Frequently Asked Questions

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.

What percentage of my donation is distributed into the community and what is the administrative costs/overhead at the United Way of Central Massachusetts?

United Way of Central Massachusetts (UWCM) distributes 82% of every campaign dollar raised back to the community.  The Better Business Bureau suggests anything less than 35% for overhead is acceptable. United Way strives to keep our overhead cost well below that amount.

What does the United Way of Central Massachusetts do?

United Way of Central Massachusetts connects people and resources to improve the community by partnering with agencies and organizations and supporting initiatives.  All programs and initiatives are strategically aligned to take care of the immediate needs and provide the impetus for lasting change.

Who decides how much money each agency will receive and why do some receive more than others?

All United Way funding decisions are made by volunteers.  Agencies seeking funding present written proposals for a specific amount to the UWCM.  These proposals are reviewed by volunteers on the Review Team, Community Impact Committee, and Board of Directors, who analyze budgets, as well as program efficiency and effectiveness.  Funding decisions are based on dollars available, community need, and on the ability of the applicant to meet the need and produce results.

How is United Way of Central Massachusetts different from other non-profits?

United Way differs from other non-profits in that we are able to bring together many different groups, agencies, people, and institutions to find common ways to work on and address the same issue. Our role as collaborator and convener is essential to the well-being of the community.

How is United Way of Central Massachusetts different from other United Ways?

United Way of Central Massachusetts is independent, separately incorporated, and governed by a local, volunteer Board of Directors. The work efforts are specific to our area and the communities within the 30 towns of our footprint.  There are nearly 1,200 United Ways across the country and we are independent of each other; however, we share resources, research, and branding with United Way Worldwide.

How does an agency or organization become a United Way-funded partner?

Agencies seeking funding for programs and services must submit detailed applications, financial statements, certified audits, and program descriptions and results during our annual grant process.  Volunteers review all applicants and make decisions about funding. For more information about our grant process CLICK HERE.

Is my contribution to the United Way of Central Massachusetts tax deductible?

Yes, according to I.R.S. guidelines, all contributions to United Way of Central Massachusetts are tax deductible.  Your cancelled check, credit card statement, or 1090 tax document for payroll deduction will serve as your documentation.

What types of programs does United Way fund?

UWCM funds programs aligned with our strategic vision for a healthy community. Programs that provide a SAFETY NET to meet immediate needs of the most vulnerable members of our community are funded. We also fund programs that focus on HEALTH, FAMILY STABILITY, and EDUCATION – the building blocks for a healthy life. The Women’s Initiative of United Way of Central Massachusetts funds programs that focus on reducing violence in the lives of girls ages 10-14.

Do the United Way of Central Massachusetts funded programs serve only Worcester residents?

No—residents of all the 30 cities and towns that are in our footprint are served by the work of the United Way. The surrounding towns include: Auburn, Barre, Boylston, Brookfield, Douglas, East Brookfield, East Douglas, Grafton, Holden, Hubbardston, Leicester, Millbury, New Braintree, North Brookfield, Northborough, Northbridge, Oakham, Oxford, Paxton, Princeton, Rutland, Shrewsbury, Spencer, Sterling, Sutton, Upton, Uxbridge, West Brookfield, West Boylston, and Worcester.

How can I volunteer?

Our volunteer center offers numerous volunteer opportunities for groups and individuals. You can volunteer during our Day of Caring, during the holiday season through our Holiday Wishlist, and more. CLICK HERE to visit the volunteer center.

Does United Way of Central Massachusetts accept Planned Gifts?

Yes, the United Way accepts planned gifts and welcomes the opportunity to celebrate them with the donors in the here and now. CLICK HERE for more information.

How can I donate to the United Way of Central Massachusetts?

Donations are accepted by credit card online, by mail in the form of check payments, through payroll deduction, or in the forms of securities. CLICK HERE to donate.