United Way of North Carolina Aims to Generate Change by Revealing Financial Realities Facing NC Families


Imagine being a single mom with one child, working a full-time job 40 hours per week, barely above the minimum wage, and still not being able to support your family without needing a second job. That is the unfortunate reality for many North Carolinians.

Recently released by United Way of North Carolina, the Self-Sufficiency Standard Report for North Carolina 2017 calculates how much income families of various sizes and compositions need to meet their most basic needs without public or private assistance. This number varies across counties, however there is one consistency. A full-time minimum wage job is not enough to make ends meet in any of the state’s 100 counties. The “lowest cost” group of counties in North Carolina – about half of all NC counties – requires between $30,000 and $35,000 yearly for a family of 2 (one adult and one preschooler) to adequately meet their needs. This means that a single mom will have to work another 40 hours at minimum wage to be self-sufficient.

Local United Ways across North Carolina are addressing community problems, many through collaborative efforts with other community organizations to support working families. This research is a tool that can be used to raise awareness of the challenges working families face, provide information about crucial work supports and resources that can help close the income gap, and build collaborative action that removes barriers and helps families work towards self-sufficiency.  

Learn more about the Self-Sufficiency standard here.

Did You Know?

Immediately after Hurricane Matthew the United Way of North Carolina set up the UW Helps NC Fund which raised $248,000 for local United Ways affected by Hurricane Matthew. The United Way of North Carolina also serves as the administrator of the Governor’s NC Disaster Relief Fund.


Service Areas

The United Way of North Carolina serves 53 local United Way organizations in North Carolina.    

Learn more about the United Way of North Carolina here.

Brendan Ward