Frequently Asked Questions
During the 2011 Campaign, United Way raised nearly $4.4 million is distributing $3.5 million in 2012. Where do the rest of the dollars go?
What is the United Way of Benton and Franklin Counties?
United Way of Benton & Franklin Counties improves lives in our community through Community Solutions. Our goal is that everyone living in Benton and Franklin Counties has a good education; access to healthcare; lives and works in a safe environment; and is a self-sufficient, active member of our community.
Who runs the United Way of Benton and Franklin Counties?
A volunteer Board of Directors comprised of more than 50 local community leaders governs the United Way of Benton & Franklin Counties. Board members represent the diversity and interests of our community. A small staff is employed by United Way to manage the organization, raise funds, and provide services in our community, including bringing the community together to identify community priorities, developing solutions to pressing needs, and coordinating efforts to deliver services efficiently.
What is Community Solutions?
Community Solutions is the name given to the way our work is prioritized. Based upon community collaboration, it was determined that the most pressing needs in Benton and Franklin Counties fall into four main areas. They are education, health, safety, and self-sufficiency. The work of United Way is directed by the needs within each of these areas and through Community Solutions, we are working to solve those needs permanently.
Why is United Way doing Community Solutions
For more than 50 years, United Way of Benton & Franklin Counties has been very successful in raising funds to support a variety of health and human services in our area. However, our community has changed and needs have become more complex. Through community collaboration, it was evident that there are many gaps in services as well as a lack of knowledge about the availability of services that exist. It is the goal of United Way of Benton & Franklin Counties to improve lives by creating solutions to community problems.
How did United Way select the programs it is currently funding?
United Way pursued a competitive process to identify programs that are aligned with region-wide Community Solutions priorities and can bring about the best results. A group of United Way Board Members reviewed and rated the applications. Applications were evaluated in several predetermined areas: organizational governance, financial accountability, program design and responsiveness, cost effectiveness and relevant experience. The United Way Board of Directors made the final determination on how much funding each program received.
During the 2012 Campaign, United Way raised nearly $4.1 million is distributing $3.5 million in 2013. Where do the rest of the dollars go?
These funds go to uncollectible pledge loss, fundraising costs, and administrative costs. The rest went to services provided by United Way, such as facilitating the development and implementation of Community Solutions, Our Babies Can’t Wait and Prepared by 20, and Attendance Matters initiatives, providing oversight and coordination of 2-1-1, handling the federal Emergency Food and Shelter Program, community needs assessment and planning, etc.
Thanks to corporate support of the Cornerstone Program, local companies targeted their contributions to cover a large portion of United Way’s overhead costs. This means more of other dollars donated can be used for services and programs.
Why is United Way a better choice than giving directly to an agency?
Community Solutions embraces the big picture in tackling human service needs. It brings all the players to the table. It identifies a collective community vision that prioritizes the most important community needs. It makes measurable headway in addressing our human service problems.
United Way takes the guesswork out of giving. Donors do not have to choose where to direct their donations because United Way does the important homework for them. United Way supports programs across the spectrum of human care issues based on how effectively they meet specifically identified community needs identified in the regional Community Solutions Plan.
United Way Board Members carefully review each United Way funded program on an annual basis. Their oversight ensures agencies adhere to sound fiscal policies and that contributions are invested in programs that do the most good.
Giving through United Way reduces costly and time-consuming fundraising efforts for the agencies providing programs. This enables them to better spend their time helping people.
When donors give through their workplace campaign, gifts can be spread out over the course of a year through payroll deduction, making it easier to support the human care needs of our community.
When donors give to the United Way of Benton & Franklin Counties, their gifts are invested with the contributions of others to help provide a continuum of care for those most in need. Even if donors designate a portion of their gift to a specific service or agency, they are asked to consider investing part of their gift to the United Way Community Solutions Fund. This enables donors to partner with United Way in improving the lives of our families, friends, and neighbors. The bottom line is that gifts to United Way stay local and gets result.
Our Board of Directors has established policies that safeguard the investment you make in United Way. Each year, our United Way undergoes a thorough independent financial audit. The structure of our organization also provides for volunteer committees to oversee our business practices and operations on an ongoing basis.
Donations made by credit card must be received by 10 a.m. in the United Way Office on the last working day of December.
Donations made by check and submitted by U.S. mail must be postmarked by December 31. Due to postal delays experienced during the holiday season, we encourage donors to mail gifts several days in advance.
Gifts made through donation of stock must be received by the United Way Office by the last working day of December.
United Way of Benton and Franklin Counties routinely provides documentation for tax purposes to all donors who contribute at least $250 via cash, check, credit card, or stock gifts. Donors can expect tax receipts to be mailed by U.S. mail no later than January 31.
For contributions of cash, check, credit card, or stock gifts less than $250, a tax receipt may be requested by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide name, address, and phone number.
For contributions made through payroll deduction, the IRS requires that gifts be documented through earnings statement(s) provided by employers along with a copy of pledge cards that contains the following wording: “No goods or services were received in return for this gift.”