Celebrating Our History

United Way of Long Island's mission has remained focused on education, financial stability and health for every person in every community  since its founding in 1964.

History of United Way of Long Island

United Way of Long Island’s story begins prior to 1964. In 1950, a small group of individuals, led by Leon A. Swirbil, co-founder of Grumman Aircraft Corp., organized the Long Island Industry Labor Fund for hospitals, marking the beginning of the first major private non-profit fundraising effort on Long Island. In 1958, The Long Island Industry Labor Fund changed its name to the Long Island Fund for Commerce and Industry, still serving 40 agencies and hospitals. During 1958-1963, The Long Island Fund for Commerce and Industry grew to serve 43 organizations & hospitals. In 1961, the first discussion related to the United Fund of Long Island to take place. That same year, the seed money for the operation of the United Fund of Long Island was provided by corporate gifts from 7 companies: Franklin National Bank, New York Telephone Company, Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corp., Long Island Lighting Company, Meadowbrook National Bank, Security National Bank and Sperry Gyroscope. The United Fund of Long Island eventually changed its name to United Way of Long Island. Today, United Way of Long Island works with over 100 community partners serving 1 in 3 Long Islanders.

Timeline: 1964-Present

So much has happened in our organization's history that we couldn't resist sharing our most memorable milestones and achievements, and recognizing the people who helped us reach them. Sponsor a year on our Timeline and be part of the change. Honor a loved one, special year or simply support the cause.

View the Timeline

1964-Present Archives

Dig into our archives to discover our history. Check back regularly to see how we've helped Long Islanders over the course of over five and a half decades.

Why Give

Please give today so we can continue our mission of making a significant impact on families and individuals who live in on Long Island for years to come. Discover why your gift matters...