Frequently Asked Questions

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  1. What does United Way of Denton County do?
  2. Why should I give to United Way of Denton County?
  3. Is giving to United Way of Denton County voluntary?
  4. Can I afford to give?
  5. Why should I give to United Way of Denton County when I give to my church or other Non-Profit Organizations?
  6. Why not give directly to the program providers?
  7. Why does United Way of Denton County give money to only a few agencies?
  8. I pay taxes – why should I give?
  9. May I give directly to my favorite agency?
  10. Who decides how my contribution is spent and if it is used wisely?
  11. How much money goes to the funded partner agencies?
  12. How does United Way of Denton County respond to the new needs of the community?
  13. How much of the funds raised by United Way of Denton County are used for administrative costs?
  14. Who manages United Way of Denton County?
  15. Don’t the agencies get government funding?
  16. Does United Way of Denton County send money to United Way Worldwide to fund national agencies?
  17. Do United Way of Denton County partner agencies charge a fee for using some services?
  18. Are some funded agencies religiously-affiliated?
  19. Does United Way of Denton County support the Boy Scouts program?
  20. Does United Way of Denton County fund Planned Parenthood or abortion services?
  21. Does United Way of Denton County distribute money to programs outside their traditional agency funding?
  22. Why do partner agencies still have fundraisers when they are funded by United Way of Denton County?
  23. There are a few agencies that United Way of Denton County supports that I’ve never heard of, why should I give if United Way of Denton County supports them?
  24. How does one become a United Way of Denton County partner agency?
  25. Where can I go for help?
  26. Will I ever use United Way of Denton County services?

 


What does United Way of Denton County do?

  • Provides the community with leadership in addressing its needs.
  • Recruits and trains a diverse community volunteer base to serve on non-profit boards, in fundraising and in program delivery.
  • Raises money to address emergency needs and affect positive community impact.
  • Evaluates local agencies’ programs and infrastructure.
  • Distributes community donations to health and human service agencies that address pressing needs and demonstrate fiscal responsibility.
  • Brings organizations and individuals together to study and address community needs.
  • Provides research data on human service needs and issues.
  • Brings service providers together to share experiences, concerns and best practices.
  • Trains and advises agency boards and staff.
  • Serves as an advocate for health and human services with local and state policymakers.
  • Assists with the collaboration and initiation of needed community services.
  • Serves as a fiscal agent for collaborative community projects.

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Why should I give to United Way of Denton County?

It’s a great way to help your local community. Funds raised in the area stay here to address local problems.

It’s worthy. Your contribution goes to help people in Denton County who really need it.

It’s accountable. Volunteers from our community decide which programs receive funds and ensure that services are high quality and meet the community’s greatest needs.

It’s efficient use of your generous donation. Volunteers help conduct campaigns to keep costs low.

It’s easy. Giving is simple – options include cash, payroll deduction, Visa, MasterCard and bank draft and online at unitedwaydenton.org.

It makes a difference!

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Is giving to United Way of Denton County voluntary?

Yes! Giving to United Way of Denton County is strictly voluntary. United Way of Denton County has a written policy against coercion. The best way to encourage contributions is to educate people about how United Way of Denton County helps. United Way of Denton County staff and volunteers consistently stress the importance of voluntary giving and discourages coercion of any kind.

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Can I afford to give?

It is true that some individuals may not be in a position to give because of their current financial situation. However, many of us have made charitable contributions a priority in our budgets. The payroll deduction method gives us an easy way to give a little each month making it possible to help significantly on an annual basis. One dollar a week is $52 a year. That is the cost of one soft drink per week!

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Why should I give to United Way of Denton County when I give to my church or other non-profit organizations?

One of the things we have observed in serving the community is that “givers” are givers to many things. It is very common for strong supporters of United Way of Denton County services to also be very involved in churches or organizations outside United Way of Denton County. Perhaps it is because these are the people who are most keenly aware of the needs of their community and want to help. How much you can afford to give and to whom, is a very personal decision that only you can make. Our churches and non-profit organizations do much to assist individuals in their congregations and neighborhoods, but are not equipped to serve many of the broad emerging needs in the community.

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Why not give directly to the program providers?

Giving through United Way of Denton County assures donors that organizations meet the highest standards and provide genuinely needed services in our community. Also, giving to the Community Fund is similar to a mutual fund where your money goes into a variety of investment opportunities. United Way of Denton County’s Community Fund allows you to invest in a program of services that covers a wide scope of community problems and needs.

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Why does United Way of Denton County give money to only a few agencies?

United Way of Denton County looks at the community health and human service needs as a whole and directs funds to organizations that make up the fabric of health and human services. Some call it a “safety-net”. The organization’s volunteers make informed decisions about funding the necessary programs within the family of agencies. The opportunity to become a United Way of Denton County partner agency is available to 501(c)3 non-profits organizations provided United Way of Denton County criteria is met and funds are available.

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I pay taxes – why should I give?

Your tax dollars help support many social services in this community. Unfortunately, we have seen dramatic reductions in federal and state support of social services in the past and we expect this trend to continue. Local services are perceived to be the responsibility of the local community. That is why we need your help to continue and expand services as needed.

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May I give directly to my favorite agency?

Many people have a favorite agency. However United Way of Denton County believes in the concept of investing in a collaboration of agencies to ensure the availability of a variety of services.  In this way the leveraging of limited resources is achieved regardless of the public popularity of the non-profit organization. However, if you choose to designate your donation to a specific non-profit organization, you may write the name of the agency on United Way of Denton County’s pledge form and your donation will be honored.

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Who decides how my contribution is spent and if it is used wisely?

