These are some of the most commonly-asked questions about the United Way of Williams County’s annual campaign. To see an answer, just click on a question. If your question is not answered here, check the Agency Partner FAQ, General United Way FAQ or email us.
Where do United Way dollars come from?
United Way contributions come from individuals like you and from companies throughout Williams County.
How much money did United Way raise in last year’s campaign?
United Way of Williams County raised $316,408 in last year’s campaign (Campaign 2011). This represented 100.1% of our $316,000 goal.
Where does the money that United Way of Williams County raises go?
Your gift to United Way of Williams County stays in Williams County, unless you designate it elsewhere. United Way of Williams County is the largest non-governmental funder of local community programs and services in Williams County. United Way dollars are targeted to meet critical community needs in the county not funded by other sources and invest in long-term solutions to top social problems. Currently, United Way funds programs at 28 different agencies.
Who decides how to spend the dollars raised by United Way of Williams County’s fundraising efforts?
Volunteers. Individuals like you, who represent a broad spectrum of the Williams County area serving on the United Way board. The United Way of Williams County is a local autonomous organization making local decisions on how monies are raised and how monies are spent. We are not governed by a national organization, or do we follow mandated policies and procedures.
Each year, all services and programs currently funded by United Way are reviewed by volunteers, who are trained in analyzing budgets, program efficiency and effectiveness. Organizations seeking funding present written proposals to United Way and its volunteer teams. Funding decisions are based on dollars available, community need and on the ability of the applicant to meet that need.
How much money actually goes to community services?
About 74 cents of every dollar donated to United Way of Williams County supports local services and programs that meet basic needs, improve community conditions and help get to the root causes of some our most pressing problem. United Way of Williams County’s overhead cost of just 26 cents per dollar raised is below the standard of 35 cents recommended for charities by the Better Business Bureau.
Why should I give to United Way? Why not just donate directly to an agency?
Charitable giving is a personal and voluntary decision and the United Way of Williams County encourages you to do what is most comfortable to you. A gift to United Way of Williams County is an investment that benefits the entire community, not just one program, issue, or population.
There are many valuable non-profit organizations in the area you may care about. United Way provides an opportunity for your one gift to support a variety of local needs. If everyone designated their gifts to their favorite agency, many services to those in need would not be available to the community. Through one gift to United Way, you can accomplish so much good!
You can also be assured that your gift to United Way of Williams County goes directly to fund programs that help people most in need. United Way conducts periodic needs assessments to ensure donor dollars are addressing the most pressing community needs. We also monitor funded programs and initiatives annually to make sure they are efficiently and effectively improving people’s lives and making a positive impact. United Way of Williams County volunteers ensure that contributions are doing the most good in the community.
Finally, contributing through United Way guarantees agencies funds they can rely on every month rather than depending on sporadic contributions.
Can I designate my gift?
Though you have the opportunity to designate to any of the funded agencies of United Way of Williams County, and other United Ways across the country, please consider giving to the United Way Community Care Fund, which supports all of the agencies.
Why should I give if my spouse/partner already gives?
United Way of Williams County believes that charitable giving is a personal and voluntary decision. We encourage each spouse/partner to participate in his/her employer’s United Way workplace campaign. The combined total of both gifts may qualify you for leadership giving recognition.
Is giving to United Way voluntary?
YES! Giving to United Way is strictly voluntary. United Way does not use or approve of coercion. Education about how United Way agencies help people is the best way to encourage contribution.
What if I don’t want my money to go to a certain agency?
Not every agency appeals to every donor, but all agencies have met the meticulous standards of our United Way and the programs we fund meet needs within our community. If you like, you can designate to any one agency that fits your charitable goals.
Does my donation stay in Williams County?
About 99 cents of every dollar raised stays in Williams County.
I don’t use the services, why should I give?
Chances are, you or someone you know will use a United Way member agency service or program in your lifetime. When you consider the tremendous range of services provided by United Way funded programs, you or a family member will probably use one of the services at some point in time. Perhaps your son will become a Boy Scout or your daughter a Girl Scout. Or perhaps a family will need other services our agencies provide. Whatever the occasion, United Way funded programs meet the needs of thousands of people in our service area, assuring all of us a better place to live, work, and play.
What is the easiest way to contribute?
Payroll deduction is by far the most convenient method of contribution. A small amount is taken from your paycheck per payday, allowing you to make a small contribution each week that can make a big difference in the course of a year.
How can I be certain where my United Way contribution goes?
One of the benefits of contributing to the United Way is that you know where your money goes. The volunteers serving on the United Way’s Community Investment Committees monitor “where the money goes” from a budgetary standpoint, as well as programs and services. you have specific concerns, please call the United Way office at 419-636-8603 to answer your questions.
Why should I contribute to the United Way if I pay taxes?
Your tax dollars do support many social services in the community. However, this does not begin to address all the needs within our community. That is why we need your help to continue these important services.
I do not live in the area where I work. Why should I contribute to the United Way?
If you live in another town or city, remember that you can direct gifts to United Ways serving your own community through the United Way’s donor choice program.
If I choose to designate my gift, are there any fees deducted?
Yes. In order to maintain the integrity of the United Way Community Investment process and to make sure that the safety net of services is available, United Way retains a fee of 15% of agency designations. This fee goes to the General Fund which benefits all agencies. United Way pays agencies based on the amount raised, not the amount collected, and this fee helps to offset uncollectable amounts.
Designations to other United Ways are charged a minimal fee (usually 7.5%). Many United Ways all across our region have agreed to this fee, including Defiance, Fulton and Henry Counties. Based on United Way Worldwide guidelines, we can charge up to our full overhead costs. We have chosen to charge this lower rate in the spirit of cooperation with others. United Ways that have not agreed to the lower fee charge much higher rates to us when sending donor designated funds to our community.
If I choose to designate my gift, is it on top of what the program already receives from United Way?
No. Designated funds are taken into consideration when volunteers make their annual funding decisions.
Is my contribution tax deductible?
Yes! Since United Way of Williams County is a 501(c)(3) organization, your gift is tax deductible to the full extent of the law, as long as you itemize deductions.
Do I get a receipt for my donation?
It depends on the amount of your gift and how it was made. If you made your gift through payroll deductions, a receipt is not necessary. (And in fact, because your gift goes through your employer, who then makes monthly or bi-monthly payments to United Way, we would be unable to provide a receipt because those payments are usually not broken down by individual donor amounts.) Should you need a receipt for itemized tax purposes, you can use your December 31 paystub or your W-2 if your employer shows that information.
For gifts of $250 or greater paid in cash or individual payments, receipts are mailed at the end of January. Per tax law, this receipt also confirms that the donor did not receive any goods or services in exchange for their gift. Gifts less than $250 do not, by tax law, require a receipt from the charity that receives it.
If you used a three-part pledge card, please keep the pink copy for your tax records.
I would like to give, but how can I afford to?
By giving a small amount each pay period through payroll deduction, most working people can afford to contribute. Even a small contribution will help someone who might not otherwise receive help. For example, if every working individual donated just $1 each week, that would equal $1 million for our community needs.