Skip to main content

United Way of Douglas County records

Call Number: RH MS 738


United Way of Douglas County, a member of the United Way network, is a non-profit organization dedicated to the betterment of the Douglas County, Kansas, community through volunteerism and community programs. The collection is comprised of financial records, which are primarily fundraising campaign records that include photographs and other materials regarding fundraising events, such as Rock Chalk Revue, as well as general administrative records and project files. The collection includes a broad variety of interactions with local nonprofit organizations requesting funds through the United Way and its predecessor agencies. Files for these other agencies may include agreements between them and United Way; applications for funding; financial statements and audit reviews; news articles, press releases, brochures, and other publicity about the agencies and their programs; correspondence with United Way; and other materials related to the funded organization, including copies of its foundational records, such as bylaws, reports, proposals, etc.


  • Creation: 1972 - 1993


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

History of United Way of Douglas County

In 1940, the Lawrence, Kansas Chamber of Commerce established The Community Chest as the first organized group fund-raising effort in Douglas County. That initial effort ultimately raised $9,000 to support the needs of various Lawrencians. During the early 1950s, a different focus for the group led to a new structure for the organization, and the name was changed to Lawrence United Fund. The first meeting of the Lawrence United Fund was held October 1, 1956. Eleven member agencies participated, setting a fundraising goal of $46,000.

In 1986, the Board of Directors voted to change the name again to United Way of Douglas County, better reflecting the large population served by member agencies. Since the 1980s, United Way has established several volunteer centers, grant projects, and other funding resources for the Douglas County community. Such resources include the Roger Hill Volunteer Center (1990) and the Racial Equity Grant (2020).

In 2022, United Way of Douglas County and United Way of Greater Topeka chose to join forces to become United Way of Kaw Valley, hoping to extend their resources and reach by merging their investments and communities. United Way of Kaw Valley serves the Kansas counties of Douglas, Shawnee, Jackson, and Jefferson. Since its founding as the Community Chest, this non-profit entity has focused on investing in families and individuals in its community by providing aid and resources that no one charity or donor could provide by itself. United Way provides grants, funds service programs, and donates items such as school supplies and food.

[information retrieved from the United Way of Kaw Valley website and]


20.5 Linear Feet (21 boxes + 2 oversize boxes)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

RH MS 738

Physical Location

RH MS Q183

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifts, United Way of Douglas County, 1994, 1997.

Guide to the United Way of Douglas County Collection
United Way of Douglas County records
Finding aid prepared by or, 2006. Finding aid encoded by or, 2006. Finding aid revised by cl, 2010; mwh, 2023; kls, 2023.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
United Way of Douglas County records, Kansas Collection, RH MS 738, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States