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Thank you for your interest in contacting United Way Worldwide.  Most questions can be answered by our FAQ below.  If none of these answers apply, please proceed to our Contact Us form.

If you are outside the U.S., please click here.

FAQ

Your request is important to us. Please browse the choices below, which may answer your question immediately.

I need financial assistance.
I need help with medical issues, or other services.
I want to volunteer.
I am interested in working with United Way as an intern or employee.
I want my business to be involved with United Way.
I want to request funding for my agency or project.
What does United Way do?
What are United Way's overhead and administrative costs?
What is the compensation for United Way Worldwide President & CEO Brian Gallagher?
I feel pressured to give at my workplace.
What is United Way's position on the Boy Scouts?
What is United Way's position on Planned Parenthood?
Does United Way take a position on gun control?
I work at a local United Way and have a question for United Way Worldwide.


I need financial assistance.

United Way is not legally set up to provide direct financial assistance to individuals, but we work with many community partners that do. The best way to find available resources in your area is by calling our 2-1-1 help number. It's a 3-digit number like 9-1-1, but for access to health and human services. Calling 2-1-1 will get you a trained resource and referral specialist, who will know what services are available in your area.  Sometimes the 2-1-1 line can be a problem from a cell phone, or may not yet be available in your immediate area.  If you can't get through on 2-1-1, you can go to www.211.org and type in your zip code.  It will provide an alternate number where one is available. 

If you have trouble, you can call your local United Way and they may be able to point you in the right direction.  To find your local United Way, return to the liveunited.org home page and type your zip code in the top right.

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I need help with medical issues, or other services.

The best way to find available resources in your area is by calling our 2-1-1 help number. It's a 3-digit number like 9-1-1, but for access to health and human services. Calling 2-1-1 will get you a trained resource and referral specialist, who will know what services are available in your area.  Sometimes the 2-1-1 line can be a problem from a cell phone, or may not yet be available in your immediate area.  If you can't get through on 2-1-1, you can go to www.211.org and type in your zip code.  It will usually provide an alternate number. 

If you are having medical issues, you might also want to check with the case manager/social worker at your local medical facility.  They are often very helpful in accessing available resources.  If you have trouble, you can call your local United Way and they may be able to point you in the right direction.  To find your local United Way, return to the liveunited.org home page and type your zip code in the top right.

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I want to volunteer.

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with United Way.  There are few ways you might be able to find local volunteer opportunities.

First, you can go to www.liveunited.org/volunteer and type in your zip code to see if available opportunities are listed for your area.

Second, you can call our 2-1-1 help line, a 3-digit number like 9-1-1, but for access to health and human services. People can call 2-1-1 if they need help, or want to offer help.  They may know of available opportunities.  

Finally, you can try your local United Way and they may be able to point you in the right direction.  To find your local United Way, return to the liveunited.org home page and type your zip code in the top right.

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I am interested in working with United Way as an intern or employee.

If you are interested in finding internships or job opportunities at your local United Way, you should contact them directly.  To find your local United Way, return to the liveunited.org home page and type your zip code in the top right.

If you are interested in finding internships or job opportunities at United Way Worldwide in Alexandria, VA, please click here

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I want my business to be involved with United Way.

This is a question for your local United Way, unless you're specifically interested in United Way Worldwide in Alexandria, VA. More information about the work of United Way Worldwide is available elsewhere on this website. Specific regional programs and other details are available at your local United Way. To find your local United Way, return to the liveunited.org home page and type your zip code in the top right.

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I want to request funding for my agency or project.

This is a question for your local United Way, since almost all funding happens at the local level.  Local United Ways are independently incorporated nonprofit organization with their own grantmaking guidelines and local volunteers who make funding decisions.  To find your local United Way, return to the liveunited.org home page and type your zip code in the top right.

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What does United Way do?

United Way is a global network in 40 countries, including nearly 1,300 local organizations in the U.S. that advance the common good, creating opportunities for a better life for all by focusing on the three key building blocks of education, income and health. United Way recruits the people and organizations who bring the passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done.  LIVE UNITED® is a call to action for everyone to become part of the change through giving, advocating or volunteering in one of those three areas.

United Ways across the country bring diverse people and resources together to address the most urgent issues their communities face. Through unique partnerships and approaches, United Ways mobilize resources beyond the dollars that are pledged through their fundraising efforts. Community partners often include schools, government policy makers, businesses, organized labor, financial institutions, voluntary and neighborhood associations, community development corporations, and the faith community. National and local initiatives include: 2-1-1, Financial Stability Partnership, Success by Six, Born Learning, and many others.

United Way has now taken a bold leap forward – putting a stake in the ground around three bold goals in order to accelerate change by focusing on issues that can be consistently measured and where w e can have the greatest effect. In 2008, we announced national goals that will help to advance the common good by focusing on the basic building blocks of a good life – education, income and health. The 3 specific goals are:

  1. Cut by half the number of young people who drop out of high school
  2. Cut by half the number of working families that lack financial stability
  3. Increase by one-third the percentage of healthy young people and adults.

