With a with a proud tradition of independent and forward-thinking local leadership and volunteerism dating back to 1943, combined with the national power of the world’s largest nonprofit brand, United Way of Manatee County is uniquely positioned to understand the needs of our community and rally our community resources together to maximize long-term impact.

We know that individuals and families can overcome obstacles and crisis to achieve financial stability. United Way of Manatee County focus areas in Income are:

  1. Job training initiatives – any training efforts that provide individuals with the skills, knowledge and/or credentials that qualify them for a higher paying, stable job.  Please note that while job training has an educational component, it is classified as income because its focus is purely to qualify a person for a better paying or more stable job.  This includes, but is not limited to:
    1. GED training – wraparound support services
    2. Technical training
    3. Certification training and licensure
    4. Job preparation – resume assistance, interview preparation, dress, soft skills, etc.
  2. Financial initiatives – initiatives that help our priority population learn how to keep more of their income. This includes, but is not limited to:
    1. Credit building and repair
    2. VITA (free income tax preparation)
    3. Financial literacy planning and management
    4. Budgeting
    5. Savings
    6. Support for the unbanked/underbanked
  3. Basic needs initiatives – initiatives that provide support to our priority population for emergencies and one-time crisis intervention and help them achieve their goals of financial stability. This includes, but is not limited to:
    1. Food – Provide emergency food to our priority population to supplement their food budget.
    2. Shelter – Provide emergency assistance to our priority population who find themselves at risk of homelessness. This includes, but is not limited to, temporary shelter, meals, rental assistance, utility deposits, etc.

We know that:

  • Income stability is crucial in developing an environment conducive to learning.
  • Tax refunds and money saved through free tax preparation is spent right here in Manatee County.
  • 45% of Manatee County households are struggling financially.

More than 34,000 residents received information, referrals and assistance to overcome obstacles and crisis to help them begin or continue on a path to financial stability.


  • Information and referral services relating to community resource were provided to 34,464 callers.
  • 100 women received career counseling enabling them to search for better employment and reported an increase sense of hope for their future.
  • 394 households moved to a higher level of income on the Self Sufficiency Matrix.
  • 1,013 families who received homeless prevention counseling successfully avoided evictions, utility shutoffs and remained housed.
  • 188 families moved from a homeless shelter to obtaining transitional or permanent housing.
  • 1,865 households received counseling, information, referrals and assistance to remain in housing.
  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) filed 442 tax returns were filed with total refunds of $505,100 returned to Manatee County residents.