United Way News
What is United Way of Weld County?
United Way of Weld County is a local, independent nonprofit organization. Our mission is to improve the lives of people by mobilizing the caring power of our community. We are one of the largest providers and funders of health and human service agencies in our community. Money raised locally stays in this community, supporting a system of health and human services that helps in ways no single agency can, such as identifying critical issues, combining resources to solve problems, assuring accountability with the involvement of trained volunteers who provide oversight. Our annual campaign raises funds through corporate giving and employee campaigns at local workplaces and through individual, small business and foundation contributions. Volunteers work diligently to ensure that funds are spent wisely on efficient, effective programs that meet high-priority community needs.
Isn’t United Way just another charity?
United Way exists for one reason – to help us come together as one community to identify and address the issues that affect all of us. Those issues, like making sure children start school ready to learn and helping families become self-sufficient, cross lines of race, gender, geography and faith, and can only be addressed with collective focus and action.
United Way of Weld County is more than just another charity. While most charities have a single cause, the United Way purpose is both focused and provide a safety net and broad spectrum of services throughout our community. United Way of Weld County brings together the resources and expertise necessary to address our community’s most critical needs.
Why give to the United Way?
A single fund-raising drive helps provide a multitude of services in the most efficient and economical manner. Contributors’ dollars go the furthest, do the most good and help provide many services in the community with just one gift. One gift is convenient for the contributor and cost effective for affiliated agencies. It allows agencies and programs to concentrate more on helping and less on fund-raising. Additionally, the United Way of Weld County is accountable, assuring your dollars are spent wisely.
Why not just give directly to the agencies?
There are several reasons why United Way is the best choice for charitable investment:
People who need help often need the help of more than one agency. Help needed is not one-dimensional. United Way funds a network of care to insure that all the services needed in our community are available. United Way works to bring organizations together in a coordinated manner to help clients get back on their feet and help assure children and families are supported.
United Way affiliation enables grantee agencies to leverage money and private dollars in addition to their United Way funding which multiplies the effect of your contribution.
Volunteer oversight provided by United Way volunteers assures that grantee agencies are practicing sound fiscal management, providing quality services and achieving outcomes.
Giving through United Way reduces costly and time-consuming fundraising efforts for agencies, so their time can be spent helping others.
Donors may designate contributions to non-profit organizations important to them through United Way.
How are United Way and grantee agencies and programs accountable to donors?
United Way’s own operating budget is audited by an independent accounting firm and is carefully scrutinized by members of the United Way Board of Directors. All grantee agencies and programs requesting United Way funding also undergo careful, regular monitoring, financial review and reporting of outcomes. This review is conducted by trained volunteers.
Who decides how the money is spent?
Volunteers do. The United Way of Weld County Board of Directors oversee the entire budget. The distribution of funds is decided by volunteers from our community. Last year, over 60 local volunteers decided how the dollars should be awarded. Volunteers review agency requests, review priorities, review agency financial and program management, and make difficult decisions.
How do I know my gift stays local?
Local volunteers make sure your dollars stay in the county by requiring quarterly reports from each grantee program. These reports include specific information about United Way grant dollars and how they are spent in relation to the program’s entire budget. United Way maintains a standard of excellence and guidelines for funding. If the volunteers have concerns, there are a number of steps that United Way can take to follow up with the program. Volunteers monitor all the programs to ensure accountability.
Who manages United Way?
United Way is locally incorporated, autonomous organization governed by a local volunteer Board of Directors whose members are respected community and business leaders. Policies, activities, procedures, agencies we support are determined locally. The community volunteers who lead United Way come from various positions in our community and represent the diversity of our area. A knowledgeable professional staff that works closely with volunteers and handles United Way’s daily management.
What is the difference between our local United Way and United Way of America?
Our local United Way is the United Way of Weld County based in Greeley. It is a local, independent organization serving all of Weld County. All funding and policy decisions are made by volunteers who live and work in our community. No entity outside of our community makes decisions for the United Way of Weld County. United Way Worlwide, based in Alexandria, VA is a membership association for the 1,400 separate, independent United Ways across the country. United Way Worldwide does not fund programs--they are a national service and training center for all United Ways. In order to use the United Way name, local United Ways must meet standards of excellence.
Does United Way of America set policy for local United Ways?
No. Each United Way is separate from one another and has its own Board of Directors that make decisions about what is best for its community. Local volunteers who know their community also make funding decisions for local agencies.
I never use any of the agency services, so why should I give?
You never know when you, a member of your family or a close friend will need a United Way service. Job loss, loss of a loved one, illness, disabilities, family problems, natural disaster, mental disorders, problems of growing up and growing old know no boundaries. One in four people in our community have received services funded by United Way.
Building the lives of children, youth, families and the elderly in our community does impact all of us. Healthy families make for a strong community from which we all benefit.
I can’t give very much, is my gift too small to matter?
