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Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about our organization or the work we do?

Take a look at our FAQs to see if your question has already been answered. If not, feel free to contact us.

General Questions

How does United Way of Metropolitan Dallas create opportunity for all North Texans to thrive?

We lead, create and invest in 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.

United Way works with partners and service providers that might focus on one or two of these building blocks, and then we bring together resources that address all three: education, income and health.

What is your ultimate goal?

By working toward our Aspire United 2030 goals, we’re ultimately working toward a day when every high school graduate is fully prepared for success in college or career, every adult can get and keep a good-paying job, and every individual has the resources to live a healthy life.

How do I know I’m making a difference when I give to United Way?

We’ve been focused on our mission for more than 90 years, and we’re having a measurable impact. In the past year, we’ve created opportunity for 1.6 million North Texans—20% of the region’s population. That includes:

  • 655,000 who laid the groundwork for their ongoing school success from pre-k through high school.
  • 420,000 North Texans who accessed programming to get and keep better jobs and build savings for the future.
  • 498,000 neighbors who received primary health and wellness resources to live longer, healthier lives.

Because of our local network and position in the North Texas community, we have a high-level view of the resources and gaps in our community’s social services. We study and step into these gaps with programs and coalitions to create opportunity where it didn’t exist before.

What makes United Way of Metropolitan Dallas different from other nonprofits?

The difference is in our name: united. We recognize that it’s going to take all of us, working together, to create lasting change. We’re mobilizing an entire movement to ensure all our neighbors have access to education, income and health. We do this by partnering with local nonprofits, mobilizing volunteers, driving business participation, fostering social innovation and spurring the public and lawmakers to act for the common good.

Together with our committed change-seekers, we are challenging the root causes of important issues. This systems-wide approach enables us to improve whole neighborhoods, communities and groups.

How does United Way of Metropolitan Dallas measure progress?
Researchers from the Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation (PCCI), a not-for-profit healthcare innovation organization affiliated with Parkland Health, analyze publicly available data and narrow it to the region served by United Way of Metropolitan Dallas: Dallas, Collin, Rockwall and southern Denton counties. This allows us to track progress toward our community-wide Aspire United 2030 goals, which are our metrics for assessing our success in driving transformational change and advancing racial equity in education, income and health throughout North Texas.
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.

Donation Questions

How do I get a tax receipt?

Tax receipts for donations of $250 and greater will be mailed out (postmarked) by Jan. 31 of the next 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 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 Qgiv, the site will generate a receipt at the time of the transaction. This receipt should be used for tax purposes. If you do not have a record of a donation receipt, please make a request by contacting us.

Why should I give directly to United Way of Metropolitan Dallas instead of to specific service providers?

Funds given directly to United Way of Metropolitan Dallas do more to create opportunity for all North Texans to thrive. Instead of just funding one organization, gifts made to United Way have a dual impact:

  • They support United Way-led programs that improve access to education, income and health.
  • They are distributed to other impactful local organizations through our competitive grant process.

This ensures your gift to United Way makes the broadest impact possible in education, income and health in North Texas.

How do I know my donation is being put to good use?

Financial stewardship is one of our core values. For more than 90 years, we have made the best use of every dollar, whether it’s supporting direct services for the community or funding other nonprofits that are doing exceptional work in the community. We undergo 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. Each United Way organization is independently incorporated and led by local volunteers. Your investment in United Way of Metropolitan Dallas directly helps residents in Dallas, Collin, Rockwall and southern Denton Counties.

Do my dollars go to the national agency, United Way Worldwide?

United Way of Metropolitan Dallas is an entirely autonomous agency. We send less than 1% of the money raised to United Way Worldwide for annual dues.

Program Questions

Does United Way of Metropolitan Dallas provide direct service or have programs of its own?

Yes. We create and lead a variety of programs that create opportunity in our three focus areas of education, income and health.

Who does United Way of Metropolitan Dallas 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 our Aspire United 2030 goals.

Who decides which service providers receive funding?

Our Community Impact Grant program involves a competitive application process. A highly skilled and experienced committee of community volunteers selects grantees that address important issues in our community. 

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 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 role of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas in community disaster preparedness, response and recovery?

When appropriate, we help connect and communicate with North Texas nonprofits, corporations and government organizations to coordinate disaster response. For example, we established the Dallas Rental Assistance Collaborative to support North Texans who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve also provided support following natural disasters, such as Winter Storm Uri.

Unite Forever & Endowment Campaign

What is the United Way Foundation of Metropolitan Dallas and the Unite Forever campaign?

Established in 1999, the United Way Foundation of Metropolitan Dallas (UWFMD) provides a permanent source of funding to support the programs and activities of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. Complementing our annual campaign efforts, the Foundation enables donors to invest in the longer-term future of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, enabling the organization to create opportunity for North Texan individuals and families for generations to come.

To secure this future, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and the Foundation launched the $100 million Unite Forever campaign. Our goal is simple and far-reaching: to establish permanent funding for United Way of Metropolitan Dallas that will provide a more predictable, sustainable and stable future 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
  • Offer the flexibility needed to fund new and emerging solutions for the unseen challenges of the future
How is the United Way Foundation of Metropolitan Dallas 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, 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 assistance in crisis.

Now we deliver both direct community resources and allocations for community-wide impact. 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.
  • We also engage civic supporters who do not have opportunities to participate in 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 sheer number of community members who are part of our movement.
  • We partner with community foundations and government entities, adding 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?

$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.

Why does UWFMD need to grow its endowment now?

As the Dallas area grows, the number of households without access to education, income and health grows at a faster rate. United Way of Metropolitan Dallas convenes a broad array of service providers, employers, businesses, and 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 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 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 the value and use of your fund.

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 and are subject to United Way Foundation of Metropolitan Dallas Board approval.

Do I need to meet a minimum gift level if I want to give to an existing endowment fund?

You may make a gift of any size to an existing endowment fund. There may be an existing fund that reflects your interests. For more information, please contact us.

Privacy & Policies

Privacy Policy

United Way of Metropolitan Dallas values the trust its supporters place in the organization and adheres to the highest standards in gathering, using and safeguarding customer information. United Way of Metropolitan Dallas does not sell or exchange personally identifiable information about its supporters. 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

Our hotline is 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 participates in an investigation, even if sufficient evidence is not found to substantiate the concern. To report an ethics or compliance concern, you may leave an anonymous report at Alternatively, if you would like to speak with a representative, you may call 855-583-7434. However you choose to leave your report, make sure that you provide either our organization code of 40129 or our name (make sure to specify United Way – Dallas). For more information, visit our ethics and compliance page.

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. Your continued access to the website 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.