Tennessee Attorney General’s Office Approves Merger of United Way of Greater Nashville and Hands On Nashville

Jan 3, 2024 | News

Unified Organizations Poised to Better Serve the Community

United Way of Greater Nashville (UWGN) and Hands On Nashville (Hands On) announced on November 2 the intent to join together as one organization. After regulatory review, the office of the state Attorney General has approved the merger, effective January 1, 2024.

UWGN and Hands On have collaborated for years to support volunteerism. UWGN’s website links to the Hands On volunteer calendar, and both have worked together in disaster response as part of Nashville’s Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD). The new partnership brings Hands On services to UWGN partners and programs and over time will bring more volunteer opportunities to additional communities in Middle Tennessee.

A swift activation of VOAD happened immediately after the December 9th tornadoes that devastated many communities in middle Tennessee. Hands On and UWGN worked together to get vital resources and volunteers into impacted areas. The two organizations continue to support relief efforts into the new year.

“The recent disaster has shown us that we are definitely stronger as one team. I have visited impacted areas and can tell the destruction is not something one homeowner or even a couple could handle by themselves. Hands On quickly set up volunteer opportunities in Montgomery and Robertson Counties and alongside UWGN, we have amplified the need for both volunteers and donations,” said Lori Shinton, president and CEO of Hands On Nashville.

“Joining as one was a natural next step in our longtime partnership,” explained Brian Hassett, UWGN’s President and CEO. “At United Way, we fulfill our mission through volunteerism, advocacy and giving. By strengthening our partnership, this will allow us to fully live out our shared values and expand volunteer efforts throughout our region. In light of the recent tornadoes that devastated many communities, we have quickly come together as one team to meet our neighbors’ needs.”

Together as one organization, UWGN and Hands On will:
· Improve support for local nonprofits to expand access to services provided by their nonprofit, especially those serving underrepresented communities and resulting in increased community impact.
· Increase resiliency and readiness in times of disaster. Hands On supports disaster preparedness and response efforts for a wide variety of emergencies in partnership with the City of Nashville. Similarly, UWGN offers many services through its 211 helpline which provides 24/7, 365-day information and referral helpline that provides individuals in need in times of crisis.
· Expand volunteerism throughout Middle Tennessee. While Hands On provides volunteer services largely in Davidson County, UWGN serves eight other Middle Tennessee counties. As one organization, they will bring more volunteer support to the region’s nonprofit community so that every child, individual and family thrives.
· Add capacity for nonprofits to recruit, manage, and support volunteers. Hands On has years of experience sharing volunteer management guidance with 160-plus nonprofits, schools and civic agencies. Together, they will amplify this expertise and bring it to more agencies throughout the region.
· Enhanced overall fundraising capacity for nonprofits across the community by leveraging more skills-based volunteers to support various functions such as finance, development, communications and more.
· Increase engagement and understanding of community needs. Expansion of volunteer services will grow residents’ awareness of community needs and enable them to make a stronger impact. Together, we will reach more volunteers, help them grow their awareness of community needs, and empower them to make an even stronger impact.
· Engage more individuals and companies in impactful volunteerism that meets real needs and benefits partners in meaningful ways that would otherwise not be possible without their support.
· Create one central location to seek volunteer opportunities. Hands On Nashville operates as a volunteer resource center and UWGN also offers volunteer opportunities to serve its agency partners. Joining together will provide a one-stop-shop for volunteering.

While the organizations have joined together, nothing changes for volunteers or the nonprofits that they support. The combined organization will continue to provide access to service opportunities on the Hands On website as they have for years. And Hands On’s current team, led by Shinton, will continue to guide UWGN’s volunteer strategy. Over the coming months, UWGN and Hands On will share more details about how the organizations will work together.

To contribute to middle Tennessee tornado relief efforts, visit https://www.unitedwaygreaternashville.org/disaster-relief/.