United Way of Northeast Florida receives historical gift

United Way of Northeast Florida received a “first of its kind” gift – a $1 million endowment from Delores Barr Weaver – to benefit the community in a sustainable way.

Issued from the Delores Barr Weaver Fund at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, the $1 million endowment is the first such gift in United Way of Northeast Florida’s 94-year history. Nearly 20 years ago, the Weavers gave United Way its very first $1 million gift in 1999 to establish the “Weaver Challenge,” making them a member of United Way Worldwide’s Million Dollar Roundtable.

Delores Barr Weaver

Delores Barr Weaver

“Delores is a game changer and forward thinker who continues to lead the way with this gift,” said Michelle Braun, president and CEO of United Way of Northeast Florida. “She understands how critical endowments are to the longevity of organizations like United Way and the more than 70 partners we support. We are so thankful for her generosity.”

Weaver and her husband, Wayne, first donated to United Way in 1995, when they came to Jacksonville as the owners of the newest NFL franchise, the Jacksonville Jaguars. Along with their generous financial investments, Weaver gives freely of her time and energy to United Way in serving in many leadership roles, including service as a board trustee. In recognition of her support and leadership, the board elected Weaver to become the first trustee emeritus in 2005.

In 1996, 1997 and 2011, Delores and Wayne Weaver served as United Way’s Alexis de Tocqueville Society co-chairs, leading the organization’s highest-level donors and most respected philanthropic leaders committed to funding strategic solutions to solve the community’s toughest challenges.

Delores Barr Weaver was also recognized in 1996 with a special Tocqueville Society award, sharing that “all of us working together are stronger than any one of us alone.”

The Weaver Challenge grant initiative allows donors to annually step up their gift over a period of years and, through this challenge, the Weavers were able to leverage their investment in 1999 to generate more than three million new dollars for Northeast Florida over a five-year period.

Weaver’s recent endowment gift ensures her annual United Way Tocqueville Society support will benefit the community forever, providing a sustainable revenue stream to United Way and its partners.

“United Way of Northeast Florida is a critical leader in addressing the most challenging conditions of our community,” said Weaver. “I am proud to support United Way’s efforts for generations to come, knowing the lives of local children and families will be irrevocably transformed.”