What does United Way do?
United Way of the CSRA raises funds to support health and human service programs through our partner agencies to help those most in need. What makes us different from other nonprofits focused on these issues is how we work. We are the ONLY nonprofit that brings together people and resources from every sector – volunteers, advocates, and donors, partner agencies, counties and governments to develop and deliver new solutions in our community.
How is United Way structured?
Each of the 1,800+ United Ways in the nation is autonomous and supported by local volunteers. United Way Worldwide, headquartered in Virginia, is the umbrella organization. In the CSRA, we have 15 staff members working across our 12 counties. Our volunteers, from all walks of life, assist with United Way operations, from fundraising to community investments to financial management - all year round.
I've never been helped by an agency. Why should I donate?
While it is true some of the services provided by United Way-funded programs are for the poor and those in need, there are many programs that provide necessary community services such as the character-building programs of agencies like the Boys and Girls Clubs or the emergency services provided by the American Red Cross.
I already support my favorite charity. Why should I give to United Way, too?
The needs of the community are much broader than any one agency can handle. United Way partner agencies offer a comprehensive mix of programs and services to meet the diverse needs of our total community. Many contributors like the option of making one donation and having it spread among many diverse programs in the community, multiplying its impact. We also pride ourselves on monitoring our agencies so that they adhere to sound fiscal policies, provide effective services, and factual outcomes. When you donate directly to an agency, often times your dollars cannot be monitored as closely or accurately.
Why do some agencies charge a fee for their services?
United Way funds various programs offered by our partner agencies. Since we do not fund the entire operating budget of an agency, most seek other sources of revenue to cover their costs. United Way partner agencies operate without discrimination with most using fee scales based on ability to pay. By allowing some individuals to pay for the services, United Way partner agencies are able to stretch their United Way dollars to serve more people.
Why doesn't United Way include all organizations?
Although we work closely with our partner agencies, many organizations receive funding through our donor choice program. Not all nonprofits want to be part of a single, community-wide campaign. United Way only sends funds to agencies that provide health and human services and are 501(c)3 tax exempt as determined by the Internal Revenue Service. This does not include agencies that are primarily academic, animal welfare, cultural, grantmaking, political, recreational, or religious in nature.
Can I designate to my favorite organization?
United Way honors designations to a number of local organizations but does not encourage them. We believe that our citizen review panels do an effective job in allocating funds to our partner agencies from annual campaign funds. However, if you choose to designate, United Way will honor your wishes. An administrative fee is charged to process designated funds to agencies that are not partners with United Way. A $150 minimum designation per agency is necessary for an individual to designate. Anything under $150 will be directed to the United Way Community Investment Fund.
Does United Way have a formal financial audit procedure?
An annual audit of United Way’s financial statements is conducted by an independent, certified public accountant and accounting firm whose examination complies with Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (GAAS), and in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Volunteer finance and audit committees monitor all aspects of the organization’s finances and audit relationships to ensure United Way adheres to the highest standards of financial accountability throughout the year. United Way is in compliance with all state and federal laws. Financials are posted online and can be found here.
Is my contribution tax deductible?
Yes, however, there are some guidelines. Please consult your tax advisor for information on your specific situation.
If I stop working, or leave the company where I made my donation, what happens to my pledge?
Should you stop working, your payroll deduction pledge stops, too. Your pledge is made in good faith based upon your employment. When you start a new job, ask to sign up for payroll deduction again, or make a recurring donation online using your credit/debit card here.
How does United Way choose what agencies and programs are funded?
Agencies, whether new or existing, must submit proposals explaining why the funding is necessary, what it will be used for and how it’s needed in our community. A Citizens Review Panel (compromised completely of volunteers) is then trained in our review process, requirements and introduced to the proposed programs. The Panel reviews the proposals and any supplemental presentations before making recommendations to the Community Investment Committee regarding fund allocation. Those recommendations are reviewed, amended and approved by our Board of Directors. Each program that receives funding from United Way of the CSRA is reviewed annually to ensure we receive measurable, factual and impactful outcomes in our community.