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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. If I work in Santa Rosa County but live in Escambia County, can I choose which county to which my contribution goes?
A. Yes, since Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties share employees and residents you do have the option of choosing either one county or the other to invest your gift.
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 Funds Distribution committee 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 heard you do not fund the Boy Scouts, is that true?
A. The Boy Scouts receive funding through United Way of Escambia County as designated by donors who wish their contribution to be directed to that program. The local Boy Scout Council is part of a group of certified partner agencies who receive support and funding through monies raised through the workplace campaign. They, like 86 other organizations, benefit from funding donors designate directly to them. We raise these funds as part of our mission and charge a nominal 9% fundraising expense to partner agencies and 11% to those who choose not to go through the certification process.
Q. I keep hearing talk about United Way moving toward being an organization of "community impact," what does that mean?
A. Community impact is about a United Way being not just a fundraiser, but an organization that helps donors and community members make an impact and sustainable positive change in priority areas and needs determined by the donors and a comprehensive community assessment.
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.