Local United Ways work to determine how these goals will be addressed in their local communities. We encourage you to read more about the goals and see examples of work at the local United Way level.

Specific regional programs and other details are available at your local United Way.  To find your local United Way, return to the liveunited.org home page and type your zip code in the top right.

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What are United Way’s overhead and administrative costs?

United Way Worldwide is the leadership and support organization for the nearly 1,800 local United Ways in 40 countries around the globe. Our work is supported by the 1% membership fee paid by local United Ways. Local donors support work in their communities through local United Ways, which are separately incorporated non-profits with their own CEOs and Boards of Directors. The information you're looking for about your United Way's expenses can be obtained from your local United Way.

Overhead rates vary at local United Ways.  The overall United Way system’s administration/overhead rate in the U.S. of 13.8% remains extremely competitive with the top 100 nonprofits in the U.S., and is well below industry standards and recommendations (such as the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance at 35% and the Office of Personnel Management/OPM at 25%). Moreover, United Way helps hundreds of other non-profits maintain low overhead rates.

For information specific to your community, please contact your local United Way.  To find your local United Way, return to the liveunited.org home page and type your zip code in the top right.

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What is the compensation for United Way Worldwide President & CEO Brian Gallagher?

The Chronicle of Philanthropy ranks United Way as the nation’s largest privately-funded charitable organization, with system-wide support of $4 billion in the U.S. and a national network of more than 1,200 affiliates.  To date, United Way benchmarked itself against other charities that comprise the “Leadership 18” – a group of the largest and most recognized non-profits in the United States. Going forward, with United Way Worldwide’s new global mission, the comparable will include other large philanthropic organizations that represent other nonprofits that are not in the Leadership 18, yet have worldwide philanthropic missions similar to ours.  

While Mr. Gallagher leads the largest non-profit organization in the U.S., his cash compensation ranks sixth out of the large national charities comprising the Leadership 18.

United Way Worldwide is the leadership and support organization for the nearly 1,800 local United Ways in 40 countries around the globe. Our work is supported by the 1% membership fee paid by local United Ways. Local donors are supporting work in their communities through local United Ways, which have their own CEOs and Boards of Directors. Information about your local United Way CEO’s compensation can be obtained from your local United Way.  To find your local United Way, return to the liveunited.org home page and type your zip code in the top right.

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I feel pressured to give at my workplace.

Giving is a personal matter and decision; no form of coercion is acceptable to United Way Worldwide.  Local United Ways work with their campaign representatives to balance providing incentives with not making people feel coerced.

United Ways understand that fundraising success depends on how much potential donors know and understand the organizations seeking support.  Fundraising should always be conducted in a voluntary manner.  Coercion creates animosity, hinders communication and understanding, and eventually leads to decreased support.

For years United Ways have been concerned about the use of undue pressure in fundraising and are opposed to any type of coercion.  Any semblance of pressure – whether real, implied or perceived – is contradictory to the operating standards of United Way.  United Ways continually try to prevent the use of coercion in their campaigns by encouraging peer solicitation, rather than solicitation of employees by managers.  In addition, United Ways conduct training programs for fundraisers that stress information and education, and discourage the practice of seeking 100 percent participation in a campaign, as that may inadvertently encourage coercion.

To underscore their conviction about this policy, the Board of Directors of United Way Worldwide (formerly United Way of America) adopted the following policy statement:  The Board of Governors of United Way of America believes that the most responsive contributors are those who have the opportunity to become informed and involved.  A well-planned campaign with an effective communications program, conducted by committed volunteers, will ensure responsive contributors.  While we have always been unalterably opposed to coercion, we do recognize a responsibility to state our beliefs formally, as freedom of choice is a basic tenet of our democratic society.

If you have felt coerced during a United Way campaign, please contact your local United Way to ask questions and provide feedback.  To find your local United Way, return to the liveunited.org home page and type your zip code in the top right.

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What is United Way’s position on the Boy Scouts?

United Way Worldwide, the leadership organization for the almost 1,800 member United Ways in 40 countries around the globe, does not dictate policy or funding decisions to its member organizations, except to the extent that funding decisions must be consistent with applicable law.  As such, the responses to the 2000 Supreme Court’s ruling on the Boy Scouts by these volunteer-driven local United Way organizations have been and will continue to be decided community by community, with each United Way community assessing its own needs and setting its own funding priorities.  

The success of the United Way system is the autonomy of its membership and the spirit of local volunteerism as a means of accomplishing its goals.  Local United Way funding decisions have always been decided using an inclusive community process – a process that involves the community in a broad dialogue with donors, volunteers and other concerned citizens dedicated to building a stronger community.

United Way Worldwide embraces inclusiveness, diversity, and equal opportunity as part of our core values, Code of Ethics, and human resource policies.  We understand that the nation is stronger when all segments of the community and the gifts of all people with their diversity of viewpoints are respected and embraced.

