Take a glance at these frequently asked questions about United Way. If one of your questions is not answered here, call the United Way at (508) 757-5631.
YOU make up the United Way team along with your friends,
co-workers and neighbors. Dedicated volunteers donate their time and talents
each year to set goals, organize campaigns, solicit gifts, budget funds,
identify and determine community priorities and distribute dollars. How can I make
sure my donations will help my local community?
United Way of Central Massachusetts is locally governed, organized and operated. We fund more than 70 health and human services programs at 40 agencies throughout Central Massachusetts.
A group of 90 volunteers comprise the United Way Community Solutions Council. These dedicated volunteers make the funding decisions for our community. They make sure that designated funds are distributed according to donor wishes, and then they invest the undesignated funds to agency and community needs.
The Better Business Bureau indicates that it is reasonable for charities to use up to 25% of the money they raise for fund raising and administrative costs. The United Way of Central Massachusetts works hard, with the help of many volunteers, to control overhead costs so that they are well below what is considered reasonable and lower than the typical costs incurred by the vast majority of not-for-profit organizations.
Everyone benefits from United Way funded programs, although they may not realize it. We all benefit from community wide disaster preparation and response in the case of weather and fire emergency. Nearly every family has benefited from United Way agencies such as the American Red Cross, YMCA or Boys & Girls Club of Worcester. Unfortunately illness, disabilities, family problems, mental disorders and the challenge of growing old may happen to anyone.
Many people in our community contribute both to United Way and to particular agencies. They contribute to United Way in order to ensure that there is a network of health and human services to assist people. Clients of agencies frequently use the services of multiple agencies.
Your tax dollars do support many social services in this community. Unfortunately, we have seen dramatic reductions in federal and state support of social services over the past ten years, and we expect the trend to continue. Local services are considered to be the responsibility of the local community. That is why we need your help to continue services.
United Way’s Board of Directors has a strong policy against coercion. We believe that contributing to help people should be an individual and voluntary decision. Working with United Way volunteers and staff, you can design an education campaign and then provide your employees the opportunity to help solve problems right in their community.