes. It is a six month program consisting of weekly classes where participants learn about nutrition, exercise and keep a food log as well as a log of weight loss over time. Trident United Way and Healthy Tri-County secured grant funding for the expansion of the DPP into rural areas of the Tri-County with support from SC Center for Rural and Primary Healthcare and The Duke Endowment. Grant funds are used to train DPP facilitators, called Lifestyle Coaches, who teach the classes.

Participant Results

  • 34 individuals completed program
  • Lost 157lbs of weight since the program began
  • All participants increased physical activity with some reporting up to 630 minutes in a week!

Graphic of Trident United Way staff member standing outside of the Berkeley Resource Connection Center posing in front of logo on building

Community Tools and Resources Investments

 211 Logo

SC 211 serves as a safety net for all individuals needing help finding assistance, by improving the effectiveness and coordination of health and human services across the state. The 211 program provides information about and referrals to health and human service resources available in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester Counties. 211 is FREE to the community and for agencies to add their information. 

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AmeriCorps Logo

Trident United Way’s AmeriCorps program assists in meeting basic needs and increasing financial literacy throughout the Tri-County region. AmeriCorps members build capacity for the organizations they work with to provide financial stability services directly to clients.

2021-2022 Facts & Figures

  • 11 AmeriCorps members
  • Provided basic needs/crisis mitigation services to 3,416 households with 6,174 family members

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Charity Tracker Logo

CharityTrackerTM is a web application that Trident United Way provides free of charge to the Tri-County region for confidential shared case management. This tool provides statistical data reporting to inform resource deployment, strategic planning and measurable outcomes. Trident United Way partners, community agencies and faith-based organizations track and share confidential client service information, in addition to a bulletin feature which allows partners to post services, such as classes and events, and alerts allow partners to post urgent needs. Trident United Way has been providing this tool to the community since 2009. Currently over 350 organizations in the Tri-County area are connected to CharityTrackerTM.

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Trident United Way serves as the leader for the local Emergency Food and Shelter Program board in the Tri-County Region and is responsible for awarding the grant funds to local social service organizations, both nonprofit and governmental, that can best address the identified needs of the community. Emergency Food and Shelter Programs assist nonprofits that are helping residents who are experiencing hunger and homelessness.

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Berkeley Resource Connection Center logoDorchester Resource Connection Center logo

Resource Connection Centers are service hubs where low to moderate income individuals and families have access to programs and resources such as educational resources, basic needs and resources to become self-sufficient. The Resource Connection Centers take an integrated approach to service delivery, which includes bundling and sequencing of services, leading to long lasting financial change for clients and their families. The Centers operate using a continuum framework that begins with addressing basic needs and moves individuals along a continuum to achieve the goal of gaining and sustaining assets.

The power of partnership is vital for clients in critical need to mitigate crisis and get on the path to financial stability. More than a dozen nonprofit agencies are located within the Resource Connection Centers working alongside Trident United Way staff members. 

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SafetyNet Assistance Network logo

The SafetyNet Assistance Network (SNAN) is a growing network made up of all community sectors (Nonprofit, Education, Faith-Based, Government, Healthcare, Media and Business) collaborating in response to basic needs and financial stability services in our community with a vision of creating a fundamental, lasting change in the clients we serve in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester Counties. SNAN is hosted by Trident United Way and is comprised of more than 240 organizations. 

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Trident United Way partners with SC Thrive in the Resource Connection Centers by using Thrive Hub.  All Resource Connection Centers staff and all AmeriCorps members are trained in the Thrive Hub system to provide benefits screenings, complete SNAP Applications, Medicaid applications, TANF applications, Free Tax Assistance, and free medication assistance.  SC Thrive also provides Mental Health First Aid Training which we host at the Trident United Way office. Trident United Way also hosts Thrive Hub training.  SC Thrive staff for Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester County are located in the Trident United Way main office.


