Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What are the advantages of giving through United Way?
 
A. It makes a real impact – United Way combines your gift with thousands of others, and then focuses these donations to have a measurable impact on key issues that matter in our community like:
  • Education - Helping children, youth and adults achieve their full potential
  • Income - Promoting financial stability and independence
  • Health - Improving people’s health
  • Basic Needs - Providing emergency assistance to our most vulerable populations
     
It’s local - Funds raised in the Marion, Polk and Yamhill area stay right here to address local problems.  It’s accountable - Local stakeholders decide which programs receive funds and ensure that funded programs have measureable outcomes. It’s efficient - Volunteers help conduct the campaign, which help keep costs low. It’s easy - Payroll deduction makes giving simple and easy.
 
Q. I can only afford to give a small amount. Is it worth giving at all?
 
A. 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!  United Way combines your gift with thousands of others, and then focuses these donations to have a measurable impact on key issues that matter in our community.
 
Q. When I contribute money to the United Way, how are my dollars used?
 
A. When you contribute to United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley, you invest in the future of our community.  When you make a gift to United Way you are helping more than just one person or charity — you are changing community conditions that create lasting results.  Your gift supports a wide variety of programs and initiatives in our community.  These programs address hunger, homelessness, violence and abuse, strengthening families, youth development, after school programs, mental health services, programs for health and rehabilitation and more.
 
Q. How do I know United Way of Mid-Willamette Valley is focusing on the right issues?
 
A. Local community leaders and volunteers—your friends and neighbors—help ensure that United Way is focused on the most pressing needs in our community.  Volunteers examine community needs, review agency grants, visit funded agencies to review their programs, and deliberate to ensure that donor contributions are meeting critical needs.  This is how United Way makes sure the right issues are being addressed.
 
Q. My spouse gives ... Why should I?
 
A. When families are fortunate enough to have two incomes, each may contribute at their own place of employment.
 
Q.  I already volunteer my time. Why should I give?
 
A. Those who volunteer are more likely to give.  They see the needs firsthand.  Many of our local agencies could not exist if it were not for the hundreds of volunteer hours “given” each year. Keep in mind, however, that basic overhead (water, electricity, space and/or staff) cannot be paid with “in-kind” contributions.  That is why monetary contributions are vital to the survival of community services.
 
Q.  I haven’t ever used United Way services. Why should I give?
 
A. United Way-funded services help everyone.  It is a popular misconception that only the jobless and truly “at risk” seek help from United Way's partner organizations.  Everyday people have problems and needs.  You don't have to be unemployed or low-income to experience marital problems, child care needs, alcohol and drug abuse problems, troubled teens, or aging parents.  United Way's services are available to all. Your United Way contribution helps your co-workers, your friends, your neighbors, and your family. 
 
Q.  There are a lot of agencies out there. Why should I give to the Community Impact Fund?
 
A. 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 address key community problems, such as nurturing children and youth, increasing people’s economic self-sufficiency, promoting health, wellness and safety, as well as meeting people’s basic needs. Trained, knowledgeable volunteers—a cross-section of people from all three counties—invest your gift through the Community Impact Grants.  When you choose the Community Impact Fund, you are helping to make our community stronger and safer.
 
Q.  Are donations to United Way tax deductible?
 
A. Yes, United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley is a tax-exempt, charitable organization recognized under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and all donations are deductible.  When you donate through payroll deduction your payroll stubs, along with your payroll deduction form, serve as your tax-deduction receipt.  If you make a gift of $250.00 or more in a single tax year, and you have provided your contact information, United Way will mail you an Annual Donation Statement.
 
Q.  What is the United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley’s affiliation with United Way Worldwide?
 
A. United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley (UWMWV) is a separate and autonomous organization from United Way Worldwide.  UWMWV is a local organization, serving Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties.  Like the nearly 1,400 community-based United Ways across the country, our United Way is separately incorporated and independently governed by a local volunteer board of directors.
 
Q.  What are the United Way’s operating costs?
 
A. United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley takes pride in operating with efficiency and effectiveness.  The Better Business Bureau (BBB) recommends that non-program service expenses not exceed 35% of total expenses.  We are proud to say that our current support service expenses are 16%.  With those adminstrative dollars we:
  • Serve our three-county service area of Marion, Polk and Yamhill.
  • Support more than 300 companies, helping them run employee giving campaigns.
  • Build awareness of community needs and issues, as well as the programs and partnerships working to improve lives and impact change.
  • Encourage community members of all ages to get involved in our community through giving, volunteerism and mentorship.
 
Q.  When is my donation distributed?
 
A. In many cases, your donation is made in the form of a pledge, or promise, to donate over the course of a year through your payroll deduction process.  Your donation will then be distributed during grant cycle immediately following the campaign in which it was pledged.
 
Q.  Does United Way of Mid-Willamette Valley offer major gift and planned giving programs?
 
A. For those with the ability and desire to give more, United Way offers the Leadership Giving Society for donations of $1,000 to $9,999 annually, and The Alexis de Tocqueville Society for annual gifts of $10,000 or more.  For planned giving, the United Way’s Endowment Fund sustains your caring beyond your lifetime.
 

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