Q: Why should I give to United Way? Why not give directly to an individual non-profit?
A: There are two key reasons to give to United Way rather than directly to a non-profit:
First, and most important, your United Way gift is an investment in a powerful network of interconnected programs and services; no single non-profit organization stands alone. The value of your donation has a snowball effect, giving it a system-wide impact. For example, say you gave directly to a women’s shelter, which uses that money to provide much-needed food and clothing to its patrons. What happens when a resident of the shelter needs a job, or a car to get to her job? When you donate to United Way, your contribution also goes to programs that can help her find work, transportation, permanent housing, child care, and more. It takes a system of support to help her get back on her feet. By donating to United Way, you strengthen that system. And by strengthening the system, you strengthen your community.
Secondly, United Way’s annual campaign efforts give area non-profits a reliable source of funding. Instead of allocating precious and scarce resources to solicit individual contributions, these organizations can count on United Way to cost-effectively promote and administer a single campaign that raises money for many causes at once. While our non-profit partners may have additional sources of income – such as foundation grants, events, and government assistance -United Way donations provide crucial funds for their services and programs.
Q: Why have a United Way Campaign?
A: This single, annual fundraising drive, which helps to provide a multitude of services to the Pioneer Valley, is the most efficient, economical method yet devised. It works because volunteers combine their resources for one coordinated appeal. Contributors also have the opportunity to see their charity dollars go the furthest to do the most good, helping to support over 60 partner agencies.
Q: How is United Way much more than a fundraising organization?
A: United Way’s leadership role in the community brings together a wide network of people and organizations necessary to address problems at their root. United Way works closely with businesses, schools, government, faith-based groups and our traditional partner agencies to enhance the results of our efforts and maximize resources. The key is aligning several organizations to pursue the same goal, which enables us to achieve greater results. United Way gives voice to concerns about the health of our community and our quality of life; United Way stimulates philanthropy; United Way identifies and places special focus on critical community issues. We are investing in solutions that will lift people up and have a positive impact on our community for years to come.
Q: What makes United Way different from other charities?
A: Most charities focus on a single cause or area of concern.United Way tackles issues that affect the entire community. One powerful belief guides our mission: It takes all parts of a community working together to create real, measurable change.
Q: How is my local United Way connected to United Way Worldwide, and to other United Ways across the country?
A: As your local United Way, the United Way of Pioneer Valley runs an annual campaign that provides funding for local non-profit organizations and community initiatives. The money you donate finances health and human service programs throughout the region. We are separately incorporated and governed by a board of regional community leaders and volunteers. The same is true for the other local United Ways around the world.
United Way Worldwide is the leadership and support organization for the network of nearly 1,800 community-based United Ways in 45 countries and territories. We envision a world where all individuals and families achieve their potential through education, income stability, and healthy lives.