How is United Way supporting people displaced by the conflict in Ukraine?
United Way and our trusted partners on the ground -- United Way Romania, United Way Hungary, PHINEO/United Way Germany, United Way Netherlands, United Way Spain, and Fundacja Dobrych Inicjatyw (Good Initiatives Foundation) in Poland -- are working with local nonprofits to address the immediate and longer-term relief for those displaced by the ongoing fighting.
Immediate support is covering:
- Food and medicines
- Critical childcare supplies, including infant formula and diapers
- Hygiene kits, and more
Meanwhile, longer-term support is being mapped out to help refugess rebuild their lives, learn the language of their new home, get new jobs, integrate their children in school, legal advice, long-term housing, social integration, physical/mental health and more.
United Way’s global United for Ukraine fund enables U.S.-based individual and corporate donors to give and receive appropriate tax receipting to support crisis relief efforts for refugees fleeing Ukraine.
For any donor who does not require a U.S. tax receipt, we encourage you to donate directly to United Way Hungary, United Way Romania, United Way Netherlands, United Way Spain, PHINEO/United Way Germany, and FDI Poland who are on the ground responding to the crisis. These trusted partners have established funds to support their work directly. Local donors in Poland, Romania, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, and Spain are eligible for local tax receipts in accordance with local tax law.
Where will the money go?
Initial donations are covering:
- Food and medicine
- Critical childcare supplies, including infant formula and diapers
- Hygiene kits, and more
The situation on the ground is fluid, with needs changing over time. No matter when the conflict ends, the need for protection and assistance will continue for some time.
Will United Way be taking administrative fees from these donations?
To be clear, 95 cents of every dollar donated to the United for Ukraine Fund is going to on-the-ground partners providing relief. The remaining 5% helps United Way vet our recipients, track and measure the impact and assure that fund objectives are met.
However, if you donate directly to FDI (Poland), United Way Romania or United Way Netherlands, they will not charge an administrative fee.
Will there be donor reports?
Yes. United Way Worldwide always creates detailed reports that lay out where the donations to our emergency funds go. We strive for transposition donors, and will be posting the report on our website.
Will there be other local funds added as refugees migrate to other countries?
Funds will be used to support our partners on the ground, United Way Hungary, United Way Romania, PHINEO/United Way Germany, United Way Netherlands, United Way Spain, and FDI in Poland (see details on all four organizations below). As the war continues, United Way may identify additional partners on the ground to support the needs of Ukrainian refugees.
My company/corporation wants to give and/or track my employee giving. What are our options?
Donation options for companies giving directly to the United for Ukraine Fund or directly to our United Ways or partners on the ground, are as follows:
- The best way is for United Way Worldwide to provide you with a unique link that your employees can use. We will then be able to track your employee giving and will be able to you a report without employee data (amounts only) on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
- Employees can enter the employer’s name in the donation form. If you choose to use the employer field, we can commit to 2x/month updates at most.
- Give through an existing processor: Many employee giving platforms (e.g., Benevity, YourCause, etc.) can transfer funds to United Ways directly. Benevity project that was created by United Way Worldwide benefitting our partner agencies on the ground: “United for Ukraine.”
- Can I support the United for Ukraine fund with stock or crypto?
Can we share an in-kind donation or gift?
While we appreciate your generosity, United Way is currently unable to facilitate in-kind donations to support refugee efforts. If you would like to donate monetarily, we have created our United for Ukraine response fund that will support the basic needs of displaced persons as they flee Ukraine.
Corporations with new and relevant goods they wish to donate can be referred to our nonprofit partner Good360. Good360 has been facilitating in-kind donations for 38 years and has distributed more than $12 billion in needed goods to help those facing challenging life circumstances. Good360 is currently working with partners to verify on-the-ground needs in countries surrounding Ukraine and has already provided personal hygiene products and other items to support refugees in Poland. Good360 is keeping an up-to-date list of needed goods on their web site, so please refer to it for more information. If you have a corporate donor interested in donating goods, please connect them to Jim Alvey, Good360’s VP Disaster Recovery & Philanthropy, at email@example.com.
My company/corporation may want to sponsor displaced Ukrainian families (with jobs, travel expenses, housing etc.) What are our options?
Most refugees have gone through or resettled in Poland, Romania, Hungary and neighboring countries as part of their evacuation plan, and many are relocating in Germany, the Netherlands and Spain. In the U.S., states with large, established Ukrainian populations (WA, CA, OR, NY, IL) are beginning to be engaged in repatriation efforts. Many U.S. United Ways are involved in Welcome.US, which has helped Syrian refugees build new lives -- and is now doing the same for Ukrainian refugees.
