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A shot of the South Dakota Capitol building.

About Us

The Capital Area United Way (CAUW) fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in Hughes and Stanley counties. 

Through its community-wide fundraising efforts, the CAUW helps to support 35 programs and services offered through 15 local CAUW funded agencies. Through a strong volunteer system, CAUW brings together business, government, and committed people to address local health and human service needs in Hughes and Stanley counties. 

The CAUW Community Impact programs target specific needs in our community that are currently not being met. Thanks to our generous donors, we are able to fund programs that solve our community's most pressing needs in the areas of health, income, and education. 

Our Mission

The mission of the CAUW is to increase the organized capacity of people to care for one another. 
A group of Capital Area United Way volunteers helping out at the campaign kickoff event.


What does it mean to LIVE UNITED?

It's a credo. A mission. A goal. A constant reminder that when we as individuals think outside ourselves, we have the power to facilitate change.

When we think of others' lives as linked to our own, our compassion grows. When we reach out a hand to one, we influence the condition of all. 

We build the strength of our neighborhoods. 

We bolster the health of our communities. 

And we change the lives of those who walk by us every day.

Get involved. Make a difference.


On August 3, 1988, BankWest Inc hosted 36 business, community and government leaders for dinner. The meeting, moderated by Bob Brancel, had as guest speakers, William Barlow, President and Ted Muenster, Chairman of the Board of the Sioux Empire United Way, Sioux Falls, South Dakota. 
The purpose of the meeting was to provide the guest speakers the opportunity of discussing United Way and answering community questions. 

Following the program, it was the unanimous consensus of those present that the United Way program should be implemented for the Pierre – Fort Pierre area. 

Seven people volunteered to serve on a Steering Committee to begin the implementation. Following a news release of the meeting, six additional people requested the opportunity to become involved and were added to the committee. 

Following that day, on an initial donation of $50 for expenses, the Pierre – Fort Pierre United Way began its journey towards becoming a reality in 1989. Additional funding came from a $3,500 grant from the South Dakota Community Foundation and $6,640 advanced gifts from leading businesses. 

In 2004, the Pierre – Fort Pierre United Way celebrated its 15th anniversary. To better reflect our service area of Hughes and Stanley counties, as well as to allow for possible expansion in the future, the Pierre – Fort Pierre United Way officially changed our name to Capital Area United Way (CAUW) in the spring of 2004. 


Today, the CAUW is governed by a 25 member Board of Directors, allocates monies to local agencies and supports programs such as Dolly Parton Imagination Library and Girls on the Run/Girls on Track. 


CAUW is an independent non-profit organization, which is locally funded and operated. We are a member of United Way Worldwide. Two percent of our previous year’s campaign is paid to UWW for support, issue lobbying, training, advertising, use of the United Way logo, products and services. United Way Worldwide has no control on how we operate or to whom we allocate funding. 

Becky Spoehr Exec Director.jpg

Becky Spoehr, Executive Director

Becky Spoehr, originating from Wisconsin but deeply entrenched in the Pierre Community for almost 14 years, has been a dedicated figure in the non-profit sector.

"Ensuring the health, education, and financial stability of every member within our community isn't just a goal; it's the cornerstone of our collective prosperity. When each individual flourishes, our entire community thrives."


Let's connect.

Office Phone: (605) 224-9229

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