Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions
How is United Way different from other nonprofit organizations?
What is the focus of United Way’s work?
What is United Way?
Who runs Victoria County United Way?
What is LIVE UNITED?
How does a community impact United Way operate?
How do people get help from United Way?
What else does United Way do besides fund nonprofit organizations?
How can young professionals get involved with United Way?
How do the troubles at other United Ways and other nonprofits affect our United Way?

Questions About United Way Community Partners
Do any United Way grantees perform abortions?
How does an organization apply to receive funding from United Way?

Questions About Giving to United Way
Why should I support United Way?
How can you expect me to give when the economy is so unstable?
Our employees and their families are struggling. How can we ask them to give?
Why give to the United Way?
How do I know that my donation is wisely spent?
Where does the money go?
How much of the money raised by United Way is used for administrative purposes?
What is the difference between Victoria County United Way and United Waywide?
Does Victoria County United Way have a formal financial audit procedure?
How can I get more involved?

How is United Way different from other nonprofit organizations?
United Way exists for one reason: to help us come together as a community to identify and address the issues that take all of us working together to solve. Issues like making sure children enter school ready to learn and that all people have access to primary health care, cross lines of race, gender, geography, faith and economic status and can only be addressed with a collective community focus and action.

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What is the focus of United Way’s work?
United Way works to assess community needs to address education, income and health. These are the building blocks for a strong community—quality education for children, self-sufficient families and access to primary health care. Our goal is tackle today’s tough issues to ensure that our community thrives now and in the future.

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What is United Way?
Victoria County United Way is a 100% independent local non-profit organization that focuses on human service needs of communities in this area. United Way is much more than a fund-raising organization. United Way is about changing lives. United Way works with dozens of partners to deliver results. Our primary service area (but not limited to) is Victoria County and DeWitt County.

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Who runs Victoria County United Way?
A forty-three member Board of Directors including an elevelen member Executive Committee, and is comprised of local volunteers. These volunteers are responsible for setting policies, budget and for overseeing the direction of the Victoria County United Way. The 2011-2012 Board President is Gary Worsham of Wells Fargo Bank.

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What is LIVE UNITED?
It takes the entire community to make a difference. No single shelter, meal program or child care center can solve the challenges we face. But each one of us can do something to change our world. We need you. To LIVE UNITED is to be a part of the change. We invite you to be part of these changes. Together, united, we can inspire hope and create opportunities for a better tomorrow.

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How does a community impact United Way operate?
A community impact United Way listens to its community and, in turn, sets an agenda to address the community’s important human care issues. After the community agenda has been set, United Way puts its problem-solving capacity to work to develop an impact plan. Once the plan is in place, United Way uses its unique ability to enlist support and gather resources from all areas of the community.

This support isn’t just monetary—it also takes the form of in-kind resources and volunteerism. With an impact plan in place and community resources at the ready, United Way acts, implementing the plan. Finally, we measure the outcome of the plan so United Way, its donors and partners know that our work has been successful and has made lasting improvements in our community.

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How do people get help from United Way?
United Way supports 20 local non-profit social service agencies throughout Victoria County that help people every day. While United Way does not provide direct services to individuals and families, residents are encouraged to call 2-1-1, which makes free, confidential referrals to organizations that can help with counseling, job training, emergency assistance and other needs. 2-1-1 is a program of the Golden Crescent Regional Planning Commission.

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What else does United Way do besides fund nonprofit organizations?
We assess community needs to address education, income and health. We invest resources in the community through partnering with nonprofit organizations to build holistic solutions to solve complex and long-term issues. We work to strengthen everyday systems for those who need help today while also looking down the road to the future so fewer people will need help tomorrow.

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How can young professionals get involved with United Way?
Research conducted by United Way WorldWide and other philanthropic study centers, shows that young professionals are more interested in exercising personal philanthropy through volunteerism than through financial gifts. There is also a preference of this group to be engaged by nonprofit organizations in skill-based volunteer opportunities that help them develop leadership skills. Millennials and Generation Xers tend to have a more global perspective generally, and want their philanthropy to reflect an idea of “community” that extends beyond their zip codes or national borders.

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How do the troubles at other United Ways and other nonprofits affect our United Way?
They do not. Each one of the 1,300 United Ways in the nation is autonomous and managed by local volunteers. In Victoria County, hundreds of volunteer leaders from all walks of life are involved in, and oversee every detail of, United Way operations, from fundraising to community investments to financial management.

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Does the Victoria County United Way fund abortions?
No. Abortion is not funded through the Victoria County United Way.

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How does an organization apply to receive funding from United Way?
When resources allow, United Way invites applications from organizations that can demonstrate measurable results in addressing issues our community has identified as most important.

