Frequently Asked Questions
- How does United Way work?
Through millions in financial contributions and thousands of hours of volunteered time, United Way brings people and resources together to address the most pressing human service needs in our community. These issues, like helping families become self-sufficient, preparing children for success in school and helping our most vulnerable achieve health and wellbeing, benefit everyone.
- Who is responsible for the activities of United Way?
The volunteer members of the Board of Directors, in addition to being accountable to the community, are legally responsible to see that the affairs of United Way are properly managed. United Way funds are audited yearly by an independent auditing firm. Audits are open to the public.
- What else does United Way do besides fund programs?
We raise money and invest it in programs that focus on education, stability and health and wellbeing, but there’s more! Venture Forward provides training and assistance to enable nonprofits to operate more effectively and efficiently. United Way’s Volunteer Center connects people and organizations to volunteer opportunities. United Way 2-1-1 connects people who need help with local resources. Service providers work together more effectively through United Way’s Project Ready for School and Building Stable Lives programs. We also encourage innovative approaches to community needs through collaborative initiatives that focus on education and family stability.
- Who benefits from my donation?
While thousands of people are directly impacted by United Way services, that’s only part of the story. A donation to United Way builds a stronger, healthier, and connected community for everyone! Everyone benefits when children are successful in school, families are stable, and people in critical need or crisis get help. Successful students and stable families are vital to our area’s economic vitality, and drive positive change in social conditions that increase our overall quality of life. By reaching out a hand to one, we affect conditions for all of us.
- Where does my money go?
100% of employee and individual giving goes right back into our community. Those dollars help fund more than 84 local programs that help strengthen families, support seniors, create successful students and help families become self-sufficient. All dollars raised locally are distributed locally to help strengthen our community.
Administrative and fundraising costs are covered by a mixture of our annual endowment, corporate gifts and donors who have specific interest in funding United Way’s capacity and infrastructure through our Bold Play Execution Fund. These efforts permit 100% of your donations to go where it’s needed most in the community.
- Does United Way fund services in Northwest Georgia?
Yes. United Way partners offer services to residents of Walker, Catoosa and Dade Counties. Many services are provided directly in those counties, but many residents depend on United Way-funded services that are provided across the state line in Chattanooga.
- Who decides how donations are spent?
Volunteers (like you) decide how much money is invested in the programs we fund. They review programs and budgets annually to assure that every dollar is well spent. Contributors rely on United Way’s volunteer review process to make the best use of their money. When the giving power of many is combined, it can have a powerful impact on our community.
- Why not give directly to an agency?
The strength of United Way is its ability to bring the community together to focus on our most critical needs. No single agency can do that. When you give to United Way of Greater Chattanooga, your gift is magnified with the gifts of others, impacting our community’s most critical social issues.
- I get pressure to contribute. Do you endorse this?
Absolutely not! Giving to United Way is strictly voluntary. We believe that information and education about United Way’s work and results is the best way to encourage contributions. Your gift makes a difference and we want you to make an informed and willing decision when you give.
- My spouse gives, why should I?
Charitable giving is an individual decision. Your spouse’s gift may be based on his or her income level and personal reasons, not on your combined income or your interests. But, most importantly, United Way gives everyone the power to change lives and strengthen our community. The only way we can advance the common good is if everyone does their part through giving, advocacy, and volunteerism.
- What if I don’t like one of the agencies funded by United Way?
Our aim is to fund agencies that have a proven impact on our community’s most critical problems, however, you may exclude a specific partner agency from receiving any portion of your gift. You may also designate your gift to an area of service or a specific member agency. Ask your company’s United Way employee relationship manager for more information.
- What is United Way Worldwide?
United Way Worldwide (UWW) is a training and service organization created by independent United Ways across the country and around the world as a way of sharing ideas and resources. It allows us to more effectively address our community’s social issues and helps your contributions achieve greater impact. United Way Worldwide does not fund social services. Only local United Way organizations do that, and they do so independently of UWW.
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