Why We Fight

To break the cycle of poverty

Nashville is thriving, but many are being left behind.

We are working to break the cycle of multi-generational poverty by providing the supports and services that move individuals and families out of poverty and help them become financially stable. Housing prices are rising rapidly but wages are not keeping up with growth. We must do more to alleviate poverty for our most vulnerable neighbors and provide clear and attainable pathways to brighter futures for the next generations.

How We Win

Putting people on the path to better jobs

To really move people out of poverty and into a livable wage, they need higher paying jobs with opportunities for growth. To land these jobs, they need the right post-secondary education, training or certification. That’s the key to increasing wages and stabilizing housing in our community. Our partner agencies are working locally to help individuals receive the education and training they need to get better, higher paying jobs that will move them out of poverty for good. 

Helping our neighbors keep more of what they earn

The average taxpayer spends $273 to file their taxes each year. For low-income and at-risk individuals, those are crucial dollars that could go toward rent, food, child care and gas. United Way volunteers prepare taxes at no cost for individuals and families earning less than $66,000 a year through our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance free tax prep program, helping lift millions out of poverty each year by saving the community more than $3.9 million in fees. 

Helping families increase their savings

Our neighbors in financial trouble need individualized help and counseling to deal with the complex barriers to financial stability. A recent Pew Research Center report found that 55 percent of households didn’t have enough saved to a replace a month of their income. Our professionally-trained financial counselors at the Financial Empowerment Center help clients manage bills, work through debt, establish and improve credit, create a budget, open a bank account and save for the future. 

2018 Results

In 2018...

  • 14,390 tax returns were completed by volunteers bringing $17.7 million in tax refunds back into our community.
  • 234 middle school students learned essential personal finance skills through specialized workshops.
  • 893 individuals were connected to higher-earning jobs to better make ends meet.
  • $1.5 million dollars of debt were reduced for clients through the Financial Empowerment Center.
  • 1,077 individuals improved their financial situations and increased their economic mobility.


Financial Empowerment Center

The Financial Empowerment Center helps clients reduce debt and build assets through free one-on-one financial counseling. Learn more. 

VITA Free Tax Prep 

The VITA Free Tax Prep program provides free tax prep to those who earned less than $66,000 in 2018. Learn more. 

2-1-1 Helpline

The 2-1-1 Helpline provides information and resources to cover basic needs in times of crisis. Learn more. 

Nashville Alliance for Financial Independence 

The Nashville Alliance for Financial Independence is a network of organizations and community members that work with a goal of promoting financial health for others. Learn more.

Bank on Music City

Bank On Music City's mission is to connect individuals and families with safe and affordable bank accounts. Learn more. 

Financial Stability Funded Partners

United Way funds 33 partner agencies focused on financial stability. Learn more.