Q & A - About United Way of Marathon County

United Way of Marathon County brings people, resources and organizations together to advance education, financial stability and health in our community. 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 was organized in 1930. 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.

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.

United Way brings together people and organizations to work on common issues and create long lasting change.  For example, the Housing and Homelessness Coalition is working to end homelessness by maximizing and strengthening existing resources, developing new relevant solutions and providing a seamless delivery of services.  By bringing together many organizations they were able to open the Wausau Warming Center to provide a safe place for people to sleep during the winter months.


Teams of volunteers from the community research the issues and develop a Request for Proposal.  Any non-profit can apply for funding and the teams determine which program proposal is the best fit for our local community.  Funding recommendations are then made to the United Way Board of Directors.  Our current funding cycle is for a three year grant period.  Those same teams provide oversight and monitor program outcomes to ensure that your gifts are getting results.

We contribute 1% of our campaign revenue in dues to United Way Worldwide for services, much like association dues. All other revenues stay in our community. 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. We have a four-star rating from Charity Navigator.

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. Funded Programs.


Absolutely! United Way invests in dozens of programs serving the entire county.

If you leave your current employer, your payroll deduct pledge will stop with your last paycheck. Some employers may ask if you would like to pay the remaining balance on your pledge from your last paycheck. Or, if you start a new job with another employer who runs a United Way campaign, you can start your pledge at any time during the year. Your new HR department should be able to help. You can also call our office at 715-848-2927 to arrange to pay your pledge via your credit card or automatic transfer of funds. Those are also options to continue your gift in retirement.

Gifts of stock are always appreciated. Please call our office at 715-848-2927 for more information.

Including United Way in your will or estate planning is a wonderful way to continue supporting the issues and the community you care about. Click here to learn more.

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 monthly newsletter.