FAQ

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO LIVE UNITED?
LIVE UNITED. It’s our mission. A goal. A constant reminder that we have the power to facilitate change. More, it’s an invitation. To give. To advocate. To volunteer. It takes everyone in the community working together. Whether you’re giving a monetary donation, advocating on behalf of these issues, or volunteering your time, you’re joining the movement for a brighter future.
 
WHAT IS THE COMMUNITY INVESTMENT FUND?
The Community Investment Fund is comprised of all donations to the United Way of Washtenaw County that are not directed to a specific organization. The Community Investment Fund supports education, income and health efforts in the community, including:
  • Close to 70 programs of local health and human service agencies
  • Being a part of local collaborations and coalitions including the Washtenaw Coordinated Funders; a partnership that leverages a maximum return on investment and community level outcomes
  • Core UWWC programs in financial literacy include a Mobile Financial Resource team, our Volunteer Center and 2-1-1 information and referral service.
WHY SHOULD I GIVE MONEY TO UNITED WAY INSTEAD OF DIRECTLY TO AN AGENCY?
In a rapidly changing world, United Way of Washtenaw County is an active participant in building a stronger, healthier and more compassionate community. People usually need help with more than one issue and United Way builds a strong safety net of community support.
 
United Way does what no single organization alone can do. For over 90 years, we’ve brought together leaders from government, corporations, human service providers and the community to develop innovative solutions to local issues. We leverage funding for the network of programs that - together - make a meaningful, measurable difference in our community. 
 
Your contribution, when combined with the gifts of others, makes a powerful impact in our community. A single gift through United Way will address many challenges in Washtenaw County and help thousands of lives.
 
Including United Way as one of the agencies you support ensures that together, we are investing in the needs of the greater community.
 
HOW DOES UNITED WAY CHOOSE WHAT TO FUND?
United Way funding is directed solely to health and human services programs. United Way regularly monitors the overall human services needs and gaps in the community. Sometimes these gaps are specific to a population or geographic area in the county. United Way works together with other local funders and coordinates our investments to make sure we appropriately fund our community’s programs and agencies.
 
A formal application process is used for a large portion of our community funding and all of our grant awards are reviewed and disbursed by community volunteers. Other grants are awarded on an emergency basis or using a separate timeline.
 
Unique to the United Way of Washtenaw County is our participation in the Washtenaw Coordinated Funders, an innovative partnership with the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, the Office of Community and Economic Development (representing Washtenaw County, the City of Ann Arbor, and the Washtenaw Urban County Executive Committee), and Saint Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor. 
 
United Way funds are leveraged with other private and public dollars to increase overall community impact and strengthen Washtenaw County’s social safety net. For more information about this funding collaborative, visit http://coordinatedfunders.org.  
 
WHERE DOES UWWC INVEST MY DONATIONS?
Local dollars are changing local lives and grants are made only to Washtenaw County agencies.  Visit http://www.uwwashtenaw.org/yourdollarsatwork for a list of non-profit agencies that receive funding via UWWC.  This list is part of our commitment to financial transparency and accountability.  
 
In addition, this list shows specific programs that are funded, agency contact information, links to their web sites and what areas of need are being helped. 
 