You can learn more about the U.S. government's work at the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) or The Administration for Children and Families (hhs.gov).
In the meantime:
- Please direct donations to the United for Ukraine site. This will ensure there are adequate resources to support UW efforts for the duration of this ever-changing situation.
- If there is an announcement that refugees will be arriving in the U.S., those communities with high Ukrainian populations (in the states noted above) will be heavily involved and will need support. Just as UWW will be working with local and statewide United Ways in those states, we encourage you to work with your affiliates or local markets as they plan, prepare and execute response.
- There are a number of refugee resettlement agencies that are highly experienced in this resettlement work – find the list here. We encourage you to connect with them if your company has a nearby presence.
- 211, the 24/7 go-to response supported by United Way that connects people with local resources, has a resource page for those new to the U.S. that can be useful as well.
What are these United Ways are doing on the ground?
United Way Romania
United Way Romania is working to quickly and efficiently cover the critical needs identified so far: transport from customs centers to accommodation locations, food, certain medicines, sanitary products, pillows, sheets, blankets / sleeping bags, but also formula milk and diapers for children. They coordinate with community partners and constantly update the list of needs in order to promptly provide what is needed at this time.
United Way Hungary/United Way Magyarország
In cooperation with the local government of Kisvárda, United Way Hungary is putting together immediate aid packages which will be delivered by local civilian helpers to those in need. In cooperation with the Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta, United Way delivers donations to the most appropriate locations, according to current demand. Through United Way’s network 400+ community partners, they work closely with schools in the affected areas to address local needs and provide targeted assistance.
In Poland, United Way partners with the Good Initiatives Foundation (Fundacja Dobrych Inicjatyw, or FDI)
The concept for the Good Initiatives Foundation was born during the European Voluntary Service in Georgia in 2009, although the organization was registered in 2014. Initial activities focused on cooperation with Georgia and Ukraine: youth exchange projects, volunteering, and material support. In 2017, FDI launched a special program, called #FDIAid, to support children and young people from eastern Ukraine. Recently, FDI has been engaged in activities for children and youth from care and educational institutions and senior citizens in Poland. FDI has involved 1,000+ volunteers in Poland in this effort, including many Ukrainian citizens who came to Poland to build new lives.
PHINEO/United Way Germany
The current Ukrainian-focused work is led by a Ukrainian staffer who quickly identified pitfalls in the German support system as well as interventions that could produce immediate, significant impact. The most significant initiatives are below:
- Long-term basic social needs of Ukrainians by supporting the aid network "United4Ukraine". This is a self-help network of refugees from Ukraine who provide legal advice, housing and integration. PHINEO/ United Way Germany would support the institutional development of this network in Germany with human resources, project management and implementation.
- Umbrella for discrete Ukrainian-focused initiatives : "WE AID gGmbH' was founded by PHINEO/ United Way Germany as a charitable LLC according to German law, a non-profit service organization. PHINEO/ United Way Germany will provide the legal, administrative structure, and charitable status. For instance, Airbnb offers digital travel credits to PHINEO/ United Way Germany to be used by call center agents to make bookings for displaced individuals. WE AID will also mobilize private funds nationwide and scale up successful initiatives.
- PHINEO/ United Way Germany is founding a startup incubator, with a focus on Ukraine startups to support refugees.
Please note: if you want to donate directly to PHINEO/United Way Germany's WE AID, you must select WE AID from the drop down list.
United Way Spain
United Way Spain is supporting refugees with 3 programs:
- Spanish lessons so they can learn the language.
- Formation and support so they can find a job. At the same time the people with babies will be able to have day care service while they search for the job.
- Psichological support
- Empowering women refugees with language classes, job coaching and job searching
- Creating a Home for Home community center to help refigee women meet each other, support each other and easily access support and services.
- Connecting (via tablets) refugees seeking to connect and build language skills with isolated seniors.
Can I volunteer on the ground in Poland, Romania, Hungary, Spain, Germany or the Netherlands?
Right now, United Ways and our partners on the ground leading the refugee relief efforts don't have the capacity to train or manage volunteers, but that may change and we will update our content to keep you informed. We encourage you to directly visit our partner’s volunteer pages for opportunities you may be interested in: United Way Romania, United Way Hungary, PHINEO/United Way Germany, United Way Spain, Un and Fundacja Dobrych Inicjatyw (Good Initiatives Foundation) in Poland – please keep in mind that translation requirement from Russian or Ukrainian into Polish, Romanian, Hungarian or German may be an important consideration.