Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is United Way and how long has the organization been in Marathon County?
A. United Way of Marathon County brings people, resources and organizations together to advance the education, income and health in our communities. These are the building blocks of a good life.
This collective work helps provide every child and person a chance for success and to contribute to our community’s well-being. We invite you to be part of the change by making an investment in United Way.
Our local United Way organized in 1930, 83 years ago. Each United Way in the country operates independently while following some standard certification and accountability requirements of United Way Worldwide. “United Way” referenced below refers to our local United Way of Marathon County.
Q. What does United Way do to build and strengthen our community?
A. United Way offers you a great value. Here are the top ten reasons to give.
- Gives you a great return.
- For example, it is estimated that for every dollar invested in our work in early childhood there is a $7 return. If every child is given a chance at a great start in life, they then have an equal opportunity for success in school and life. When that happens, they grow up and contribute to the workforce, improve our economy and limit future support system costs.
- Gets at the underlying cause of problems to find solutions and create lasting change.
- For example, if someone has a need for food assistance, we ask our partners to determine if they would also benefit from budgeting classes or other programs that might help them to improve their employability and path to self-sufficiency.
- Supports local partner programs that are held accountable to deliver results.
- You don’t have to be the expert on community needs or wonder how your support was used. United Way does that for you through the help of dedicated volunteers.
- Stays in our local communities.
- All of us are in some way touched by United Way, because you never know who or when you might find yourself looking for support.
- Is used where it’s needed the most.
- United Way coordinates the community LIFE report which looks at data and trends to identify priorities and set a community agenda.
- Gives you an opportunity to get involved in meaningful work.
- We engage volunteers on committees, in the office, at events, and through groups like Women In Action and Emerging Leaders.
- Brings together people and organizations who have passion, expertise and resources to get things done.
- For example, the Housing and Homelessness Coalition is working to end homelessness by maximizing and strengthening existing resources, developing new, relevant solutions, and seamless delivery of services. It recently helped launch the Warming Center.
- Supports special projects that fill a gap in the community.
- For example, The Career Closet is a project of Emerging Leaders run by volunteers providing donated clothing to help people have suitable clothing for their job interviews.
- Offers critical connections for people to get the help they need.
- United Way’s 2-1-1 provides free, confidential community service information and referrals 24 hours/day, 7 days/week, an online searchable database, and publishes resource directories and guides.
- Strengthens services through increasing volunteers
- United Way RSVP is a specialized volunteer group, where members who are 55+ receive personal volunteer placement, connections with each other and the community. The value of RSVP member volunteer hours in 2012 = over $300,000.
- United Way Volunteer Connection’s purpose is to connect volunteers and organizations with opportunities to serve. The also lead projects including Bundles of Joy and Make a Difference Day and offer web site connections to volunteering opportunities 24/7.
Q. Who owns United Way?
A. You do! United Way is owned and operated by and for our community. Donors are members who elect the Board of Directors. We belong to a broad network of United Ways but we are locally governed and controlled. Only 1% of our campaign revenue is paid in dues to United Way Worldwide for services, much like association dues. All other revenues stay in our community.
Q. How much is United Way’s overhead or administrative cost?
A.United Way keeps its costs lower than most other charity organizations returning 85 cents of each dollar we collect to programs and services helping people in need. That compares very favorably to the national guideline of at least 60 cents by the National Charities Information Bureau.
Q. How can I direct my United Way gift to a specific cause or to another community?
A. United Way offers donors the option to send their gift to another United Way and no service fees are charged. Donors may select or designate a priority category of education, income or health, OR they can list a specific United Way funded program. List of Funded Programs
Q. How can I stay connected to United Way?
A.United Way reports progress and provides opportunities for you to get involved. The best way to stay connected to United Way is to sign up for our e-newsletter.
Q. Does United Way invest in programs covering all geographic areas of Marathon County?
A. Absolutely! United Way invests in dozens of programs serving the entire county. List of assistance by community
Q. What if I hear something and don’t have an answer about United Way?
A. There are sometimes misperceptions or false information out there. We encourage you to contact us because the more people know about us, the more they like us. Email us at email@example.com or call us at (715) 848-2927.
OTHER BRIEF DEFINITIONS:
Coalition - a group of individuals and organizations that set a common goal and action plan to improve a community issue.
Collaboration - organizations working together on a program toward a common goal.
Emerging Leaders - a giving community of young professionals committed to connecting, serving and leading to better our community.
E-pledge- a way for employees to pledge at a computer during their company campaign.
LIVE UNITED - United Way’s call to action to Give, Advocate, Volunteer.
Loyal donor - an individual with 10 years or more of giving to United Way.
NFL Partnership - For nearly 40 years the NFL has supported United Way and donated advertising.
Partner program or organization - groups that receive United Way grants.
Summit League - a giving community recognizing individuals or couples giving $600 or more.
Tax deduction - gifts are tax deductable, keep a record of your pledge payments.
Women In Action - a giving community of women who are taking action on priority issues by engaging, advocating and networking.
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