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Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What are the advantages of investing in United Way?
A. You are helping to provide funding for area nonprofit programs that address critical needs in our community. The funding allocations are determined by a volunteer panel of donors who volunteer their time to review the funding requests and decide which programs should receive funding and how much.
All programs funded through United Way must produce measurable outcomes and results to receive funding. This ensures that your investment is being used in the most efficient and effective way possible.
Q. Why should I invest in the community through United Way when I could just give directly to a local nonprofit agency?
A. United Way is about people helping people and making a positive impact all across the community. When you invest in United Way you invest in making a difference in not just a few hundred lives, but thousands. For example, say your community interest is in helping children and youth succeed. Typically, you might donate to a children's program with which you are familiar, but when you invest in United Way you are assisting children not only in one program, but in multiple programs across Escambia County. Why just invest in one program when you could invest in many programs with one single contribution?
Q. Does the money raised stay local?
A. Yes, resources raised in Escambia County stay in Escambia County.
Q. What if I can only give a small amount?
A. Regardless of the amount of the donation, we use all the donated funds to create leverage. For instance in 2014, we raised $3.2 million and leveraged those funds to create an estimated $8.7 million impact. Additionall funded nonprofit programs use the funding to leverage and draw down an additional $1.54 million. The total impact on our community will be more than $10 million, which means that more than 215,000 men, women and children will be assisted because United Way was here to fund local programs and leverage community resources to benefit all year.
Q. Who makes the decisions as to what area programs receive funding and how much?
A. Volunteers and community citizens just like you make those decisions. Each year, once the campaign concludes, a 70-person volunteer Community Investment committee, which is made up of United Way donors, is assembled. The volunteers reside on various panels who hear presentations from the programs that request funding. The panels then deliberate and provide a final recommendation of funding. Once those recommendations are made they are sent to the United Way Board of Directors for final approval. Community investment = community decisions!
Q. I haven't ever used United Way services. Why should I give?
A. United Way funded services help everyone. A popular misconception is that only the jobless and truly "at-risk" individuals benefit from United Way and its partner programs. Every type of person has problems and needs, some of which are marital problems, troubled teens, aging parents and children with special needs. United Way services are available to all. Your United Way contribution helps your co-workers, friends, neighbors and family.