How does United Way address the needs of the community?
Because we’re local. United Way supports the best programs that improve education, income and health right here in North Texas. And, because we treat 360 degrees of need, we tackle complex social problems and their underlying causes by supporting local programs with records of success. Our community goals include:
- Preparing 60% of North Texas high school students to succeed in college or career
- Helping 250,000 people to move out of poverty
- Improving community health by empowering everyone to live healthy, responsible lives
How does United Way of Metropolitan Dallas measure progress towards its community goals?
Researchers from The Institute for Urban Policy Research at The University of Texas at Dallas analyze publicly available data and narrow it to the region served by United Way of Metropolitan Dallas: Dallas, Collin, Rockwall and southern Denton Counties. They also provide projections for the year 2020, based on the data and trends.
How do I know that service providers supported by United Way will use the funds responsibly?
Volunteers make investment decisions based on an organization’s fiscal responsibility, sound management, and the measurable results of specific programs. Oversight of continued adherence to sound fiscal policies and of program outcomes is part of the Community Impact Grant Panel process. View Community Investments >
Who makes the funding decisions?
A highly skilled and experienced committee of community volunteers selects our grantees. All of the service providers we’ve worked with are amazing organizations and address important needs in the community. But the application process is incredibly competitive and we only have so much money to work with. View Community Investments >
Does a non-profit that was not selected for funding have the opportunity to receive funding in the future?
Absolutely. Feedback is provided to all agencies by the Strategy Panels and United Way Staff based on the evaluation of their program(s), enabling them to be more competitive going forward. We encourage agencies to apply for funding from United Way in subsequent years.
Does United Way provide direct service or have programs of its own?
Yes. We currently have 24 programs in partnership with local partners that fill gaps in our 3 areas of focus–Education, Income and Health.
What is the United Way role in Community Disaster Preparedness, Response and Recovery?
We help connect and communicate with North Texas nonprofits, corporations and government organizations to coordinate disaster response. After requests from corporate partners, we established a fund to aid victims of the tragic July 2016 shooting of law enforcement officers in Dallas. We’ve also provided support following destruction from recent tornados and hurricanes.
Is my donation tax-deductible?
How is my donation used?
For the last fiscal year, 84¢ of every dollar went to helping those in need. That’s comparable to or less than other local United Ways and according to Charity Navigator, it’s better than many other area organizations.
Why should I give directly to United Way instead of donating to a specific service provider?
Because funds given directly to United Way help treat 360 degrees of need. Instead of just funding one organization, gifts made directly to United Way are distributed through our competitive grant process, and other local programs so they support the most effective local programs with the broadest impact in the areas of education, income and health.
Does my donation go to service providers all over the country?
No. United Way organizations are independently incorporated and led by local volunteers. So, your investment in United Way of Metropolitan Dallas goes to help residents in Dallas, Collin, Rockwall, and southern Denton Counties.
I know United Way is a local agency, but don’t some of the dollars go to the national agency, United Way Worldwide?
Our United Way is an entirely autonomous agency; however, we send less than one percent of the money raised to United Way Worldwide for annual dues.
Who oversees the finances of United Way?
Our operating budget is audited by an independent accounting firm and carefully reviewed by volunteers who serve on the United Way Finance Committee and United Way Board of Directors.
I heard (something negative) about another United Way.
While we can’t speak for any of the other 1,300 separately-incorporated United Way organizations, I can tell you that United Way of Metropolitan Dallas is entirely autonomous.
How do I get a tax receipt for my donation?
Tax Receipts for donations of $250 and greater will be mailed out (postmarked) by January 31 for the subsequent year. Donors requiring a tax receipt for donations made in prior calendar years or for donations under $250 should make the request by Contacting Us >. The law requires that in order “to deduct any charitable donation of money, a taxpayer must have a bank record or a written communication from the charity showing the name of the charity and the date and the amount of the contribution. A bank record includes canceled checks, bank or credit union statements or credit card statements.”
For any donation made through the United Way website or eWay a receipt is generated at the time of the transaction. This receipt should be used for tax purposes. In the event the donor does not have a record of this receipt, please make a request by Contacting Us >.
What is the Unite Forever Endowment Campaign?
Established in 1999, the Unite Forever campaign was created for the sole purpose of supporting the programs and activities of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. Gifts to the Foundation’s endowment are invested in perpetuity, with earnings and interest distributed annually. To secure this future, United Way and the Foundation launched the $100 million Unite Forever campaign. Our goal is simple and far-reaching—establish permanent funding for United Way that will provide a more predictable, sustainable, and stable future in order to: withstand economic and annual fund fluctuations in the existing three-year grant process; grow our ability to invest in strategic partnerships and creative advancements outside the three-year grant cycle; and offer the flexibility needed to fund new and emerging community-wide solutions for the unseen needs of the future.
