Advocate.pngEach year United Way works with legislators, communities, programs and leaders across the state of Iowa to establish mission-driven public policy goals and priorities to achieve systemic changes.

United Way’s advocacy work is focused on:

  • Developing relationships with elected officials from both parties at all levels of


  • Sharing what we have learned from our initiatives and heard from the community

  • Focusing on where we align with others and working with allies to collectively drive change

Below are tools, references, and information regarding United Way's advocacy efforts in Iowa. 

Download the 2017 Advocacy Scorecard

Legislative Priorities

Explore the issues in-depth.

Summer Literacy

Pre-K Funding

Chronic Absenteeism

Cliff Effect


Childhood Trauma

Adult Mental Health

Childhood Obesity

Advocacy Action Center

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  • Find your elected officials
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Go to Action Center

Advocacy Resources

Iowa General Assembly


Learn about current legislation, committee meetings and legislatures at the Iowa General Assembly website.

Iowa Governor


This website includes press releases, commentary and constituent services for Iowa’s governor.


Find Your Legislators


To engage in advocacy, it is important to know who represents you at the Iowa Capitol and in Washington, D.C.


Nonprofit Advocacy & Lobbying

Can nonprofits lobby? What is legal? The following sites are useful resources for nonprofits engaging in public policy and advocacy

2017 Legislative Priorities

Each year United Way of Central Iowa and other United Ways around the state collaborate to develop our top priorities for the Iowa legislature in the areas of education, income and health, the building blocks for a good quality of life. Our work to advocate for public policy changes to work toward achieving our goals for 2020 happen both directly through face to face meetings with legislators, leaders, and influencers in our community, and indirectly by helping all central Iowans to engage their legislators regarding these issues.


One in four Iowa children does not read proficiently by the end of third grade—a strong predictor of future education success. United Way of Central Iowa supports policies to increase the number of Iowa children reading proficiently by the end of third grade, a key indicator of high school graduation.

  • Fully fund summer learning and literacy programs

  • Raise Pre-K funding level for low-income students

  • Support the Governor’s Chronic Absenteeism Advisory Council recommendations   


United Way of Central Iowa advocates for policies that enable Iowans to upskill and sustain employment to increase income.

  • Eliminate the child care “cliff effect” by expanding Child Care Assistance Program eligibility and adjusting provider reimbursement rates

  • Support the Iowa Skills2Compete Coalition recommendations 



United Way of Central Iowa advocates for a comprehensive, holistic approach to health and well-being, focused on prevention and addressing root causes of poor health outcomes.

  • Support the Iowa ACEs 360 Coalition recommendations

  • Ensure successful implementation and management of an adult mental health system

  • Support the Well Kids of Central Iowa Coalition recommendations 

Download a Detailed Legislative Agenda

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"Our work with Iowa legislators, business leaders and community impact experts is an important part of United Way's work, and has led to significant progress state-wide."

Dave Stone.png

Dave Stone
Advocacy Officer   (515) 246-6538