Serving Monroe, Owen, and Greene Counties

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is United Way?
United Way of Monroe County works with 25 certified member agencies and other partners to improve people’s lives and build a stronger community. By supporting agencies that work in education, financial stability, and basic services, United Way ensures that people in crisis can get the help they need right away and address the underlying issues they face. We help people in Monroe, Owen, and Greene counties get the education and financial stability that will help them from needing safety-net services in the future.


Who runs United Way?
A volunteer Board of Directors and professional staff ensure that United Way is working effectively and efficiently to improve people’s lives. Hundreds of local volunteers help keep United Way a dynamic, growing, and responsive organization.


How much of my contribution actually goes to program services?
Administrative and fundraising costs are kept very low because of the large number of volunteers involved in raising and allocating funds. In 2015, this allowed 83¢ of every dollar to be used for programming. Without United Way support, agencies would need to spend more of their own money and energy on their own fundraising.


How are campaign funds distributed?
The United Way Community Investment Committee, consisting of United Way Board members and other volunteers, reviews applications from member agencies that seek funding to support community programs. These volunteers use priorities from the most recent community needs assessment to decide where funds can have the greatest impact.



What is the value of giving to United Way when I can donate directly to an agency?
With 60 years of experience in Monroe County, United Way focuses on people and the issues close to us: food, housing, health care, emergency services, children and youth, employment, earnings stability, and older adults. Services funded by United Way have a broad reach – touching 1 in 3 community members each year.

When you give to United Way of Monroe County’s Community Action Fund, you invest in high-quality, results-oriented programs managed by United Way’s member agencies. Nonprofits are also able to use United Way allocations from the Community Action Fund as matching funds for state, federal, and private grants. Because our member agencies don't need to spend as much money fundraising, more money goes to services in the community.

United Way also offers resources, materials, professional development opportunities, and technical support to strengthen the ability of all local agencies to serve their clients most effectively. Low administrative costs here and reduced fundraising costs at our member agencies mean that more money goes to services in the community.

United Way helps all local agencies serve their clients most effectively by providing resources, materials, professional development opportunities, and technical support.



Why should I give when I can only afford a small amount?
Every single dollar makes a difference! Giving what you can is appreciated, and provides you with an opportunity to join with others in the community to help those in need. Many employers offer payroll deduction, which spreads your pledge payments throughout the year. There are many ways to give, including volunteering with United Way of Monroe County.

  • $1/wk provides 13 preschoolers with their very own book to help build early literacy skills.
  • $2/wk provides 70 bags of healthy groceries to low-income families.
  • $3/wk provides 12 people with needed medicine.
  • $5/wk provides blankets to 52 people staying at an emergency shelter following a disaster.  
  • $7/wk provides breakfast for 7 children for the summer.
  • $10/wk will provide transportation for 9 people to and from a new job for 2 months.
  • $20/wk provides materials for a volunteer-built handicap accessible ramp that allows low-income seniors to live at home safely.
     

What records should a donor keep to meet the new IRS rules?
Campaign donors should keep a copy of the completed pledge form for their tax records. They will also need a copy of their pay stub, W-2, or similar document showing the amount withheld and paid. They should consult their tax advisor for more information. United Way will send a receipt for all cash, check, credit card, and stock donations over $250, and tries to gratefully acknowledge all gifts.


Can I give to the Community Action Fund, but exclude a certain agency?
Yes, whether donating online or completing a printed pledge card, you can specify which agency should not receive your donation.


What can I say to my co-worker who doesn't want to give to United Way because Planned Parenthood is a member agency?
Planned Parenthood provides valuable health services to the community, and United Way funds only their health and education services: cancer screenings, infertility counseling, teen peer education, and basic health services such as diabetes testing. The majority of Planned Parenthood's clients live at or below 150% of the federally mandated poverty level. On the pledge form, donors can indicate that their funds should not be distributed to any particular member agency.


How much of a donation stays local?

Over 98% of your gift remains in your community helping families, neighbors, and co-workers. We voluntarily pay dues to our state and national assocations in exchange for valuable information and referral services, consultation, supplies, trainings, and grant opportunities. Networking with other United Ways allows us to share ideas, materials, and other resources. As always, all of our decisions are made locally by staff members and a volunteer board of directors who know this community.


Does United Way have a non-discrimination policy?
Yes, the non-discrimination policy ensures that all who would benefit from the high-quality programs of our agencies are eligible to receive those services. Member agencies cannot discriminate on the basis of race, color, marital or familial status, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, nationality, age, disability, veteran status, gender identity, housing status, or any legally prohibited classification.


Will I feel pressured to give?
United Way's Board of Directors takes a strong position that does not condone any form of coercion, especially if there is any stated or implied effect on your personal economic status. Whether one gives, and how much one gives, are personal decisions.


I know someone who couldn't get help from a United Way agency. Why?
Most likely, the person asked for a service the agency couldn't provide or went to the wrong agency for the services needed. Eligibility guidelines are sometimes dictated by government regulations or other funding sources. United Way is ready to look into any instance where someone feels help was unjustly refused.

 

Are donations to United Way tax deductible?
United Way of Monroe County is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and your donation is tax deductible as allowed by current federal and state tax law.



What is your association with United Way Worldwide?
We are completely autonomous from United Way Worldwide and the Indiana Association of United Ways—all of our decisions are made locally. However, we voluntarily pay dues to the state and national associations in exchange for valuable information and referral services, consultation, supplies, publications, training and grant opportunities, and conferences. Networking with other United Ways allows us to share ideas, materials, and other resources. Over 98% of your gift remains in Monroe County helping families, neighbors, and co-workers.


