Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I give to United Way rather than to a single agency?
One gift through United Way helps more people in more ways than a gift to a single agency. By donating to United Way's Community Care Fund, you support a network of services that together serve the entire community. For instance, a homeless family often needs services beyond finding shelter. By supporting United Way, you support all the services a family needs to make it on their own - food, affordable housing, tutoring, mentoring, job training, child care and after-school programs, elder services, etc.
When you choose to invest in your community, you may not have the time or resources to research where your charitable dollars would be best spent. When you choose United Way to manage your gift, you are guaranteed experience, accountability and effectiveness. Our management ensures that the charities you support through United Way adhere to sound fiscal policies and provide necessary results-oriented services.
What if I already give to other organizations?
There are many organizations that we individually support: our alma maters, churches, schools, environmental organizations or personal charities of choice. At United Way, we respect those commitments and ask you that you extend your charitable giving by investing in the needs of the greater community. This could include investments in lesser-known agencies that may not have high visibility or public awareness.
I never use agency services, and I don't know anyone else who does.
Why should I give?
You never know when you or someone you know may need a United Way service. Job loss, loss of a loved one, illness, accidents, disabilities, family problems, natural disasters, mental disorders and the problems of growing up and growing old can affect anyone, regardless of ethnicity or income level. And even if you never need a United Way agency, it benefits you and your family to live in a healthy community.
How much of my contribution goes to people who really need help?
We take the business of investing and managing your gift very seriously. We attack the bottom line, reducing administrative costs as much as possible. Our administrative and fundraising costs are just 10 percent, which far exceeds Better Business Bureau guidelines, in part due to the dedication of thousands of volunteers. Our extremely low overhead ensures that the vast majority of your money goes to people in need.
Can I specify which United Way agency receives my pledge?
Yes, United Way honors designations can be made to any qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency providing health and human services in the Kansas City area. To do so, ask for a Donor Designation Form. Please keep in mind that agencies are not accountable to United Way for gifts designated to them. Religious, arts, environmental, educational, animal rights, civic organizations, foundations, fraternal or political organizations are not eligible unless their primary mission is health and human services. Please click here to read United Way's complete Donor Designation Policy.
However, we encourage donors to donate directly to United Way's Community Care Fund because United Way is able to make your contribution go further by leveraging every dollar. You also have the opportunity to designate your gift to one of United Way's impact areas, so it still helps throughout the community, but funds programs closest to your heart.
Is giving to the United Way voluntary?
Giving time or money is a personal matter and completely voluntary. Local employers endorse the United Way campaign because it is one of the best ways to meet community needs, but your gift is your decision.
What should I do if I need help?
Dial 2-1-1 to reach a United Way 2-1-1 call specialist that can identify your individual needs and refer you to the right agency that can help you. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week year-round. If, for any reason, your phone does not allow you to dial 2-1-1, you may also call (816) 474-5112.
Does United Way sell or trade donor information?