What is the United Way Foundation of Metropolitan Dallas’ (UWFMD) Endowment? And how is it different from other community foundations?
In terms of its establishment and management, not very different; we are all subject to the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA), and we are all required to provide accountability to donors and effective oversight of our operations. Our differences emerge from our roots as a community-wide resource. We were exclusively dependent for decades on our workplace campaigns to solicit annual giving; we were a community chest to organize community priorities and provide help in crisis. Now we bring those qualities—community-wide resourcing and community-wide decisions about allocations for community-wide impact—together. That’s unlike any other organization or foundation; our distinctions are:
- We work with a large number of corporations, businesses, institutions, and individuals across the community to raise funds. We draw from a large and diverse base.
- Because of our broad focus throughout a four-county region, we have also engaged civic supporters who do not have opportunities to participate in the workplace campaigns. Hundreds of committed volunteers and funders from a wide cross section of the business, corporate, educational, and nonprofit communities feel accountable to that community in the broadest possible way. So, part of our difference is our scope – the number of community members making decisions.
- Community foundations and Government entities join us as partners in this work, bringing their expertise and support to topics that are not the primary focus of their work. If Metropolitan Dallas is to become a national leader, it will take the best of all of us. UWFMD’s endowment will provide a predictable funding for some of the region’s most pressing needs—and priorities designated by some of our most thoughtful and engaged citizens.
What happens if the value of an endowment fund falls below its original value?
UWFMD’s policies state that such a fund will not participate in the distribution policy until it is no longer “underwater.” Most often, while an individual fund may be underwater (this most likely occurs in the early years of an individual fund), because of the length of time other funds have been held and have grown, the risk of the entire endowment’s being “underwater” is reduced.
What is the value of UWFMD’s Endowment at this time?
$39,658,350 as of June 30, 2017, inclusive of planned/deferred gifts.
What is UWFMD’s approach to managing its Endowment?
The UWFMD Board oversees management of the endowment. According to Texas law, the UWFMD Board of Directors must act as an ordinary prudent person would do in a similar position under similar circumstances—and in accordance with the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA).
Why does UWFMD need to grow its endowment now?
As the Dallas area grows, the number of households in poverty and without access to strong education and health care grows at a faster rate. UWMD convenes a broad array of service providers; employers; business, corporate and educational leadership to identify solutions to complex and diverse community needs. Building the endowment is the best way to guarantee long-term resources available for these community-wide solutions. Many nonprofit agencies lack endowments and therefore find themselves at risk in times of economic downturn or when a highly visible and unexpected crisis affects a particular population.
What is an unrestricted endowment?
Currently, most of our endowment funds are unrestricted, meaning the donor does not stipulate the purpose for which the spendable portion must be spent. Unrestricted endowments give UWMD and its army of community advisers the flexibility to direct endowment distributions based on the greatest needs at that time. Some donors have a specific area of interest. For those donors, gifts may be designated to support any part of UWMD’s work.
How long does it typically take for endowment gifts to begin to provide funding to UWMD?
When an endowment with the UWFMD exceeds its original principal amount, the appreciation is eligible for distribution that year. Your endowment may begin providing support in less than a year. In no event may a distribution be made that would bring the endowment below the original gift amount.
How do I find out about my endowment after I have made my gift?
We will send you annual reports detailing value and use of your fund. When you establish an endowment fund with UWFMD, we will communicate with you with regard to your fund’s value and will update you on what your gift is making possible.
Whose name is on the endowment?
Endowment funds established at the minimum named funding level ($200,000) can be named for yourself, family, a friend, or company subject to UWFMD Board approval.
Do I need to meet a minimum gift level if I want to give to an existing endowment fund?
A gift of any size may be made to an existing endowment fund, and there may be an existing fund that reflects your interests.
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Ethics and Compliance Hotline
A reporting mechanism that facilitates reporting of possible illegal, unethical, or improper conduct when the normal channels of communication have proven ineffective, or are impractical under the circumstances. The hotline is available to employees, volunteers, donors, service providers, vendors and community partners, who are unsure about where to go with their concerns, or feel uncomfortable reporting through normal channels of communication. The hotline is designed to protect your confidentiality, and your anonymity, if requested. United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and the United Way Foundation of Metropolitan Dallas prohibit retaliation against anyone who, in good faith, reports a possible violation, or who participates in an investigation, even if sufficient evidence is not found to substantiate the concern. To report an ethics and compliance concern, please contact the UWMD Chair of the Audit and Ethics Committee at 469.389.0574.
Terms and Conditions
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