To be eligible to apply for funds through Victoria County United Way, you must meet the following requirements: be a 501 (c) 3 non-profit health or human service agency serving residents of our service area; document cost-effective delivery of high-priority programs and services; demonstrate sound financial and administrative management practices; comply with all applicable laws; be governed by a board of directors; and demonstrate impact through measurable outcomes. i.e. show that they get results. All inquiries should be directed to Clifford Grimes, Executive Director at 361.578.3561 or cgrimes_unitedway@tisd.net.

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Why should I support United Way?
United Way is how our community comes to work together get to the heart of community problems to create solutions that work for us. It takes an entire community to make a difference and we need you. We are the only place where individuals and companies can work together to make a lasting change now and for the future. United Way is working to ensure that children and youth achieve their potential that individuals and families are financially stable, that people are healthy and that homelessness is prevented or ended quickly.

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How can you expect me to give when the economy is so unstable?
When the economy is distressed, even more people need help. Your gift is even more critical in challenging times. As you consider the choices available to you and your family, we hope you will remember how much your contribution to Victoria County United Way provides help for everyone in our community. Help that improves education, income and health. No single shelter, meal program, or child care center can solve the challenges we face. But each one of us can do something to change our world.

United Way is inviting all of us to give our full attention to the basic pillars that support and sustain the quality of life in every community: education, income and health. Our actions today determine the reality for tomorrow. A tomorrow that will come regardless of the economy’s condition. The decision to give may have been easier in years past, but it has never been clearer.

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Our employees and their families are struggling. How can we ask them to give?
Time and again, some of the most generous givers are those who themselves have struggled and needed a helping hand from our community. Everyone should be given an opportunity to express caring through charitable giving, to enjoy the emotional reward that comes from knowing he or she has helped someone else—a homeless mother helped with child care so she can seek employment, a senior able to stay in his home and retain independence, or a family helped to remain financially stable with job training for advancement.

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Why give to the United Way?
The United Way is a powerful way to make a lasting impact on the issues that are important to our community. United Way is a sound investment. We use all the community resources possible—money, volunteer time and expertise, and in-kind donations—to get the results our community needs.

Giving to the Victoria County United Way is a unique option in philanthropy that allows you to join with tens of thousands of others to focus resources where to solve big community issues. In addition, United Way provides support and visibility to smaller, less known nonprofits that are doing important work right here in our community.

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How do I know that my donation is wisely spent?
When you give to The Victoria County United Way, you entrust your hard-earned dollars to a local organization that takes this trust very seriously. The organization is committed to the highest standard of fund responsibility, transparency and stewardship. Victoria County United Way volunteers oversee grants to local programs and closely monitor agency services and hold them accountable for integrity in their programming and business operations.

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Where does the money go?
United Way volunteers invest your contributions in local programs that are proven to strengthen our community and help people live better lives. Those programs include after-school and mentoring activities that ensure youth are successful in learning, job and life skills training to make people more employment-ready, help for people with immediate needs and more.

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How much of the money raised by United Way is used for administrative purposes?
Based on our 2013 Form 990, after factoring in Management & General expenses (8.7%) and Fundraising expense (8.3%), our overhead ratio is 17% —making it one of the lowest overhead costs of any nonprofit in the nation.

What’s most important is the impact that we are having in our region by working together. Your investment in United Way provides real, tangible results for our region. We work with our partners to measure our progress, so we can be sure that each gift to United Way—each investment in our community—gets the best rate of return possible. Please visit our website, or sign-up for our newsletter to learn more about the results your United Way gets, and the difference your gift is making.

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What is the difference between Victoria County United Way and United Waywide?
United Way Worldwide is the national organization dedicated to leading the United Way movement in making a measurable impact in every community across America by focusing on the underlying causes of the most serious problems.

The United Way movement includes over 1,300 community based United Way organizations. Each is independent, separately incorporated and governed by local volunteers. There are no fund-raising quotas, and all resources are under local control and decision-making. Dues to United Way of America end up being less than 1% of our budget and are recouped by our community many times over in training, services and access to national corporations.

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Does Victoria County United Way have a formal financial audit procedure?
Victoria County United Way has detailed and rigorous internal controls with regard to our spending and expenses. These internal controls are monitored by the organization’s finance and audit committees on a regular basis. Our board continually monitors all aspects of our governance process. Additionally, we regularly conduct external audits and have a whistle-blower program in place.

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How can I get more involved?
Victoria County United Way and its partner organizations need and appreciate volunteer participation. Contact Victoria County United Way at 361-578-3561for more information or visit our website at www.unitedwayvictoria.org.

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