Volunteers from all walks of life in the Denton area make decisions about the amount of money that is provided to each United Way of Denton County partner agency. 36 volunteers across three committees (Education Allocation Committee, Income Allocation Committee and Health Allocation Committee) conduct site visits to the agencies, review the programs on an annual basis, study financial reports, and evaluate how well the agencies accomplished their purpose with United Way of Denton County allocated funding.

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How much money goes to the funded partner agencies?

United Way of Denton County invested nearly $1,000,000 in direct agency funding in the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

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How does United Way of Denton County respond to the new needs of the community?

United Way of Denton County regularly completes needs assessments to identify trends and measure changes in community needs. United Way of Denton County volunteers and staff identify problems, assess resources, and bring companies, non-profits and individuals together to take action.

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How much of the funds raised by United Way of Denton County are used for administrative costs?

Approximately 92% of United Way of Denton County's budget goes directly to program delivery in the community in the form of Partner Agency Allocation Funding or Community Impact Funding. With the generous contributions by people in the community of in-kind services and volunteers, United Way of Denton County is able to achieve a great deal of impact so that more funds go to United Way of Denton County supported programs and initiatives.

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Who manages United Way of Denton County?

United Way of Denton County is governed by a local volunteer board of directors that oversees the policies, strategic planning activities and procedures of the organization. The board is a diverse group in race, gender, occupation, interests, and philosophy. A staff of seven professionals direct the daily operations and work closely with volunteers at all levels to achieve our mission.

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Don’t the agencies get government funding?

Some agencies do receive government support. In fact, United Way of Denton County funding often allows agencies to leverage available government funds, which maximizes their resources and brings additional resources into the County. However, shrinking public funding for health and human services means privately funded organizations like United Way of Denton County are more important than ever.

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Does United Way of Denton County send money to United Way Worldwide to fund national agencies?

No. United Way Worldwide does not fund human services programs. United Way of Denton County is an affiliate of the United Way Worldwide (UWW) and that entitles us to use advertising and promotional materials and services developed by the UWW to support our local efforts.

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Do United Way of Denton County partner agencies charge a fee for using some services?

Yes, some do charge a fee for services to their clients. United Way of Denton County funds can provide only a portion of the money needed by program providers to render their services. Sliding scale fees are charged by some agencies to offer services to more people in need.

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Are some funded agencies religiously-affiliated?

Although United Way of Denton County prohibits the direct support of churches, it does allow assistance to religiously-affiliated organizations that are providing health and human services to the community.

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Does United Way of Denton County support the Boy Scouts program?

Yes. United Way of Denton County financially supports several local programs offered by the Boy Scouts of America.

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Does United Way of Denton County fund Planned Parenthood or abortion services?

No, United Way of Denton County does not fund Planned Parenthood or abortion services. At every local United Way, the local board of directors, through a process of volunteer committees, determines the level of financial support agencies receive. No agency that provides abortion services has applied to be an agency of United Way of Denton County.

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Does United Way of Denton County distribute money to local programs outside their traditional agency funding?

Yes. United Way of Denton County achieves its mission through two primary program strategies: partner agency allocation funding and community impact initiative funding. United Way of Denton County community impact programs such as Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) meet community needs that exist in the gap of the organizational missions of our partner agencies. United Way of Denton County’s board of directors, through the strategic planning process and annual financial planning process, determines the capacity for funding both program strategies based on available resources.

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Why do partner agencies still have fundraisers when they are funded by United Way of Denton County?

As the needs of the community continue to increase, so do the financial needs of our partner agencies. United Way of Denton County encourages funded partner agencies to diversify their fundraising and income streams for the financial stability of their organizations.

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There are a few agencies that United Way of Denton County supports that I’ve never heard of, why should I give if United Way of Denton County supports them?

Your donations are directed to pressing needs rather than agencies. United Way of Denton County volunteers are trained to understand the complex Education, Income and Health needs of our neighbors across Denton County and carefully screen and decide which partner agencies to allocate funding to and which community impact programs to fund based on research of needs and available services in the community.

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How does one become a United Way of Denton County funded agency?

There are several criteria the 501(c)3 non-profit organizations must meet to be eligible to receive funding from United Way of Denton County including:

  • Be recognized by the IRS as a non-profit 501(c)3 organization
  • Be governed by a volunteer board of directors representing the diversity of the community they serve and that conducts board meetings at least quarterly
  • Provide Denton County residents needed health and human services
  • Be audited annually by a CPA firm
  • Be in compliance with all local, state and federal requirements
  • Submit board minutes and financial statements at least quarterly for review
  • Keep administration and fundraising costs below 25% of gross receipts
  • Annually present and defend their request for United Way of Denton County funding and their entire agency budget to a panel of community volunteers
  • Be an established agency with a local presence for at least 3 years

United Way of Denton County has high standards for funding and wants to ensure that programs and services funded by United Way of Denton County dollars are utilized efficiently and effectively.

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Where can I go for help?

Call 2-1-1 (Statewide Information and Referral) or call 800-548-1873 any time of day 7 days per week. Locally you can call United Way of Denton County’s Information & Referral Helpline at 940-566-2688. A trained specialist will ask about your particular circumstances and provide you with resources to assist you. There are approximately 250 public and private organizations that provide services to residents of Denton County listed in our Denton County Community Services Directory. All these services are outlined in more detail here.

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Will I ever use United Way of Denton County services?

United Way of Denton County helps everyone. It is a popular misconception that only the jobless and “at risk” people seek help from United Way of Denton County’s family of agencies. However, you never know when you, a member of your family or a neighbor may need the help of a United Way of Denton County supported program. Services cover family violence, dropout prevention, child care, emergency financial assistance, mentoring, youth leadership development, illness, disabilities, loss of a loved one, and the issues of growing older. United Way of Denton County and its partner agencies are there to help.

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