Frequently Asked Questions | United Way of Metropolitan Dallas


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  • General Questions

    How does United Way of Metropolitan Dallas create opportunity and access for all North Texans?
    We create and support programs that strengthen education, income and health in Dallas, Collin, Rockwall and Southern Denton counties to give our community a firm foundation for success for both now and in the future.


    Why education, income and health?
    Imagine what education, income and health mean to you and your family. Could you do without any one of them? They’re the building blocks of opportunity—all three are necessary for individuals, families and communities to thrive. Our children need an education so one day they can find employment that provides economic stability and mobility. And everyone needs good health to perform well at school or work. That’s why United Way focuses on all three simultaneously, bringing together the resources and partners necessary to build solutions that address our community’s most pressing challenges.


    What’s the ultimate goal?
    We’re working toward a day when every child enters kindergarten ready to succeed, when every student has what’s needed to reach graduation, and when every graduate is fully prepared for success in college and/or career. A day when every adult can get and keep a job that leads to financial stability. And when every individual has the resources to live a healthy, productive life.


    How do I know I’m making a difference when I give to United Way?
    Your contribution is an investment in proven, measurable impact. Our initiatives directly improve childhood education, support healthy families, strengthen workforce development and fuel innovative approaches to our community’s systemic challenges. We’ve been on a mission for more than 95 years and we’re having a measurable impact. In the past year, we’ve created opportunity for more than 1.3 million North Texans.

    • 712,000 students had the opportunity to lay the groundwork for their ongoing school success from pre-k through high school.
    • 157,000 residents had the opportunity to secure a solid foundation for living, getting and keeping better jobs and building savings to provide for their future.
    • 332,000 North Texans received the resources needed to live longer, better lives with access to primary health and wellness support.


    What makes United Way of Metropolitan Dallas different from other nonprofits?
    Leadership. For nearly 100 years, United Way has led a movement to tackle systemic issues in education, income and health. We leverage data and expertise to identify the greatest community needs and opportunities to drive impact through partnerships, place- based programs, advocacy and targeted investments.

    Collaboration. Our local network and position in the community give us a 30,000- foot view of the resources and gaps in North Texas’ social services. We study these gaps, then bring together people, ideas and resources to build initiatives that create access and opportunities where they didn’t exist before.

    Innovation. From connecting people and organizations across the North Texas entrepreneurial landscape to providing capital and mentorship to social impact startups, United Way leads the way in social innovation. We support the design and development of bold new solutions to our community’s most pervasive challenges.

    How does United Way of Metropolitan Dallas measure progress?
    Researchers from Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation 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, based on the data and trends.


    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. And our financial statements can be viewed here. (link to

  • Donation Questions

    Is my donation tax deductible?


    How do I get a tax receipt?
    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.


    How do I know my donation is being put to good use?
    We have a 90-year track record of financial stewardship—it’s one of our core values. We make sure we make the best use of every dollar, whether it’s going to direct services in the community or funding those on our team who are doing the work in the community. We also have external audits every year to make sure our work is the best in class.


    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.


    Do my 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.

  • Program Questions

    Does United Way provide direct service or have programs of its own?
    Yes. We’ve created a number of targeted initiatives, such as our Southern Dallas Thrives program, that address systemic barriers in our three focus areas of education, income and health. Additionally we’ve developed the Dallas Rental Assistance Collaborative with grassroots partners to ensure neighbors get access to rental and utility assistance, as well as our Health Care navigators program, which trains and certifies navigators to assist with enrollment applications for coverage and financial assistance through the ACA Marketplace, Medicaid or CHIP.


    Who does United Way partner with to drive impact and why?
    We partner with those organizations, entrepreneurs and grassroots groups that are best positioned to help us meet our community goals. We use our expertise and resources to identify the greatest needs in the areas of education, income and health and we vet potential partners to ensure our investments are driving us toward those goals.


    Who decides which service providers receive funding?
    A highly skilled and experienced committee of community volunteers selects grantees that address important needs in our community. However, the application process is highly competitive and our funds are limited. To view a comprehensive list of the programs we support, see Our Impact.


    How do I know service providers will use the funds responsibly?
    We make investment decisions based on an organization’s fiscal responsibility, sound management and measurable results. Oversight of continued adherence to sound fiscal policies and of program outcomes is part of the Community Impact Grant Panel process.


    Can a non-profit not selected for funding receive funding in the future?
    Absolutely. Our strategy panels and staff provide feedback to all agencies based on the evaluation of their program(s), enabling them to be more competitive going forward. We encourage agencies to apply for United Way funding in subsequent years.


    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 2016 shooting of law enforcement officers in Dallas. We’ve also provided support following destruction from recent tornados and hurricanes.

  • Unite Forever & Endowment Campaign

    What is the United Way Foundation and the Unite Forever campaign?
    Established in 1999, the United Way Foundation of Metropolitan Dallas was created to provide a permanent source of funding to support programs and activities of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. Complementing annual campaign efforts, the Foundation offers donors’ support to endure the test of time, providing solutions for the community’s most vulnerable citizens and families for generations to come.

    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 annual economic fluctuations that can impact funding cycles,
    • grow our ability to invest in strategic partnerships and creative advancements outside of the standard grants process, and
    • offer the flexibility needed to fund new and emerging 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?
    $45,090,339 as of June 30, 2018, 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.

  • Privacy & Policies

    Privacy Policy
    United Way of Metropolitan Dallas values the trust its users place in the organization and adheres to the highest standards in gathering, using and safeguarding customer information. United Way does not sell or exchange personally identifiable information about its users. If you provide an email address or other personal information (excluding financial information) when you visit our website, we may enter such information into our databases so we can contact you to ask your input, provide information about our programs and events, and request contributions. If you would like us to withhold your information from such an exchange, please contact us. If you wish to unsubscribe from our emails, instructions for how to unsubscribe will be provided at the bottom of each email.

    Third parties that need access to your information in order to provide operational or other support services to us must agree to safeguard your information in strict compliance with our privacy policy.


    Ethics and Compliance Hotline
    View full details here.


    Terms and Conditions
    You agree that your use of the website is subject to the following Terms and Conditions. These Terms and Conditions may be modified at any time and from time to time. Continued access to the website by you will constitute your acceptance of any changes or revisions to the agreement. If you do not agree with the Terms and Conditions, please do not use this website. The materials contained on the website are provided by United Way of Metropolitan Dallas as a service to you for your use on an “as is, as available” basis. You acknowledge that you are using the website at your own risk. United Way of Metropolitan Dallas assumes no responsibility for error or omissions in these materials. United Way of Metropolitan Dallas makes no commitment to update the information contained herein. United Way of Metropolitan Dallas makes no, and expressly disclaims any and all, representations or warranties, express or implied, regarding the website, including without limitation the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of text, graphics, links, products and services, and other items accessed from or via the website, or that the website will be uninterrupted, error-free, or free of viruses or other harmful components. No advice or information given by United Way of Metropolitan Dallas or any other party on the website shall create any warranty or liability.


    Refund Policy
    Refund requests are reviewed on an individual basis. Please contact us to request a refund.