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Allegany and Cattaraugus United Ways Merge


New organization strengthens commitment to community impact

From the United Way of Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties,

OLEAN NY, Dec. 21, 2023 – In a strategic move to enhance community impact and streamline operations, the Allegany County United Way and the United Way in Cattaraugus County are proud to announce their merger, resulting in the formation of the United Way of Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties.

The merger brings together the strengths and resources of both organizations, fostering greater efficiency and cost savings. By consolidating administrative functions, the new organization is well-positioned to maximize its impact on Allegany and Cattaraugus Counties.

Susan McAuley, the current Executive Director of the United Way in Cattaraugus County, will lead the newly formed organization. Her leadership and experience will guide the unified efforts towards achieving community-driven goals.

“This merger is a big step in our ongoing commitment to making a positive impact. By pooling our efforts and resources, we’re better positioned to meet the changing needs of our communities,” Mrs. McAuley said. “All of this is to ensure we continue to make a positive difference in the lives of those we serve.”

The merger is anticipated to yield cost savings that will be redirected towards community programs, allowing the United Way of Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties to better serve the diverse needs of both counties.

The consolidation of the two separate boards has already taken place in preparation for the official merge, creating a unified governance structure that aligns with the organization’s mission.

“Several months ago, the United Ways of both Allegany County and Cattaraugus County began exploring the opportunity to merge their organizations in a way that could streamline operations, create financial savings, and improve their long-term viability while still serving the specific needs of each county’s residents and non-profit organizations,” Ethan Lyle, UWCAC board president, said. “During this time, it became apparent that both United Ways had dedicated staff, volunteers and board members who wanted the best outcome for those they served. This like-minded approach led to a resolution to move ahead with a proposed merger that truly benefited all involved.”

“As a committed Allegany County resident, I am thrilled that we could join forces with Cattaraugus County to form one larger United Way,” Liz Forster, UWCAC board vice president, said. “This merger means less time and money spent on basic operating tasks and more capacity for direct service to our communities. 

“We were so fortunate to have leadership during the merger process from the New York State Council on Nonprofits (NYCON),” Ms. Forster said. “With their guidance, we were able to come up with operating procedures that ensure funds raised in each county stay in that county and that the organization will always have strong representation from both counties on the board.”

Mr. Lyle added, “Now that the merger has been finalized, the newly formed United Way of Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties looks forward to impacting our area in many positive ways.”

The United Way in Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties brings people together to build strong communities where everyone thrives. They tackle tough challenges and work with private, public, and nonprofit partners to boost education, economic solutions, and health resources.

For more information on United Way programs or to give, visit


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