A contribution to United Way, no matter how much, is vital to the community and the best way to give. Your United Way investment, because it is magnified by the investment of others, has the power to bring about change that matters in our community. Even a gift of only $1 per week helps. Every dollar makes a difference. Whatever the size of your contribution, you are giving someone a hand up. Payroll deduction or monthly billing spreads your gift over a year and it is used to provide funding for a network of services throughout your community.
Why should I give? My spouse gives for the both of us.
Your annual contribution is a family decision. United Way depends on each person to give as generously as they can. We have a responsibility to the community, and United Way can only continue to fund human care services if each of us does our part. Therefore, you might consider giving half through your workplace while your spouse gives the other half through his or her workplace.
I cannot afford to give more to United Way.
We are all fighting the rising cost of living, and it’s not getting easier. But just think, if we feel the “pinch,” what it must be like for someone less fortunate who needs help. It’s not how much you give, but that you do indeed give and become a part of this important community work.
Do I have to specify a targeted care fund or specific agency?
No. In fact, the best way to impact the entire community is by the United Way’s Community Care Fund, which supports all the programs serving in the targeted areas, plus grants and special initiatives.
Can I give to a specific agency?
Yes. United Way will honor designations made to any 501c3 charitable organization. Donors should give their complete name and address as well as amount of the gift, name and complete address of agency designated.
Can I give to more than one agency?
Yes. For example, you may give a portion to the Targeted Care Fund and portion to the Community Care Fund or you may give to the Community Care Fund and a specific agency. Simply indicate this on you pledge card. We encourage you to select the United Way Community Care Fund, which will have the greatest community impact.
Does United Way fund abortion services?
No, United Way of Weld County does not fund any program that provides these services.
Does United Way fund the Boy Scouts?
Yes, United Way of Weld County currently funds three programs at Boy Scouts Long Peaks Council. We have a long and positive partnership with Boy Scouts.
Why should I give to United Way if I already give to my church or favorite charitable organization?
United Way does not want to take contributions away from other organizations. However, churches and other organizations do not address many of the unmet needs addressed by United Way. Because no organization does more with your contribution, many people choose to include United Way in their overall charitable giving plan.
Is United Way meeting the most important community needs?
United Way of Weld County conducts a community-wide needs assessment every ten years. Teams of volunteers review agencies for funding to ensure that services are provided to people throughout the community who have the greatest needs. Not every problem can be solved, but the volunteers work to find the most effective, efficient ways of meeting critical needs. Sometimes this includes supplementary programs such as management assistance, staff training and volunteer recruitment. Untied Way of Weld County also looks at the whole community and the resources already available for some critical areas.
What is the Cornerstone Partner Program?
The Cornerstone Program is a new collaboration with local foundations and businesses to underwrite the administrative costs of United Way. They fund all administrative and fundraising costs of United Way of Weld County. This ensures that more of your donation can go directly to helping others.
How much of what I give helps people?
Each year, United Way of Weld County looks at ways to lower fund raising costs. Beginning in 2007, the Cornerstone Partner Program was initiated to fund these costs. In an effort to maximize the power of collaborative fundraising potential, this program utilizes corporate donations to pay for administrative and fundraising costs. The purpose of the Cornerstone Partnership is to eliminate fees taken from any individual’s donation. With Cornerstone Partners, United Way of Weld County will be able to invest more of every contribution into programs and services. This is a powerful promise. Cornerstone Partners designate their corporate investment in United Way to ensure that donations are helping those in need without cost to the donor.
The United Way campaign is recognized as a proven method of cost-effective fund-raising. Our goal is to maximize the amount of dollars available to meet community needs. Volunteers provide their skills and expertise in fund distribution and all other aspects of United Way. The extensive use of volunteers allows us to maintain a small staff with low overhead. We do have administrative costs. Because of our extensive use of volunteers, and the generosity of the Cornerstone Partners we are proud to report that our administrative is among the lowest of most major charities and is actually less than most agencies in our community. Administration and fund-raising is 15% for United Way of Weld County. The National Charities Information Bureau states that “the national average cost of fund-raising administration is 44%. Anything below 35% is excellent.” With Cornerstone Partners funding this overhead cost, more of each donor's dollar goes further.
What is United Way Worldwide?
United Way Worldwide (UWW) is the national membership organization for 1,400 independent local United Way organizations across the country. Each United Way is autonomous and governed by its own board of directors. United Ways that choose to join the national organization rely on UWw for national research, advertising, training, and many other services essential to their operations. United Way of Weld County, pays less than a penny per dollar raised to receive these services. United Way Worldwide does not raise funds or allocate money to human services nor set policies or govern local United Ways.
Where can I get help?
United Way cannot guarantee anyone that funds will be available at any organization or agency in the community nor that the appropriate agency even exists in Weld County. What we can do is provide you with information and referral that can help you find assistance. Whether you need child care, care for an aging loved one or ideas to help your teen or family members needing assistance – simply dial 2-1-1 or visit www.unitedway-weld.org and click on the 2-1-1 Logo.
