How is our United Way connected to United Way in other cities?
Each United Way is an independent and self-governing organization tied to each other through the desire to provide each of our communities with a chance at a better future. The money raised by United Way of Coastal Georgia stays in Glynn and McIntosh counties.
What is the United Way of Coastal Georgia’s Overhead?
Our overhead is well below the national average: The Better Business Bureau’s 20 Standards for Charity Accountability suggest fundraising costs should not exceed 35% and total fundraising and administrative costs should not exceed 50% of total income. United Way of Coastal Georgia is proud to operate below 18%. We keep our expenses low by committing to organizational efficiency and continuously looking at ways to reduce costs and eliminate waste; relying on volunteer support and in-kind contributions from partners. In short, United Way minimizes costs to give donor dollars the greatest community impact.
Our overhead costs consists of a percentage of operating costs goes to support staff who work diligently on day-to-day operations that keep the UWCGA running. This includes maintaining financial accountability, recruiting and training volunteers, fundraising, and directing the High School Graduation Blueprint program. Another percentage of operating costs goes towards United Way initiatives like High School Graduation Blueprint, Days of Caring, and our Fundraising Campaign.
Does United Way fund the same agencies every year?
Answer: United Way provides annual grants, not lifelong entitlements. Every agency must reapply each year for funding – there are no guarantees. UWCGA opened its community investment process to any agency that meets eligibility criteria for program funding. This allows UWCGA to fund the best available programs in the community as long as the agencies meet certification standards.
The amount of funding each year will be subject to money available in the General Fund.
Who decides where my contribution goes?
The Community Investment Committee which consists of United Way community volunteers from Glynn and McIntosh counties, serves as the eyes and ears for the more than 4,000 contributors in deciding how to invest in our community. The full process is outlined here.
How does an agency or organization become a United Way funding partner?
Partner agency programs: Prior to the beginning of each new funding cycle, United Way issues a Request for Proposal (RFP) to which agencies apply. In order to receive funding, programs go through an interview and review process by volunteers to show that they meet the requirements set forth in the RFP.
Non-partner agencies: Any registered not-for-profit agency that provides health and human services to the people of Glynn and McIntosh counties and meets identified critical community needs and priorities may apply for United Way funding.
More information about the process can be found here.
Does United Way give money to church-affiliated agencies?
Agency programs are available to anyone regardless of race, creed, or religion. United Way would only fund health and human service programs within church-affiliated agencies. It does not fund any religious activities of the organization.
How do you know the money you give to United Way is being used effectively?
The United Way of Coastal Georgia situates itself as an investor and connector of the best agencies within Glynn and McIntosh counties. Our Board of Directors insures the financial as well as personnel integrity of each agency and maintains strong ties in order to create a better future for our community.
United Way of Coastal Georgia’s Annual Report and Form 990 can be found here. Local volunteers and members of our board of directors are involved in every step of our community investment plan which is outlined here. Additionally, UWCGA is a rated non-profit organization on Charity Navigator. Our ratings and information can be found here.
Why not just donate directly to an agency?
United Way’s greatest strength is the ability to allow donors to address a broad range of human service needs in their own community with one single gift.
There are many valuable non-profit organizations in Glynn and McIntosh counties. However, The United Way of Coastal Georgia places itself at the heart of non-profit functions in both counties. By maintaining strong ties with agencies in the area and conducting independent, the United Way holds an intricate understanding of the problems and needs of the community. With that knowledge, we can effectively and efficiently allocate donations to the area or agency most in need.
I never use agency services. Why should I give?
Can I designate my gift? I prefer to support one or two agencies directly.
Yes, donors are offered the option to designate their donations to a charity of their choice. However, by donating to the United Way without designating the funds, donors are allowed the opportunity to donate to all of our partner agencies which provide various human service needs to better the community.
Are United Way donations tax-deductible and do I automatically get a receipt for my donation?
You will receive a receipt from United Way of Coastal Georgia if you made any single payment of at least $250. Donors who contribute $100 or more by check to United Way will receive an acknowledgement from United Way. A copy of the cancelled check and the acknowledgement together act as evidence of a donation for purpose of a tax return.
If you made your gift through payroll deductions, a receipt is not necessary. Those contributing through payroll deduction in their workplace should keep a copy of their signed pledge and maintain their last pay stub of the tax year or form W-2 from their employer that summarizes the amount withheld for the United Way during their tax year.
Is personal information from donors protected?
Absolutely. We respect the privacy of our donors and do not rent, trade, or sell this information. Information provided by donors is used only to properly credit their contribution and communicate about United Way and related program information.
If I become unemployed sometime after making my pledge, am I obligated to pay my entire pledge?
No, you are not obligated to pay the balance of your pledge. However, cancelling a pledge is discouraged.
How can I continue to give to United Way after I retire?
Many contributors continue to support United Way after they retire, and we hope you will too. The United Way maintains partnerships with donors through the a broad array of giving options including Philanthropic Funds, gifts of appreciated stock, special gifts and a variety of planned giving opportunities. Your generosity of time, resources, and skills is appreciated. United Way wants to continue partnering with you in making a significant difference in the lives that need it most. Through your continued leadership, United Way makes it happen. Please call United Way at 912-265-1850 for more information.
Can I donate stock and other securities to United Way?
Yes, United Way welcomes this type of gift. Each year, individuals and families support critical community services and often derive tax benefits by making gifts of stocks and other securities. Please call the United Way at 912-265-1850. We will be happy to answer your questions and will work with you when you are considering making a gift.
Do people ever include a gift to United Way when they make a will?
Yes, many donors take advantage of our planned-giving option. Please call United Way at 912-265-1850 for more information about a broad variety of planned-giving opportunities.
How can I get help from a United Way agency?
United Way has a referral service that can connect you to resources that can help. Call United Way 2-1-1 or, if your phone does not have three-digit dialing, call 912-651-7730. Your call will be confidential. More information about 2-1-1 can be found here. We are happy to get you the help and resources you need through one of own initiatives or those of our partner agencies.
For more information about finding help in your community, check the Community Resources page here.