WHAT OTHER WAYS DOES UNITED WAY BRING VALUE TO THE COMMUNITY? 
  • VolunteerWashtenaw.org is our online volunteer center that links people with volunteer opportunities and makes it easy to get connected. More than 11,000 visited since 2014!
  • Our free VITA tax services saved tax preparation fees and returned over $820,000 to low income individuals and families
  • Familywize prescription savings card helps uninsured and underinsured with the high cost of medications; $318,264 savings on prescription medications and 3,334 people helped with 12,977 prescriptions in 2015
  • Stuff the Bus, May Days of Caring and Day of Action bring additional support to our community
  • Grants provided via the Women’s Leadership Initiative in 2016 totaled more than $27,000
  • Our Young Leaders Society invested $10,000 to create a Club Connect Reading Oasis at Erickson School in Ypsilanti to help support grade-level reading
  • Actively engage local and state governments, politicians and committees to advocate for low income individuals and families and their challenges
  • Varsity Letter Program promotes community volunteering among high school students and awarded 16 local students with a varsity letter from their local high school in recognition of outstanding community service
HOW ARE UNITED WAY AND ITS FUNDING AGENCIES ACCOUNTABLE TO DONORS?
  • United Way of Washtenaw County is audited by an independent accounting firm and is carefully reviewed by the members of the United Way Finance and Audit Committee and Board of Directors. We believe in financial transparency and reports are available by request and posted on our website.
  • Charity Navigator gave UWWC their highest rating for financial accountability and transparency in 2015. A 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America's largest and most-utilized independent evaluator of charities is granted to agencies for sound fiscal management.
  • GuideStar Gold recognizes UWWC for our full financial and impact data available for review.  Also, we commit to full financial transparency and provide complete financial information.  
  • All agencies and programs requesting United Way funding also undergo careful, regular and in-depth financial review by experienced professional staff and volunteers who review audited statements and budget documents. In addition, agencies must report annually about the impact of their services on specific outcomes and indicators. All United Way-funded agencies must be registered 501(c) (3) agencies, and must abide by the U.S. charitable laws.
WHAT MAKES AN ORGANIZATION ELIGIBLE FOR UNITED WAY FUNDING?
Eligible grantees include local 501(c)(3) non-profit human service organizations, local governments, and school districts that are located within and serving Washtenaw County.
 
CAN I DESIGNATE MY GIFT?
Yes. United Way of Washtenaw County donors can choose to designate their annual contributions to the Community Investment Fund, certain focus area within the Community Investment Fund, and/or to a specific non-profit agency. For donations directed to a specific agency we receive a 12.3% processing fee. Designations may be directed to a nonprofit agency registered as a non-profit agency with 501(c)(3) tax status.
 
WHAT IS UNITED WAY'S OVERHEAD?
United Way of Washtenaw County operates very efficiently raising $5 million per year. Our 12.3% administrative expense for staff and fundraising activities is well below industry standards, and it is one of the reasons why it is beneficial to give to United Way.  
 
DOES THE UNITED WAY OF WASHTENAW COUNTY FUND PLANNED PARENTHOOD?
The United Way of Washtenaw County has served our community for more than 93 years and does not directly fund Planned Parenthood. The United Way of Washtenaw County is an open designation agency which means that we allow donors to forward their money to their specific interests that fall outside of our agency’s grant funding. 
 
Our full funding disclosure for UWWC directed grants is available online at http://www.uwwashtenaw.org/yourdollarsatwork
 
DOES UNITED WAY SELL OR TRADE LIST INFORMATION OF ITS DONORS?
No. United Way maintains its own database of supporters and will under no circumstances sell or trade this information to any individual or organization, public or private.  
 
WHAT IS UNITED WAY'S NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY?
United Way of Washtenaw County is committed to equal employment opportunity.  However, we will employ only those individuals entitled to work in the United States, complying with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA).  We will not discriminate against employees or applicants for employment on any legally-protected basis including, but not limited to:  veteran status, race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, national origin, citizenship, intent to become a citizen, age, height, weight, familial status, marital status, genetic information, and disability as defined by law.
 
In addition, we ask all of our grantees to affirm that their agency is in compliance with the following Federal Directive on non-discrimination Standard of Voluntary Health and Welfare Services:
  • No person is excluded from service because of race, ethnicity, gender, age, physical disabilities, sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • There is no segregation of those served on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, age, physical disabilities, sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • There is no discrimination with regard to hiring, assignment, promotion or other conditions of staff employment on basis of race, ethnicity, gender, age, physical disabilities, sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Governing bodies are open to representation from all segments of the public, regardless of race, ethnicity, age, gender, physical disabilities, sexual orientation or gender identity.