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FAQs

What does United Way do?

We change and strengthen lives by investing in our community. We understand that when we are united and working together for the benefit of all, we can create lasting change!  We accomplish this through the work of our partner programs, coalitions and initiatives.  We need your help, so we invite you to join us.

Why should I give through United Way?

  •         Your gift helps 31 programs, 6 coalitions and 6 initiatives.
  •         United Way ensures accountability.
  •         People trust United Way.
  •         Combining your donation with the donations of others makes a stronger impact.
  •         It’s easy through payroll deduction and online pledging.
  •         It’s safe.  You can be sure your donation will make a difference.
  •         Your gift ensures south Wood and Adams Counties continue to be great places to live.
  •         Working together we can make a difference in our communities.
  •         It feels good to give!
  •         Your gift stays in your community.

Can I trust United Way with my money?

Absolutely. And here’s why: United Way funding decisions are directed by community volunteers and we are able to maintain a low overhead due to our reliance on a large number of volunteers. Our Review Panels and Community Impact Committee volunteers review each program funded through United Way to be sure that they are effective and fiscally responsible.  United Way of Inner Wisconsin also meets the standards of membership with United Way Worldwide and is reviewed annually by an independent auditing firm.

Who decides where the money goes?

People like you, right here in south Wood & Adams Counties. Volunteers review program applications, visit agencies, and make all funding recommendations to our Board of Directors ensuring that your dollars are being spent wisely and efficiently.

Will the money go outside the community?

No. The money raised in south Wood County stays in south Wood County and money raised in Adams County stays in Adams County, unless you - the donor - request that it be sent to a United Way in another 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 Inner Wisconsin is governed by a local Board of Directors, comprised of business and community leaders, and assisted by scores of volunteers from the community.

How much are your administrative costs?

United Way of Inner Wisconsin maximizes resources so that more of your contribution goes toward helping people.  In fact, only .16 cents of every dollar raised goes towards administration and fundraising costs.  This is LESS than the national average for some of the most well-known and respected charities in the United States.

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.  However, a tragedy can strike at any time.  United Way supports programs that could help you, your family, your friends or co-workers.   Our entire community benefits when a child succeeds in school, when families have good health and are financially stable.

Why do I see "United Way partner programs" doing their own fundraising?

Technically, United Way of Inner Wisconsin does not fund “agencies,” we fund programs. United Way ensures 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 receive 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.

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 employees feeling good about themselves and happy that their company provided them with the opportunity to give something back to the community.   

Does your United Way use heavy-handed tactics to raise money?

No. United Way strongly believes that whether to give, how much to give, and who to give to, are personal decisions for each and every individual. United Way volunteers and staff only want to explain the benefit of 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.

I have been told NOT to give to United Way

Whether or not you donate to United Way (or ANY organization) is a personal choice that only you can make.  You need to follow your heart and do what you believe is right.  United Way provides funding and support to vital programs here in our community.  Supporting only one program or agency does not solve local issues.  It’s when we work together that our communities improve.

Are United Way funds distributed evenly among agencies?

No. Annually, the Review Panels and Community Impact Committee review funding requests, visit agencies and evaluate the program request. They then make recommendations based on the needs of the community being addressed by each program.

Are United Way contributions tax-deductible?

Yes, if you itemize your deductions on your federal income tax return.  Keep a copy of your pledge form and thank you letter from United Way of Inner Wisconsin to validate your donation.

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 partner programs. People who call us for help are connected to "United Way's 2-1-1," our Information & Referral Service.   We are the best source of information on where and how to get help. We maintain information on human service programs in our communities. 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.