Can you tell me about United Way of the Piedmont’s impact on our community?

Through United Way of the Piedmont’s ability to leverage resources and utilize expertise, every $1 donated is turned into $6.25 worth of goods and services when invested back into our community. As a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization that is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people living and working in Spartanburg, Cherokee, and Union Counties, this strong return on investment is made possible through the numerous programs, services and initiatives United Way of the Piedmont provides, supports and manages.

What specific community issues does United Way of the Piedmont address?

United Way of the Piedmont addresses the 3 priority areas of Education, Financial Stability and Health. These are the building blocks to a stronger community and better quality of life.

1- Education

Goal: Children, youth and adults have access to quality education that supports academic and social success.

2- Financial Stability

Goal: Individuals and families in our community are able to meet basic needs and build economic self-sufficiency.

3- Health

Goal: Members of our community have the knowledge, resources and opportunities to live healthy, safe, and active lives.

I’ve heard the term “Community Impact Fund” but can you tell me what that means?

United Way of the Piedmont encourages supporters to invest their dollars into our community through this fund allowing for the greatest impact and long-lasting change. Donor dollars are combined, leveraged and invested into services and programs addressing the 3 priority areas of Education, Financial Stability and Health to build a stronger, more stable community for all of us. Giving to the Community Impact Fund ensures your gift goes where the greatest impact can be made.

Who determines how much money United Way funded agency programs receive?

Through our Community Impact Fund, United Way of the Piedmont is able to provide needed funding to programs offered by local nonprofit agencies. Councils of trained volunteers review applications, conduct site visits, and participate in a Q&A session with the agencies applying for funds within each of the 3 priority areas. The volunteers score, rank and deliberate on the effectiveness of the programs and decide how to invest based on measurable outcomes and program results. The final allocation decisions are approved by our Board. Currently $2,251,500 is being invested into 108 programs managed by 69 agencies in the areas of Education, Financial Stability and Health.

How much of my contribution actually goes to help people?

United Way of the Piedmont strives to be cost efficient and maximize the amount of dollars being invested in the community. Our administrative and general fundraising cost is 12.6%.

I’ve never used United Way services; why should I give?

Education, crime, domestic violence, access to health care, emergency assistance in times of crisis—these concerns affect everyone in a community. There are no religious or economic boundaries. When our community improves, all of our residents benefit. United Way funded services are community-wide, reaching beyond the needs of just one demographic. A gift to United Way is an expression of care, concern and commitment for your community.

My spouse and I both work. Should we both give?

The community and United Way rely on the support of each working and able individual. Each of us carries our own community responsibility and United Way is only able to continue our work and meet community needs with each one us doing our part.

I live in a different county; should I still give through United Way of the Piedmont?

You can direct your donation to support the county where you work or the county where you live. There are many programs that cross county lines and serve individuals from surrounding counties. If you wish to designate your gift to United Way in the county where you live, simply request a donor choice card.

Can I give to a specific agency?

Giving to United Way of the Piedmont’s Community Impact Fund allows councils of trained volunteers to gauge which programs have the greatest measurable community impact thus enabling us to leverage dollars to provide a full network of services. However, we realize that some people have a specific tax-exempt nonprofit they consider to be especially important. You can designate your funds to an agency of your choice on a donor choice card. A gift must be $25 or more to designate to a specific agency.

What if I feel pressured to give?

United Way has a non-coercion policy, so no one should be forced to give. United Way is made possible because so many people give voluntarily, and voluntarism is what United Way is all about.

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

United Way of the Piedmont has supported youth services in our community for over 60 years. One of the first organizations to receive funding was the local Boy Scout Council, and we continue to fund Boy Scout programs today.

How can I get more involved or how can I get my workplace more involved?

There are so many ways to get involved with United Way beyond financial giving. We always have volunteer and advocacy opportunities and can help find the right one for you. From volunteering at our Gifts in Kind Center or at one of our partner agencies, to serving on the Community Investment Council, there is something to suit everyone. There are also quarterly projects and corporate projects that are a great way to further engage your workplace with the work of United Way. For more information on this type of involvement, please contact Heather Lother, Senior Director of Engagement, at hlother@uwpiedmont.org.

Someone I know didn’t receive help from an agency supported by United Way. Why?

Perhaps the person did not meet the agency’s criteria for receiving assistance or maybe there was a lack of funds available. Our desire is to ensure that when someone is in a time of crisis or need that the appropriate programs and services are available. Many times financial constraints are the barrier. That is why investing in the community through United Way is so important. If there is a current need for assistance, please dial 2-1-1 for referral assistance.

What is the relationship between United Way of the Piedmont & United Way Worldwide?

United Way Worldwide (UWW) is not a governing body for local United Ways. United Way of the Piedmont’s Board chooses to participate with UWW. UWW is a global training and service center providing services to United Ways across the country. United Way of the Piedmont pays membership dues to UWW in return for services. These services include use of United Way’s name and logo, market research, promotional items, national advertising including the NFL spots, and training for staff. There is no national United Way.

I’ve heard United Way funds abortions. Is that true?

All United Ways are separate legal entities whose local volunteers set their policies and funding decisions according to its community’s priorities. United Way of the Piedmont does not have a funding relationship with any organizations that are providing these services.

Are campaign volunteers paid?

No. In fact, it probably costs them money to provide this service for United Way. From the campaign chairman to the hundreds of other volunteers, not one is paid for any services rendered. In addition to giving their time, talents, and contributions, they pay for all expenses incurred in working for the campaign.

Why do some agencies charge for services?

Agencies supported by United Way can serve all socio-economic levels, not just low income. If there is a fee for service, it is usually based on one’s ability to pay and represents another source of income for the agency. This is necessary because United Way cannot cover the full operating costs of a program.

I designated my gift. When will the agency receive it?

In an effort to minimize administrative costs and comply with United Way Worldwide Standard M guidelines, designations are paid on a set schedule based on when the payment is received from the donor, in the case of cash or cash equivalent gifts, or from the company in the case of payroll deduction pledges. Payments received July – September are paid out in October; October – December are paid in February; January – March are paid in April; and April – June are paid in July. It is necessary for United Way to collect pledge and gift payments before disbursing them to maintain a positive cash flow. If your designation should have been paid according to this schedule and has not, contact the agency to verify that they have signed and returned the Patriot Act Compliance Form. This form must be signed annually and if it is not on file, United Way can not legally release the funds.