Vision, Mission & Focus

Mission Masthead: Blue Ridge Mountains



Ensuring our supporters, volunteers, donors, and partners understand who United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County is, why we exist, and how we help meet our community's most pressing issues, is of paramount importance.

To help ensure this, In 2020, we adopted the following vision, mission, focus, and guiding principles. Together they help to direct us as we work alongside our partners for the betterment of our community. 

VISION A united and resilient community where everyone belongs and everyone thrives.

MISSION We mobilize and support a robust network of people, partners, and resources to co-create opportunities for every person in our community to live free from poverty and injustice.

FOCUS We employ the community school strategy as the organizing framework for elevating student success, supporting families, and engaging communities throughout Buncombe County.

Vision Statement

We believe in the inherent worth and dignity of all people. Because of this, the staff and board of United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County commit to:

  • Recognize the many ways inequity, particularly racial inequity, takes form both historically and today;
  • Name the structures that uphold injustice and work to eliminate these barriers to inclusion and equity from our own work and in our community;
  • Build the relationships needed to do this work and, with humility, join community efforts and invite others to join us; and
  • Actively honor, engage and embrace diversity with the core belief that it will strengthen our systems, partnerships, and community.

Application in Practice

We fully intend for our Vision, Mission, and Focus to result in a more equitable workplace and community. 

That's why the addition of this Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion vision statement is so important. It represents both an internal commitment and an external promise to our community. 

Improving our understanding and practice of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as an organization, and in our work, is a bedrock principle of our identity. And to ensure the full integration of this framework into our boardroom and workplace, to date United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County has:

  • Created a board-level Equity Change Committee that prioritizes, plans, and guides internal and external facing equity initiatives utilizing the United Way World Wide Equity Toolkit as a guiding framework;
  • Instituted monthly all-staff Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion meetings where space is created to delve into our own internal biases;
  • Employed a full-time Equity and Network Development Specialist; and
  • Encouraged all staff and board members to attend Racial Equity Institute training.

We recognize that making this work a cultural cornerstone of who we are, and what we do is a life-long undertaking and that we have a long way to go. We remain steadfast in our commitment to incorporating the values of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion into the governance and operation of this organization. Explore more about our commitment and promise

How we show up in our community is just as important as what we do. These newly formed Guiding Principles will serve as an outward-facing promise and an inward-facing set of standards for all board, staff, and volunteers.

Equity at the Center

Recognize and challenge the dominant culture narratives, norms, and power structures that prevent all people from belonging and thriving

Courageous Leadership

Live out our Vision, Mission, and Guiding Principles with empathy and compassion, even when difficult or unpopular

Collective Wisdom

Ensure that our work is guided by community expertise, including the lived experience of people most impacted by poverty and injustice

Embracing Change

Continuously learn, innovate, and evolve to confront emerging challenges and opportunities

Accountability Driven

Earn community trust through dependability, transparency, and a commitment to achieving results