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Volunteer holding a hammer, wearing a hardhat and a Day of Caring shirt helping to build the frame of a house for Habitat for Humanity

Volunteer Engagement Investments

Day of Action is a global day of service where United Ways from all across the globe partake in community service projects on or around June 21st - the longest day of the year. Trident United Way coordinates service opportunities to benefit and support older adults (65+) in our Tri-County community, such as tending to neglected yards, meal delivery services and visting local living centers.

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Logo with text "Trident United Way's Day of Caring", underneath three outlines of a sun in orange, yellow, and red. The middle sun contains the logo of Trident United Way.

Trident United Way Days of Caring is the largest single day of community service in the area. Trident United Way matches nonprofit agencies and schools with volunteer teams that advance agency and school missions and build capacity — all while fostering community engagement. Additionally, this day serves as a catalyst for year-round volunteer engagement as teams see the impact they can make in one day when they build partnerships within the community.

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Trident United Way promotes a culture of volunteerism by engaging its corporate partners and individual volunteers through valuable Trident United Way service opportunities, developing customized volunteer engagement activities. Volunteering is a great way to give back and create team unity and leadership opportunities.

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lead united logo

Lead United is a comprehensive community leadership and nonprofit board development program of Trident United Way. The purpose of Lead United is to equip participants with necessary skills to serve on a nonprofit board of directors. This six week program focuses on educating professionals and skill-building for board-level service opportunities. Additionally, participants will increase their understanding of community challenges for deeper engagement. 

Trident United Way joins in the annual celebration of reading by matching volunteers as in classroom leaders with participating classrooms throughout the Tri-County area. Reading aloud to students can help them develop their literacy skills. With 52% of third graders in Tri-County region reading at grade level, there is a lot of opportunity to support Trident United Way’s work in education.

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Volunteer Engagement

Random Acts of Kindness Week

During the month of February, Trident United Way supports our annual Random Acts of Kindness week. Volunteer teams collect household items to benefit low income families and individuals, which are then delivered to partner agencies for distribution.

Birthday in a Box

A fun and creative project assembling ready-made birthday celebrations for families in need.

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Seasonal Kit Assembly

Trident United Way organizes opportunities for teams and individuals to sort, prepare and assemble kits to be distributed to nonprofit agencies and/or schools in need. Trident United Way handles the logistics and leads the activity.

Donor Networks

African American Leadership Council Book Drive

Trident United Way African American Council hosts an annual book drive to collect new and used books to be distributed to students in need. Books are distributed towards the end of the school year so students can continue to develop reading skills over the summer months.

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Young Leaders United School Supply Drive

Trident United Way Young Leaders United hosts an annual school supply drive over the summer months to collect supplies to be distributed to students in need in Title I elementary schools. Students receive these supplies at the start of the school year, allowing all students to have an equal opportunity in the new year.

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Volunteers for Trident United Way are thought leaders on the board of directors or serve on committees and councils as decision-makers about community investments and strategies. 

Boards and Committees

  • Board of Directors
  • Advancement Advisory Committee
  • Audit Committee
  • Campaign Cabinet
  • Community Impact Committee
  • Finance Committee
  • Investment Committee
  • Marketing Advisory Council

Investment Review Councils

  • Changemaker Grant Review Council

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If you are interested in serving on a committee please email

Public Policy and Research Investments

Whether you are advocating to improve education, financial stability and health, or wearing your LIVE UNITED shirt to show support, you can help inspire hope and create opportunities for a better tomorrow. Trident United Way gives voice to community solutions at the state, local and national levels.

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Trident United Way has considerable experience using data to drive our impact work in education, income and health. To effectively develop strategies and focus actions, Trident United Way utilizes in-house research and evaluation expertise. 

Other Investments

The purpose of Trident United Way’s annual fundraising campaigns are to develop and enhance the resources available for Trident United Way’s Community Impact work. Community volunteers strategically invest those resources in the Tri-County community in order to create lasting, measurable change on the most pressing issues facing families and individuals. 

Donors may elect all or a portion of their pledge/contribution as designated to 501(c)(3) organizations, other than Trident United Way. 

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