Advocacy and Public Policy

United Way of Greater Nashville advocates for the good of our community. We are the hand raisers, the game changers, the agents of growth and change.

We encourage our community to join us as we speak out for bold and measurable change. Together, we can amplify important issues and advocate for support and policy decisions that improve the lives of every person in our community.

We partner with United Ways across Tennessee and the U.S. – and state and local leaders – to address disparities and build stronger, more equitable communities. Throughout the year, we join the call to maximize the collective impact of the United Way network by raising awareness around legislation that affects critical community resources such as 211, VITA Free Tax Prep, and SNAP.

the alice projeCt

United Way of Greater Nashville recently joined leaders across the nonprofit community to support a statewide data project that examines the financial hardship of residents in every Tennessee county.

ALICE stands for Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, Employed and is a data-driven snapshot of the real-life living conditions affecting families across our region. The research reveals that one in four families in our region cannot afford basic necessities, including housing, food, childcare, healthcare, and transportation. The ALICE Report guides the implementation of long-term solutions for the growing number of Greater Nashville families that are struggling with financial instability.

Learn more about ALICE households in Tennessee and the counties we serve.

In April 2022, United For ALICE released ALICE in Focus, a series of reports that will highlight three key groups, starting with children. The number of children growing up in financial hardship in the U.S. is drastically higher than is widely reported. According to the Federal Poverty Level, 16% of children in the U.S. lived in poverty in 2019. Yet, United For ALICE data shows that another 33% — twice as many — were also growing up in ALICE households.

An alarming percentage of Tennessee children are living in families that can’t make ends meet, no matter how hard they work. The Tennessee research brief reveals that in 2019:

– 20% of our children lived below the federal poverty line; another 35% were ALICE. Combined, 55% of children in our state were living in financial hardship just before the pandemic.

– While children of all races live in struggling families, racial inequality persists. 71% of Black children and 81% of Hispanic children lived in households with incomes that didn’t meet the cost of basic needs.

– 34% of our children lived with two working adults who earned above the poverty level but less than what is costs to afford the basics.


COVID-19 Impact Survey

United Ways of Tennessee conducted a community survey to better understand the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Click here to open the report, which gives the first snapshot of how individual households have been impacted by COVID-19.