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Helping Hands

Improving Lives. Strengthening Communities

Learn More about United Way World Wide

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does United Way do?
    We unify resources. Since it opened in 1956, United Way of Carlton County has conducted an annual charitable fundraising campaign in the workplace and distributed those funds among local nonprofit organizations for programs to help those in need. We also bring local resources together to maximize human service delivery systems.
  • Why should I give through United Way?
    Because United Way-funded programs are making a difference every day in the lives of children, individuals and families in our community. Your giving through United Way helps support many health and human service programs in our community. United Way touches our friends, our neighbors, our co-workers, and our families, or maybe even you.
  • Can I trust United Way with my money?
    Absolutely! And here's why: United Way is directed by community volunteers and is able to maintain a low overhead due to our reliance on a large number of volunteers. Our Allocations Panels and Community Impact Committee volunteers review each program funded through United Way to be sure that they are effective and fiscally responsible.
  • Who decides where the money goes?
    People like you, right here in Carlton and Pine County. Volunteers from all walks of life review program applications, visit agencies, make all funding decisions and prioritize the needs in the community to ensure that your dollars are being spent wisely and efficiently. If you would like to serve as an Allocation Panel volunteer, you can do so just by contacting United Way.
  • Will the money go outside the community?
    No. The money raised in Carlton and Pine Counties stays in our community, unless you the donor, request that it be sent to another United Way. 99% of the funds remain local. The money raised in the Pine County communities will remain local to that community.
  • Who sets the policy for our local United Way?
    People who live and work in our community are making all policy decisions for your United Way. United Way of Carlton County is governed by its board of directors, comprised of local business and community leaders, and assisted by scores of volunteers from the community. As we expand to Pine County communities, we hope to have volunteers who live and work in the area on various advisory committees to recommend funding levels for the non-profits in those communities.
  • Why should I give? I'll never need the services of a United Way partner program.
    None of us know when or if we'll need the services of a United Way program, a tragedy can strike at any time. United Way supports programs that will help you, your family, your friends or co-workers if an emergency should occur. Also, our entire community benefits when our youth are kept on the right track or when we help the elderly, etc.
  • Why do I see "United Way funded agencies" doing their own fundraising?
    Technically, United Way of Carlton County does not fund "agencies," it funds their programs. Your United Way can ensure that donors' gifts are going directly to important services that help people in specific service areas. Most agencies depend on United Way funded dollars as a critical part of their overall budget. United Way can increase the credibility of agencies, making it easier for them to win foundation, state and federal grants.
  • What is payroll deduction?
    Payroll deduction is an easy way to maximize your contribution through United Way. You decide how much you want to donate each pay period from your paycheck. Your company then deducts that amount and sends it to United Way. Payroll deduction is not binding, you may decide, at any time, to discontinue your deductions.
  • Why should my company run an employee workplace campaign?
    When a company supports United Way through an employee workplace campaign it enhances your company's image and, most importantly, it links your employees with services in their community. Successful workplace campaigns are fun events that boost employee morale and support team-building. They leave donors feeling good about themselves and happy that their company provided them with the opportunity to give something back to the community.
  • I'm an active supporter of my community but I don't want my employees to be coerced or feel obligated to give. Does your United Way use heavy-handed tactics to raise money?
    United Way strongly believes that whether to give, how much to give, and who to give to, are highly personal decisions for each and every individual. United Way volunteers and staff only want to explain the services that we provide, and let people decide for themselves. When we come to your company, we consider it a privilege and honor to be a guest in your place of business. United Way provides many options for how and where to direct the money of those who choose to give. If you feel you are, or have been a victim of coercive tactics to require you to give, please notify the campaign coordinator at your company or your supervisor, or contact United Way of Carlton County. We will happily and discreetly return your money, and take whatever steps necessary to ensure that coercion does not play a part in your company's campaign.
  • How is my contribution invested?
    Your contribution is invested with grants and other resources in programs that work. We have a great responsibility to make sure your contribution is invested in the most effective way possible.
  • Are United Way funds distributed evenly amongst agencies?
    No. The Allocations Panels, Community Impact Committee and the Finance Committee review funding requests, visit agencies and evaluate the finances of each agency. Then depending on the overall increase in the campaign, volunteers distribute the funds collected.
  • What are United Way of America's standards for the United Way of Carlton County
    To be accepted as a United Way, the agency must meet the following requirements: It must be a local, nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation It must provide health/human services It must have met financial reporting standards (including annual audits) It must be controlled by a voting volunteer board of directors It must address a problem the United Way of Carlton County considers a priority
  • I know someone who asked for help from United Way and didn't get it. Why?
    Most problems that people encounter can be addressed by our local agencies. People who call us are connected to an Information & Referral Service called "United Way's First Call 2*1*1". This program is the best source of information on where and how to get help. They maintain information on all human services in our communities, whether or not they receive United Way funding. However, sometimes people ask for services that do not exist. Often that is because of inadequate funding. When there is a limited amount of money to go around, we need to make sure that core services are funded first. Sometimes that means some needs go unmet. In most situations, help is available.
  • Why doesn't United Way fund organizations that help animals?
    United Way exists to raise and distribute funds to help solve human problems. There are people in this community who are hungry, homeless, disabled, illiterate, battered or neglected. While we regret that there are animals who are also mistreated that is not our primary mission.
  • Are United Way contributions tax-deductible?
    Yes, if you itemize your deductions on your federal income tax return.
  • What happened a while back with the United Way guy who took money? Bill Aramony?
    Bill Aramony did more to harm local communities than can be easily measured. In 1992, he was President of United Way of America, a national trade association for 1,400 local United Ways across America. He was fired and later convicted, along with two other men, of misusing funds for their personal benefit. Aramony was sent to prison for the maximum sentence of 7 years and was levied a forfeiture of 1.2 million dollars, requiring him to pay back double the amount he had embezzled. Although Aramony appealed his sentence three times, he was denied three times and forced to serve out his entire prison sentence along with the other two men. Many people still mistakenly believe that local United Ways are chapters of United Way of America. That is not true nor has it ever been true. Donations made here, stay here - unless you request otherwise! Unfortunately, local United Ways continue to suffer because of Aramony's illegal activity with United Way of America [UWA]. However, positive things did come out of that negative experience, for example, the transparent operation of local United Ways and local United Way representation on the UWA Board of Governors.
  • When I designate my dollars to a particular agency, does my designation increase that agency's "normal" allocation?
    Yes, when you designate your gift to a specific program, it is in addition to their allocation for that particular year. However, when a person designates their gift to a specific program or agency, they eliminate from the process the volunteers who have reviewed funding applications and heard each program's presentation as well as the volunteer-experts in their fields who have determined the emerging needs of our local community.
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