Q: Just what does United Way do?
A: Cooke County United Way is a locally incorporated non-profit organization that is the single largest non-governmental funder of health and human services in our community. United Way campaign dollars support dozens of health- and human-service certified agencies and programs that address community needs 365 days a year. This one community-wide campaign is the most organized, efficient and accountable system for investing in our community.
Q: Why not just give directly to the agencies?
A: There are several reasons that United Way is among the best ways to give to charity:
- Contributing through United Way guarantees agencies funds they can rely on and plan for, rather than depending on sporadic contributions.
- United Way’s community-based oversight assures that the charities you support through United Way adhere to sound fiscal policies and provide needed services.
- Giving through United Way reduces costly and time-consuming fundraising efforts for the agencies, so their time can be spent helping others.
- Often, United Way gifts are matched by state, federal and private foundations to further support individual agencies.
Q: How are United Way agencies accountable to United Way donors?
A: Experienced community volunteers oversee the dollar allocations to all agencies. They review financial reports and annual audits, conduct site visits at the agencies and monitor programs to ensure high quality. Every United Way agency meets these high standards which assures you of quality and efficiency:
- Recognized by the IRS as a non-profit organization
- Governed by a volunteer board of directors
- Provides for a human care need
- Audited annually by a CPA firm or accountants review
- Presents and defends entire budget annually to a panel of community volunteers
- Operates at a reasonable cost.
Q: Don’t the agencies get government funding?
A: Many agencies do receive governmental support. In fact, United Way funding often allows agencies to leverage available government funds, which maximizes their resources. However, shrinking government dollars means private funding like United Way is more important than ever.
Q: I never use agencies services, so why should I give?
A: You never know when you, a member of your family or a neighbor may need a United Way service. Job loss, loss of a loved one, illness, disabilities, family problems, mental disorders and the problems of growing up and growing old know no boundaries. Your gift helps ensure that United Way services are available when they’re needed. Anyone who has been involved in scouting, taken a Red Cross first aid course or swim lesson has been served by a United Way certified agency.
Q: Who manages United Way?
A: United Way is a locally incorporated, autonomous organization governed by a local volunteer board of directors, which determines policies, activities, procedures, and agencies we support. The community volunteers who lead United Way come from all walks of life and reflect the cultural diversity of our area. United Way’s daily operations are handled by a small, but knowledgeable professional staff, which works closely with the volunteers on all levels.
Q: Is giving through United Way voluntary?
A: Yes! Giving through United Way is strictly voluntary. United Way has a written policy against coercion. Education about how United Way agencies help and long-term prevention efforts is the best way to encourage contributions.
Q: What is the suggested guide for giving?
A: It is often difficult to decide how much to contribute. The Suggested Guide for Giving has been prepared by local volunteers to assist people with making a decision about their contribution. Payroll deduction lets you give as generously as you’d like for just a few dollars per pay period. Suggested Guide for Giving Your gift is a personal choice, and we thank you for giving as generously as you can.
Your Annual Income/Suggested Giving (% of annual income)
- $75,000 or over …………………1.25%
- $30,000 to $74,999……………..1.0%
- $15,000 to $29,999……………..0.6%
- Under $15,000…………………..One hour’s pay per month
Q: Why should I give when my spouse already gives?
A: Each and every contribution is important and makes a difference. If only one spouse in each family gave, many programs could not be supported. Each member of a family is encouraged to contribute.
Q: Where can I get help?
A: Information is available free of charge, 24 hours a day, seven days a week through 2-1-1 Texoma by dialing 211.
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