United Way of Northern New Mexico

A New Way to Measure Community Action

From left, UWNNM Executive Director Kristy Ortega, UWNNM Board President Steve Boerigter, UWNNM Board Member Jill Cook, UWNNM Campaign Chair and LAPS Superintendent Dr. Kurt Steinhaus and UWNNM Board Member Valerie Martinez.

From left, UWNNM Executive Director Kristy Ortega, UWNNM Board President Steve Boerigter, UWNNM Board Member Jill Cook, UWNNM Campaign Chair and LAPS Superintendent Dr. Kurt Steinhaus and UWNNM Board Member Valerie Martinez.

Here at United Way of Northern New Mexico (UWNNM) the people we touch have been, and will always be, on the forefront of the work we do.  For years we measured the money we raised in the Fall.  Looking at this made us scratch our head and ask ourselves ‘is this the measure of our successes?’  Digging into the programs we work with and asking our community partners we realized that just $50 a year can help one person utilize the services they need. Not to mention possibly helping the family of the individual.  $50!  ”It was incredible to find out that such a small amount per year can go such a long way to help someone,” UWNNM Executive Director Kristy Ortega said. “This really speaks to how our nonprofits can effectively and efficiently use resources.”  Now we know on average what it takes to assist someone for a year and can measure the lives we touch.  At this year’s Community Action Fund Campaign Kickoff we unveiled our new way of measuring. The Community Action Fundraising thermometer in front of the Los Alamos Post Office will measure people assisted rather than funds raised.  After all, isn’t really about the people we serve?

In 2017, UWNNM has a goal of helping 12,200 people have access to nonprofit services in the area of education, health and financial stability. This year, UWNNM announced its concentration on behavioral health services as this is an area with many gaps in resources and great need to residents in Northern New Mexico.

For a full listing of programs funded by UWNNM in 2016, visit https://unitedwaynnm. org/community-partners/.

To donate to United Way’s Community Action Fund, visit https://unitedwaynnm.org/donate/ or call 505.662.0800.

Resource Advocate Steers Family to Recovery

Andrea, a divorced Mother of several children, needs assistance with her teenage daughter, Sally, who is experiencing depression, anxiety, and was referred by the Probation Officer for Truancy. Their father moved away less than two months ago and continues to communicate with the children weekly. The family lives in small home and Andrea works part-time while children are in … Continue reading

2016 Community Action Funded Partners

Picking a charitable organization to invest in is quite the task in 2016. Luckily, investors in United Way of Northern New Mexico’s Community Action Fund leave the choosing up to the experts in the field of nonprofit work. United Way of Northern New Mexico (UWNNM) works in the communities of Northern New Mexico and has … Continue reading

United Way Youth Team Invests in Mental Health First Aid


Kristy Ortega and Emily Hopkins, United Way Youth Team, present check to Stacy Baker from JJAB. David Woodruff, Zia Credit Union and United Way Youth Team Sponsor

The money raised by the United Way Youth Team is now invested in programs focused on youth.  The last two years the Youth Team fundraising has been invested in behavioral health, LinkCrew, a peer to peer mentoring program and in 2016, the Youth Team has invested in training High School Staff on Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA.)

The 8 hour training takes place outside of school hours. YMHFA is designed to teach adults who regularly interact with youth how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis. The course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development, and teaches a 5-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance use, in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including AD/HD), and eating disorders. While the program is designed as a training for participants, the nature of the curriculum is such that the entire community of Los Alamos, from its youngest to its oldest, stands to benefit from the greater ability of those trained to identity and act upon signs of a youth in crisis.   If you are interested in attending upcoming trainings, please contact Stacy Baker at JJAB, starrybaker@gmail.com



4 Star Rating from Charity Navigator for 8th Consecutive Year

  United Way of Northern New Mexico (UWNNM) received a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator. This is the eighth consecutive time that UWNNM has earned this top distinction, indicating its sound fiscal management practices and commitment to accountability and transparency. Since 2002, using objective, data-driven analysis, Charity Navigator has awarded … Continue reading

2015 Philanthropists of the Year – LANL & LANS


Kathy Keith, LANL Community Relations and Programs Office, and Kristy Ortega, United Way of Northern New Mexico.

