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Frequently Asked Questions

I'm not sure what United Way does?

United Way is a local, autonomous, nonprofit organization "owned" by the contributors and the volunteers that provide its support. It is governed by a local volunteer Board of Trustees. They determine policy and oversee every aspect of the organization. Professional staff manages day-to-day activities. United Way conducts an annual fundraising campaign that produces more than $4 million in donations. United Way's Community Impact Fund provides services in fourteen counties in Central Georgia through partnerships with local agencies that have a proven ability to impact community problems.

What is United Way of Central Georgia's relationship to United Way of America?

United Way of America is the national voluntary membership organization for over 1,400 independent local United Way organizations across the country. United Way of Central Georgia is an independent, autonomous organization governed by its own Board of Trustees, and headed by its own president. United Way of America does not manage, control, direct, set policies for or govern United Way of Central Georgia.

There are a lot of agencies out there. Why should I give to the Community Impact Fund?

United Way volunteers provide accountability for donations to the Community Impact Fund. Simply put, the Community Impact Fund takes the guesswork out of giving and makes sure your dollars will be directed to local agency programs and community initiatives that attack the root causes of community problems, such as nurturing children and youth, increasing people's economic self-sufficiency, promoting health, wellness and safeety, as well as meeting people's basic needs. Trained, knowledgeable volunteers - people who live and work in our community - invest your gift through United Way agencies. When you choose the Community Impact Fund, you are helping to make Central Georgia stronger and safer.

I get pressure to contribute. Do you endorse this?

Absolutely not. Giving to the United Way of Central Georgia is strictly voluntary. Your gift does make a difference, and we want you to make an informed and willing decision when you give.

Does United Way of Central Georgia support abortion?

United Way of Central Georgia does not now and has not ever funded any agency that provides abortions or abortion counseling.

Does United Way support the Boy Scouts?

United Way of Central Georgia proudly supports the valuable services provided by the local Boy Scouts Council for thousands of Central Georgia youth. United Way of Central Georgia takes no position on the membership policy of The Boy Scouts of America and we have a long-standing policy prohibiting discrimination on the part of United Way or agencies and programs funded by United Way as determined by federal, state, and local laws. Boy Scouts of America, Central Georgia Council and all other United Way of Central Georgia member agencies are in compliance with all laws regarding discrimination.

Does United Way of Central Georgia run the partner agencies?

No, every agency is a separate organization with its own volunteer board of directors and professional staff. United Way does monitor agencies to ensure that funds are being used effectively and provides guidance when necessary. Also, the member agencies have an audit performed annually by an independent CPA firm.

Why do United Way funded agencies do their own fundraising activities and charge for services?

The United Way fundraising campaign does not cover any agency's entire budget. United Way funds are used for targeted programs and services. Therefore, portions of an agency's budget need to be funded by other means, such as government contracts, fees and supplemental fundraising activities.

How does an organization become a United Way member agency?

United Way of Central Georgia actively seeks new agency partnerships. To qualify for consideration as a United Way member agency, an agency must be recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, led by a volunteer Board of Directors, and provide human services to residents in United Way of Central Georgia's regional operating territory. Greatest consideration for membership is given to agencies whose programs align with United Way of Central Georgia's targeted program priorities such as early childhood development, youth development, and programs for families and seniors. Any agency that meets United Way of Central Georgia's basic requirements for membership consideration, believes it is providing services that align with United Way's priorities and does not duplicate an existing United Way member agency program should contact Tammie Collins at 478.745.4732 x103 to discuss partnership possibilities.

Are donations to United Way tax deductible?

Yes, United Way of Central Georgia is a tax-exempt, charitable organization recognized under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code, and all donations are deductible. However, if you pay $250 or more at any one time, you are required to have written substantiation of that donation before claiming it as a deduction on your tax return. United Way automatically provides substantiation of such donations at the end of each year.

I can only afford to give a small amount. Is it worth giving at all?

Yes, every donation is important. Giving in proportion to your ability gives a sense of belonging to a larger community, and of making a difference. And payroll deduction makes it easy to give a little each pay period resulting in a substantial annual gift!

How do I know my contribution is well spent?

United Way of Central Georgia's solemn promise to its supporters is that local volunteers and board members will ensure all contributions will be used effectively and efficiently right here in Central Georgia. United Way studies needs, sets priorities, reviews budgets and monitors agencies to make sure the donated dollars are being used wisely.

Can I specify which agency receives my pledge?

Yes. United Way will honor designations to member agencies, but a gift to the Community Impact Fund is the only way to make sure that funds raised during campaign go where they will do the most good. United Way cannot accept designations to non-member agencies. Such designations will be added to the Community Impact Fund.

I've heard of charities that keep most of the money they raise. What about United Way of Central Georgia?

One of the Better Business Bureau's Code of Standards for nonprofit organizations is to limit overhead costs to no more than 50% of total revenues, which means that only 50% would be used for program services. United Way of Central Georgia, on average, distributes 81% of its annual revenue on services for central Georgians. In other words, for every 19 cents United Way of Central Georgia spends on overhead, it provides 81 cents for services helping people. That is a return on investment that any private or nonprofit organization can be proud of.

Who decides how much money each agency receives?

Volunteers, who are members of United Way's Board of Trustees, become knowledgeable of partner agency programs in order to recommend funding levels. They participate in extensive reviews of service plans, budgets, agency responses to questions and results information that is organized around major service categories and programs.

Are United Way's financial records subject to outside audit?

Yes, United Way of Central Georgia has an audit performed annually by an independent CPA firm. The results of the audit and the auditors report are presented to the volunteer Board of Trustees for their review and approval.

Why isn't my favorite agency a member of United Way of Central Georgia?

United Way maintains an open door policy with respect to an agency applying for admission. Not every agency may be admitted because they may not meet the qualifications, another agency is providing the same service, or because the volunteer Board of Directors did not feel that the agency was prepared to be admitted.

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