In 1887, a Denver priest, two ministers and a rabbi recognized the need for cooperative action to address their city's welfare problems. This like-minded group served their community by creating the first united campaign for 10 health and welfare agencies. They created an organization to serve as an agent to collect funds for local charities, as well as to coordinate relief services, counsel and refer clients to cooperating agencies, and make emergency assistance grants in cases which could not be referred. That year, Denver raised $21,700 and created a movement that would spread throughout the county to become the United Way. More than 130 years later, United Way is still focused on mobilizing the caring power of communities and making a difference in people's lives.
HISTORY OF UNITED WAY OF NATRONA COUNTY
In 1955, Natrona County joined more than 1500 communities in the fight to affect change. The local organization started as The United Fund of Casper, Inc. and served as a Community Chest, gathering and distributing $96,000 in private funds in its first year.
In 1974, the organization evolved into United Way of Natrona County expanding its philanthropic arm county-wide. With focus areas on basic needs, health and wellness and youth development, we fight to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of our community, giving everyone an opportunity to participate in the outcome. Today we raise more than $900,000 every year in support of 35 partner agencies and two community programs. The Workplace Campaign continues to be central to our efforts by encouraging giving through employer payroll deductions - creating both economic and social value to the community. Community volunteers still provide governance, serve as our directors, conduct the annual grant process and make all funding decisions.
OUR VISION IS THE COMMUNITY'S VISION-WE STAND BESIDE OUR RESIDENTS, WE SHARE THEIR VOICE, WE FIGHT TOGETHER-AND ULTIMATELY, WE AFFECT POSITIVE CHANGE AND LASTING IMPACT FOR NATRONA COUNTY.
Our work to advance the common good requires authentic interaction and collaboration with the entire community. Knowing and understanding the diversity of the groups and individuals that make up our communities is a critical component of this work. We continue our commitment to take an even deeper look and listen to what makes our community tick.
After more than 68 years and with the ever-changing landscape of our world and the effects of globalization, migration and digital technology, it is more important than ever to asses our strategies, our means of communication and ultimately our business model. Following best practices of United Ways across the nation we will begin a 2-year process of analyzing our internal history and operations as well as the community we serve. Through research and conversations at the board, staff and community levels we hope to identify key issues for Natrona County and determine if shifting to an issue-focused model (Community Impact) can make a more meaningful impact in our area with more measurable results.
Along with a master's degree Nikki Hawley has 25 years of corporate experience; she brings a fresh energy from the private sector. Most recently, Nikki was in marketing and sales for 11 years in Casper.
As the Executive Director of the United Way of Natrona County, Mrs. Hawley is responsible for carrying out the directives of a 14-member board made up of community leaders and volunteers. Additionally, she oversees the day-to-day business affairs of the organization, including marketing, events, donor and corporate relations, community outreach and project implementation.
"Casper is my home, and I am passionate about making a difference in our community. I am confident that there is no better way to achieve this than through United Way alongside our dedicated staff, board of directors and volunteers." Nikki Hawley, Executive Director
Gayle is a Wyoming Native and has been with United Way of Natrona County since 2007. Gayle has successfully worked with a multitude of supporters in a vast array of activities, including the Annual Campaign, Day of Caring, and Eat, Drink and Be Caring. "I am blessed to be living in a generous community that supports its non-profits and I look forward to collaborating with businesses, agencies, and individuals who are true leaders of our mission statement. I have had the opportunity to see firsthand, the incredible impact that United Way of Natrona County has had on the community in which we "LIVE UNITED".
Azure graduated from Mount Marty University with her bachelor's degree in human services in 2017. She joined the United Way of Natrona County team in December of 2021 after spending three years in Italy with her husband Chaise while he was serving in the U.S. Navy. In her current role she handles all programs, events, and volunteer opportunities. "I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with multiple United Way organizations in my past and to continue to do meaningful work here in Natrona County." When she isn't working, Azure can be found in the gym, at the golf course, or spending time with Chaise and their dog Teddy.
- Ali Gilbert - Western Sign & Design
- Ashley True VanDeest - True companies
- David Carpenter - Kokanee Energy, LLC
- Kendra Ziler - Ford Wyoming Center
- Lukas Munsell - Wyoming Machinery Company
- Michael Worley - PacifiCorp
- Rhonda Franzen - Casper College
- Stacy Nelson - Children's Advocacy Project
- Tanya Southerland - Natrona County School District
- Taylor Webb - Hilltop Bank
- Zara Mason - Williams, Porter Day & Neville