In January of 2007, United Way Worldwide (then United Way of America) convened an Inclusion Council that consists of 9 Business Resource Groups (BRGs) with almost 400 United Way staff from across the U.S., participating in webinars, conference calls and in person gatherings.  The role of the Inclusion Council is to advise the United Way system on how to best leverage diversity to create a more inclusive environment. 

The nine Business Resource Groups are: African American; Asian Pacific Islander; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT); Latino; Native American; People with Disabilities; White Engagement; Women; and Young Leaders.  We are dedicated to leading the United Way movement on the issue of inclusion. 

We also respect and value the diversity of opinion and process in community building efforts undertaken by our member United Ways as they assess their relationship with the Boy Scouts. United Way’s work in advancing the common good through our focus on education, income and health as the basic building blocks of a good quality of life has changed many funding policies. Partners funded by United Ways that have committed to this community impact model have to demonstrate outcomes in reaching goals in that area. At the national level, our three main ten-year goals are:

  • Cut by half the number of young people who drop out of high school.
  • Cut by half the number of working families that lack financial stability.
  • Increase by one-third the percentage of healthy young people and adults.

The values of United Way are embodied in our LIVE UNITED® campaign. This is a call to action – and invitation for everyone to join us, regardless of their stance on various issues – to move forward on these goals. It’s going to take everyone working together – giving, advocating and volunteering – to make progress on these goals across the country. Meanwhile, we invite varying points of view and voices to all come together so we can move forward.

In the end, we hope the millions of individuals, organizations, and corporations who comprise the United Way and represent many differing opinions will continue to embrace the local autonomy that has always been the hallmark of the United Way system.

You can check with your local United Way to see what policies they may have affecting the Boy Scouts.  To find your local United Way, return to the liveunited.org home page and type your zip code in the top right.

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What is United Way’s position on Planned Parenthood?

Pro-choice and pro-life advocates in all parts of the country have tried to make abortion a United Way issue. United Ways have taken a position of neutrality on this divisive issue because we do not want any single topic to overshadow our mission to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities. Our LIVE UNITED message makes the point that we invite everyone, from all points of view, to take part in improving the education, income/financial stability and health of their communities.

No United Way funds are currently used, or have ever been used to support abortion services.  

Several United Way partner agencies provide professional family and individual counseling services which include professional counseling on pregnancy-related problems.

United Way funded programs through Planned Parenthood include community health maintenance, e.g. communicable disease prevention; medical care service; family planning; health education; public awareness services; and family preservation and strengthening services, e.g. counseling and family life education.

Each agency encourages clients to make well-informed decisions.  

Only a small number of United Ways provide support to Planned Parenthood nationwide, an estimated 5.0% of the nearly 1,300 U.S.-based United Ways.  Nationally in 2008, local United Ways distributed an estimated $1.9 million to Planned Parenthood agencies. In 2007-08, United Ways in the U.S. collectively raised $4.02 billion. Less than one-tenth of one percent (0.05%) of total funds are distributed to Planned Parenthood. Of that total, approximately one quarter of these dollars were donor designated to the agency by individuals. 

United Way Worldwide, the leadership and support organization for the network of nearly 1,800 community-based United Ways in 40 countries, does not dictate funding decisions to local United Ways. As mentioned above, all funding decisions are made by volunteers of each independent local United Way organization.

For more information about locally funded programs, you can contact your United Way.  To find your local United Way, return to the liveunited.org home page and type your zip code in the top right.

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Does United Way take a position on gun control?

United Way Worldwide does not have a position on gun control. We’re not aware of any local United Ways that have taken a position on gun control, either.  Rumors to the contrary are false.

United Way is a worldwide network in 40 countries.  We advance the common good through our focus on education, income and health as the basic building blocks of a good quality of life.  Partners funded by United Ways that have committed to this community impact model must demonstrate outcomes in reaching goals in key focus areas.  At the national level, our three main ten-year goals are:

  • Cut by half the number of young people who drop out of high school.
  • Cut by half the number of working families that lack financial stability.
  • Increase by one-third the percentage of healthy young people and adults.

Local United Ways work to determine how these goals will be addressed in their local communities. Read more about the goals and see examples of work at the local United Way level.

The values of United Way are embodied in our LIVE UNITED® campaign. This is a call to action – and invitation for everyone to join us, regardless of their stance on various issues – to move forward on these goals. It’s going to take everyone working together – giving, advocating and volunteering – to make progress on these goals across the country. Meanwhile, we invite varying points of view and voices to all come together so we can move forward.

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I work at a local United Way and have a question for United Way Worldwide.

Employees at local United Ways should be registered at United Way Online, where you can find resources, tools and direct contact information for all United Way Worldwide staff members.  Please go to United Way Online.

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None of these responses address my concern.

Please contact United Way Worldwide.

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