Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of organizations or agencies does United Way support?

United Way's focus is on human services, particularly those for children and their families. We support 32 private non-profit agencies in Forsyth County that provide 70 diverse services for people from every background and neighborhood. These agencies have earned the right to be partner agencies by meeting our community's highest standards of quality service, financial efficiency and accountability.

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Why do most people give to United Way?

Quite simply, most people give to help others. In a workplace survey, this reason was mentioned three times more often than any other. They also give because they know a gift through United Way's Community Care Fund has the added value of the citizens review process. Through this process, each agency is evaluated annually by knowledgeable volunteers who recommend allocation of funds based on a wide variety of factors. Those factors include responsiveness to community needs, service quality and impact, client satisfaction, and their financial condition.

Many organizations offer payroll deduction for United Way donations, an option that allows employees to make much more generous gifts by spreading the cost across an entire year.

Additional reasons include an interest in one or more agencies that United Way supports, workplace spirit, and a desire for a stronger community.

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Why should I give through United Way's Community Care Fund instead of just making a contribution to a single agency like the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, or Goodwill Industries?

Because when you choose United Way's Community Care Fund, your gift helps the most people! You're giving not only to one of the three well-known agencies mentioned, but also to 31 others that may be less well known, but whose work is equally vital to our community.

In addition, there's United Way's Community Impact Process for allocating the money. You can rely on United Way to evaluate needs and direct dollars where they are needed most.

Even so, if there is an organization that is special to me, can I choose it to receive part or all of my United Way gift?

The United Way of Forsyth County recognizes that some donors want to designate their contributions. While we prefer to receive undesignated contributions, it has been and will continue to be our practice to accept donor designations that are compatible with the scope and purpose of our mission. Accordingly, donor designations are accepted for the following:

  • Partner agencies of the United Way of Forsyth County
  • Local United Ways
  • Other health and human service agencies with 501 (c)3 status

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If you work in Forsyth County and make a pledge at work, can you designate it to a United Way in a neighboring county where you live?

Yes, that's fine. Our United Way in turn receives some designations from nearby counties. It's all for the good cause of helping our neighbors.

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Does the United Way fund political parties? Religious organizations? Abortions?

No.

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Why should I give every year when United Way has never helped my family or me?

Certainly, there're a lot of folks in our community who don't depend on services from United Way's partner agencies. Most likely, however, someone close to them-an extended family member, a neighbor's child or co-worker-does depend on those services. We hope you'll give to help them. With United Way member agencies helping over 100,000 people in our community annually, you never know when you or your family might need their services.

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Do United Way agencies serve only poor people?

Agencies receiving United Way funding serve not only low-income families, but also offer programs that all citizens use. In fact, one out of three children and their families in our community is served by a United Way agency. (If your child has been a Boy Scout or Girl Scout, or has taken part in a YMCA or YWCA program, then he or she has taken part in United Way program.) Even if your family never has to call on Hospice or Cancer Services, isn't it a good feeling to know they'll be there if you need them?

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How much of every dollar I give is really spent on human care services?

Of each dollar United Way collects, over 87 cents goes directly to valuable community services. Compare that with the overhead charged by professional for-profit fundraisers: The North Carolina Secretary of State's most recent report on professional solicitation revealed that of over $75 million raised in North Carolina last year by professional for-profit fundraisers, less than 53 percent was passed on to the intended charity. Quite a difference!

United Way is proud of our low overhead and plans to keep it that way.

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How much of every United Way dollar goes to the United Way of America?

Three-quarters of one percent, and it's a very reasonable cost of doing business. As our national service organization, United Way of America helps us and other local, independent United Ways save money. Our membership allows us to buy a large number of quality services and products at the lowest possible cost, some of which are unique and could not be obtained elsewhere. An example would be the NFL spot commercials, which raise awareness of United Way services to a vast national audience and thereby helping hundreds of local United Way campaigns.

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How large is the United Way of Forsyth County staff?

At present there are 23 full-time staff members. They serve in campaign planning and operations, financial record keeping, communications, community issues, member agency funding, and volunteer recruitment and training. United Way staff has been reduced by about nearly 50 percent over the past ten years.

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Where is the United Way office located?

United Way's office is located in downtown Winston-Salem in the Winston Tower building (formerly the Wachovia Building). Forsyth County residents are welcome to stop in any time to share opinions, ask questions, and learn about United Way agency services and volunteer opportunities.

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How does United Way feel about workplace pressure to give?

We are strongly opposed to coercion in the workplace and follow a non-coercion policy approved by our Board of Directors. A copy of that policy will be sent to you if you call United Way at 723-3601.

Giving is a personal decision, and we know that many factors influence what you and your family might decide to pledge in a given year.

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Why does United Way print a "Caring Share" guide on the pledge form?

Donors often ask, "How much should I give?" The Caring Share guide is our response to that question. The guide suggests giving at a level equal to one's means to do so. All gifts are appreciated, however, and if the Caring Share guide has no appeal for you, just give what you feel is appropriate!

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If my spouse and I both work, does it matter which workplace gets the United Way pledge?

No, it really doesn't. But organizations running strong United Way campaigns build lots of enthusiasm and they naturally want the most dollars possible credited to their campaign! Many couples, therefore, pledge at both workplaces or alternate each year.

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