FAQ's

What does United Way of Linn County do?

How is United Way different from other charities?

Why Support United Way?

How can I give to United Way?

Can I choose where my money goes?

Why should I give to United Way and not my favorite agency?

How are United Way funds allocated?

What is United Way's operating cost?

What percent of my pledge goes to the agencies?

 

 

 


What does United Way of Linn County do?

United Way focuses on the collaboration of people and resources to build healthier communities. United Way diagnoses community problems and partners with community based non-profit agencies to tackle tough issues. Each partner agency provides programming that will positively affect one or more of the following health and human service areas:

Income
Helping families become financially stable and independent by:

  • Supporting basic needs while increasing financial education
  • Helping hardworking individuals obtain job training and family sustaining wages
  • Increasing affordable housing for seniors and families


Education
Helping children and youth achieve their potential through education by:

  • Improving access to quality, affordable child care and early learning opportunities
  • Partnering with schools and parents to improve graduation rates
  • Providing after-school and mentioring programs for at-risk youth


Health
Improving peoples health by:

  • Increasing access to critical healthcare services
  • Reducing substance abuse, child abuse and domestic violence
  • Increasing health education and preventative care


United with our community, we can accomplish more than we ever can alone.

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How is United Way different from other charities?

Most health and human service organizations address only a single cause or area of concern. United Way researches and reviews community needs and then focuses its programming around the community's most pressing issues. United Way is dedicated to ensuring your investment is making a difference where you live. United Way monitors the performance of funded programs providing accountability and measurable results to donors.

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Why Support United Way?

Giving to United Way is the most effective way to make a difference--to create positive, measurable change. Your contribution, magnified by the gifts of so many others, helps more than one person, one charity or one issue. We are a community builder, connecting people through philanthropy and volunteerism to the larger community. The connections we make produce powerful results effecting real, lasting community change.

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How can I give to United Way?

United Way offers several convenient ways to give:
Online
Cash or check
Payroll deduction (check with your company to see if they offer an automatic payroll deduction)
Donate appreciated securities. When you donate appreciated securities to United Way, you pay no capital gains taxes and 100 percent of the stock is tax deductible. Consult your broker and United Way for further tax-saving information

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Can I choose where my money goes?

United Way of Linn County chooses to focus funding in three areas

Income
Education
Health

By investing directly in United Way your donation touches all three impact areas, and is put to work where it is needed most. It is also possible to designate your funds to a single impact area and make a difference in a single impact area.

We are also happy to offer you the option to designate to any 501(c)(3) agency. Your gift will be subject to the same overhead cost as gift to United Way; However, if you choose to designate to a non-partner agency United Way will not be able to track results or outcomes of your gift.

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Why should I give to United Way and not my favorite agency?

When you give directly to an agency, we can’t offer the extra value of United Way’s expertise applying your gift where it can have the greatest impact in the local community and we can’t monitor your contribution or the outcomes of programs.

Giving to United Way means that your donation coupled with many others will make a sizeable difference in your community. You’ll be addressing a variety of interrelated issues related to income, education and health instead of just one cause.

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How are United Way funds allocated?

The funding philosophy of United Way is that funds are allocated to programs of partner agencies that address high-priority community needs. The level of funding available is determined by the overall availability of funds and the partner agency’s program performance. The following values and principles form the foundation of the Funds Allocation Process:

  • Volunteer Managed: The direction, process, and policies of the funds allocation process, as well as funding decisions, are made by volunteers from diverse backgrounds.
  • Fair: The funds allocation system will be perceived as fair both by partner agencies and donors. There will be ample opportunity to provide and review information, for an appeal process to safeguard agencies’ rights. Volunteers making funding decisions will be guided by a conflict of interest policy to avoid personal bias.
  • Accountable: United Way will communicate to donors how contributions are translated into services.
  • Donor responsive: Various methods will be used to encourage and facilitate donor input.
  • User friendly: The allocation process will be easily understood by all participants. It will only use information that is necessary for decision-making and will respect the use of volunteer and staff time of both United Way and agencies.Competitive: The needs of the
  • community exceed the availability of resources. Partner agencies will enter and participate in the system knowing the process is competitive, that not all agencies programs may be funded, and that funding may not meet the requested level.
  • Inclusive: Decision-makers will be representative of the community. The allocations will support a service system that reaches into all parts and segments of the community.
  • Priority driven: Funds will be directed to the most pressing community human services problems that are appropriate for United Way response.

United Way of Linn County collaborates with community partners utilizing volunteers and sponsorships whenever possible to keep our administrative overhead low. This ensures that your gift makes the greatest impact possible in your community.

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What is United Way's operating cost?

In 2011 our administrative cost was 6.3%% well below industry standards of 25%. United Way continuously looks for ways to keep costs low, through the use of volunteers and sponsorships.

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What percent of my pledge goes to the agencies? 

United Way takes an 8% admin fee from each pledge and an additional 8% out for pledge loss.  Pledge loss ensures that agencies receive all pledges even if they are note paid in full due to business closures, layoffs or career changes.  

If United Way does not need to utilize the 8% pledge loss, anything that is not used will be allocated to agencies during the next funding cycle.

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