The largest Employee Giving Campaign in Los Alamos and Rio Arriba helps provide funding for area nonprofit programs in our community that address critical needs in the priority areas of health, education, and financial stability. This past year, with no confirmation for a match to donations, LANL employees pledged more than 2.3 million dollars for nonprofits around the world. This rise in the culture of giving is a wonderful sign for local nonprofits as pledges to United Way of Northern New Mexico also raised.

What you might not be aware of is, LANL and LANS invests nearly $200,000 a year for United Way of Northern New Mexico to work on critical community needs in Los Alamos and Rio Arriba and strengthen nonprofits locally.

The LANL Community Relations and Partnership Office played an intricate role in securing the LANS $1 million match again this year and for their commitment over the years to invest back into their communities where it is needed most , for that, we all say THANK YOU!


Community Action Fund Application Released March 14th

PrintThanks to all who invested the the Community Action Fund there are grants available to address critical community needs.

We are happy you have taken interest in learning more about becoming a Community Partner through our grant process.  Together we can overcome challenges in our community and help everyone achieve a higher quality of life.

Grant application window is now closed for 2016.

If you are interested in becoming a future partner please continue reading for more information.

To apply for a United Way of Northern New Mexico (UWNNM) grant, organizations must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Certified Non-profit 501(c) (3) in good standing with the IRS.
  • In or serving Los Alamos and/or Rio Arriba County


United Way of Northern New Mexico Behavioral Health(y) Community Initiative – United Way of Northern New Mexico (UWNNM) will give competitive priority to applicants focused on a clearly defined population related to or serving Behavioral and Mental Health Programs to included, but not limited, improving access to mental health service p

oviders, substance abuse programs, programs that educate on mental and behavioral health issues, and preventative programs.  In Rio Arriba, UWNNM is seeking to fund nonprofits committed to organizing a comprehensive path to recovery through community collaborations and partnerships

  • UWNNM will also consider proposals that impact one of our focus areas (Education, Financial Stability, Health); specific topics may include:
Los Alamos Impact Area Rio Arriba Impact Areas
Behavioral and Mental Health Treatment Awareness Substance Rehabilitation / Prevention (Comprehensive path to recovery)
Alzheimer’s Programs and Services Behavioral and Mental Health Treatment Awareness
Basic Needs Services Basic Needs Services
Youth Development – Mentorship Youth Development – Mentorship
Early Childhood Education Early Childhood Education

*The topics above have been identified as current needs in the communities we serve.  United Way of Northern New Mexico utilizes research done for community health profiles to measure where the most resources are needed.  Collaboration and leveraging funds always make a big impact on the grant decision making.

Here are some reports that identify the need in our community.

If you have questions please call 505.662.0800


In Times of Need, Services are Available.

Resources for mental health first aid

Upcoming Events

  • Nonprofit Tour September 30, 2016 LA Retirement Communtiy9:30am - 10:30 am First Born11am to 12 pm JJAB1 pm to 2 pm Little Forest 2:30- 3:00
  • High Tea on the Hill October 16, 2016 at 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm Los Alamos High School, 1300 Diamond Dr, Los Alamos, NM 87544, USA It's tea time! Come out to enjoy all the things you love about tea parties. Catered by Pig + Fig Cafe. https://app.mobilecause.com/form/Dfe0MA
  • Hamburger Night October 24, 2016 at 11:30 pm – 2:00 am TBD Los Alamos' family burger night out! Join the community as we celebrate the last youth team event. See some unique costumes and chow down on some burgers for a good cause. https://app.mobilecause.com/form/hd4XEA

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#philanthropist of the year @losalamosnatlab Youth team! #liveunited mmmm.. Burgers. Oct27 #BandelierGrill #costumeparty United Way of NNM giving campaign is off and running! Just another day here at the United Way office