What is Day of Action?

Day of Action is a day of collaboration, volunteerism, and community building. Businesses, youth groups, faith-based groups, students, Indiana University departments, and other volunteers are matched with sevice projects at United Way of Monroe County partner agencies and other local organizations. Recently, volunteers built bookshelves, read to children, helped with painting, spring cleaning, and gardening.


What is 2-1-1?
2-1-1 is a free, 24-hour, confidential service. Specially-trained operators help callers find the resources they need. Help is now available throughout Indiana in over 150 languages. If you know someone who might need information about food, housing, employment, clothing, education, counseling, health care, senior services, child care, or legal aid, have them dial 2-1-1 or visit 211infolink.net.

 If 2-1-1 does not work on your phone, please call (317) 926-4357.
 


The Leadership Giving Program


What is a Vanguard?
The Vanguard Leadership Giving Program recognizes individuals who make a substantial impact on vital social service priorities. A gift at this level signifies a commitment to creating sustained improvements in the lives of community members. Vanguards are invited to join at the following giving levels:

•    Benjamin Harrison ($10,000+)
•    Platinum ($5,000-$9,999)
•    Gold ($2,500-$4,999)
•    Silver ($1,000-$2,499)

Members of the same household may combine their gifts to participate in the Vanguard program. Gifts that are matched by an employer will be recognized in the Vanguard program if the total gift is $1,000 or more. Vanguard donors can donate online or download the United Way of Monroe County campaign pledge card.

 
What is the Young Leaders Society?
The Young Leaders Society is composed of civic-minded individuals or couples under the age of 40 who make a combined annual gift of at least $500. These leaders demonstrate an early commitment to United Way of Monroe County and their community. Young Leaders may donate online or download the United Way campaign pledge card. By donating over $1,000 Young Leaders may also participate in the Vanguard Leadership Giving Program.

 
Is there is a matching opportunity this year?
Yes! Please visit the matching opportunities page for full information!



How are Leadership gifts made to United Way?
Vanguard donors can donate online or can download the United Way campaign pledge form and use any of the methods United Way offers to make their gift. Contributions can be made through payroll deduction, direct billing, ACH withdrawals, credit cards, cash or checks, or through the donation of stocks.


How are Leadership Givers recognized?
Unless Leadership donors choose to remain anonymous, they are recognized in the publicly-distributed Leadership Giving Roster. The donor’s professional affiliation is also listed (optional). United Way volunteers sometimes host special events to acknowledge the important role Leadership Givers play in the general United Way campaign and our community.



Can a Leadership contribution be designated?
All donors are encouraged to give to the Community Action Fund in order to support the mix of services that will make the most impact on our community's future. Individual contributions can be designated to a United Way partner agency or an eligible, local 501(c)(3) organization.


Donor Choice Questions


Can I designate a particular agency to receive my donation?
The Community Action Fund helps donors address a wide range of community issues with one gift. As an additional option, United Way offers a Donor Choice program, which allows contributors to direct all or part of their gift to a specific member or non-member agency or a United Way in another county. Direction are on pledge cards.In order to keep processing costs low for our donors, designated gifts must be at least $25 per organization or they will be directed to the United Way Community Action Fund.



What are the standards for member and non-member agencies?
Member agencies must meet strict standards of governance, program effectiveness, and financial accountability; they are evaluated regularly as part of a volunteer-driven certification process. Non-member agencies are not monitored by United Way, but we do verify their tax exempt status.



Does United Way offer "Priority Funds"?
Yes, donors can focus their giving on any or all of our three priority areas - Education, Earnings, and Essentials. These funds will be distributed by the Community Investment Committee to the member agencies meeting goals in that area. Simply follow the instructions when donating online or in the Priority Fund section on your printed pledge card.


Does United Way assess processing fees?
There is no fee to designate to member agencies. Non-member organizations are assessed a 12% fee on all donations to reimburse United Way's processing expenses. This is very low compared to most agencies' internal fundraising costs, and we establish eligibility at no charge. Non-cash designations are reduced by an allowance, currently 7%, to account for uncollectible pledges.



Can I give to the Boy Scouts through United Way of Monroe County?
Yes. The Hoosier Trails Council of the Boy Scouts is our newest member agency. Because of changes in BSA's national policies, Scouting is now open to children and adults without regard to their sexual orientation. Based on a thorough review of the BSA's programs, policies, and outcomes, we are pleased to welcome them as a member agency.

 

What about Girls Scouts?
Our area is now served by Girl Scouts of Central Indiana, based in Indianapolis, which is eligible to receive donor designations.
 
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What types of non-member agencies are eligible to receive donor designations?
Organizations must have Section 501(c)(3) designation from the IRS; have local impact or a local presence; work in the areas of human service, the arts, or the environment; and be able to document a minimum one-year record of service. Federations, religious congregations, government units, and capital drives are not eligible. If the organization is not eligible, United Way staff will discuss options with the donor.



Where can I find information about eligible agencies to which I can designate?
Please visit our Donor Choice Program page to download a listing of donor choice affiliates.


 
Other Questions


What should I do if I have other questions not found in this FAQ?
Please contact the United Way office at (812) 334-8370 or via email at info@monroeunitedway.org.

 

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