How does a designation to an agency differ from Community Care Fund?
Designations to the Community Care Fund track exactly how your money is spent. Trained volunteers carefully review budgets, financial practices, program delivery and management to assure dollars are spent wisely. Contributions designated to specific non-profit agencies go directly to that agency with no strings attached.
Can I exclude an agency?
Yes. You can “negatively designate”, thus assuring that your contribution will not be used for services which you do not support.
Is my name shared when I give to United Way?
All personal information is confidential and is not shared with any other organization, unless permission is granted from the contributor.
Is it true that United Way only helps the poor?
United Way grantee agencies and programs support individuals from all walks of life. Examples of services include youth programs, family counseling, quality child care and home meal delivery. While United Way funds are primarily directed to those who cannot afford to pay or who are uninsured, United Way support assures these services are available for all. Furthermore, we all benefit from living and working in a healthier, stonger community.
Why do some United Way grantee agencies conduct fund-raising efforts every year?
United Way is the primary local fund drive for many of these community agencies and programs but does not provide 100% of any agency’s operating expenses. On average United Way of Weld County is only 35% of agencies’ budgets, ranging from less than 1% to 65%. Government and foundation grants, fees for service, special events or membership drives are conducted as well. The reality is that if United Way of Weld County raised more money agencies wouldn’t have to conduct so many efforts. This would be more cost effective for all. United Way needs everyone to do their part in contributing.
Why does the campaign goal keep going up?
There will always be need. The demand for health and human services has increased greatly with the growth in our community. There are gaps in services and emerging needs. United Way of Weld County continues to try to meet the costs and fill this void.
Does United Way ‘shut’ some agencies out of its campaign?
No. Through United Way of Weld County you can give to any 501(c)3 health and human service program. You can support your favorite causes through United Way even through that particular organization. However, United Way of Weld County cannot be held accountable for unaffiliated designations.
Why does United Way waste money on lunches and fancy parties?
Contributors’ money is not used for these lunches. All attendees pay for their meals, or events are sponsored.
Can I trust our local United Way?
Yes, absolutely. Our tax records and financial audits are open to the public. Careful stewardship by local volunteers has been our hallmark for nearly 50 years.
Does United Way 2-1-1 only give information and referrals for United Way funded programs?
No. United Way 2-1-1 is your community information and resource referral program serving the residents of Weld County. The trained specialists can answer your questions and connect you with ALL of the services and volunteer opportunities in our community. The 2-1-1 staff and volunteers work diligently year round to ensure that they are updating their database with the most current information services and volunteer opportunities available from all local non-profits and health and human service agencies.
How do I become an individual Leadership giver?
There are several levels of leadership giving, beginning with a minimum contribution of $750. When your gift is $10,000 or more, you become eligible to join the Tocqueville Society. Leadership givers have the opportunity to attend some great events and meet other philanthropists in our community. Your gift is acknowledged in our Leadership Booklet each year, and you will also receive a quarterly newsletter highlighting the impact your generous gift makes here in Weld County. For more information on the Tiller’s Club Leadership Giving Program and The Tocqueville Society, contact United Way.
What else does United Way do besides fund agencies?
One of our most significant roles is bringing the community together to work on creating lasting change. United Way does "whatever it takes" to help our community focus and get results on important human issues. While United Way does raise and invest dollars, we also help people find volunteer opportunities, lend their professional expertise, donate household and office items and advocate on behalf of issues. United Way 2-1-1 connects people who need help or want to help with local resources. Through technical assistance, United Way helps nonprofits operate more effectively and efficiently. Our Child Care Resource and Referral Program helps parents find quality child care. One of our most significant roles is bringing the community together to work on solutions to problems. We provide facilitation to several problem solving efforts including Promises for Children, the Housing and Emergency Services Network and the Faith Community Services Fund to mention just a few.
Our employees and their families are struggling. How can we ask them to give?
Time and again, some of the most generous givers are those who themselves have struggled and needed a helping hand from our community. Everyone should be given an opportunity to express caring through charitable giving, to enjoy the emotional reward that comes from knowing her or she has helped our community become safer and stronger. In the same way we believe no one should be forced to give, we also believe no one should be deprived the opportunity to give.
How do the troubles at other United Ways and other nonprofits affect our United Way?
They do not. Each one of the 1,400 United Ways in the country is autonomous and managed by local volunteers. In Weld County, hundreds of volunteer leaders from all walks of life are involved in and oversee every detail of United Way operations, from fundraising to investments to financial management.
How does an organization apply to receive funding from United Way?
Each year, when resources allow, United Way invites applications from organizations that can demonstrate measurable results in addressing issues our community has identified as most important. United Way also supports nonprofits by providing technical assistance.