FAQ's

 Frequently Asked Questions

What does United Way do?
Why should I give to United Way?
Where does my money go?
Can I see United Way of Decatur & Mid-Illinois's complete 990 online?
How did you decide where the funding goes?
Who makes the decisions on how United Way funding is distributed?
What are United Way’s overhead/administrative costs?

 

  

What does United Way do?
United Way brings our community together to change people's lives, moving them from crisis to stability. We call together human service experts, corporate partners and community leaders to work with us to identify the best paths to success. Then we pull together the resources it takes to realize those plans with financial support, legislative policy, outstanding human service programs and volunteers. When you give, advocate and volunteer with United Way, you strengthen the human service system across Mid-Illinois. You help change lives!

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Why should I give to United Way?
Giving to United Way is the most effective way to create opportunities for people in our community to move beyond crisis to stability. 
United Way specializes in finding innovative solutions and measuring results--so we know we are making the biggest impact to improve lives and your investment is working as hard as it can. If you want to make the most of your resources and improve people's lives by impacting the entire human service system, there's no more effective way than through United Way.

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Where does my money go?
Your donation to the Community Impact Fund goes into our community to change people’s lives. Through more than 39 funded programs, targeted initiatives, partnerships with schools, community leaders and corporations, as well as collaborations with human service experts, United Way helps people become independent. By contributing to United Way, you help ensure the network of services that no one agency or program could provide.

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Can I see United Way of Decatur & Mid-Illinois's complete 990 online?
Yes. United Way of Decatur and Mid-Illinois's 990 is available on our website under the Financial Information Tab.

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How does United Way decide where the funding goes?
The Community Impact Fund is divided into five categories: Education receives 33% of the Fund, Self-Sufficiency receives 25%, Health receives 20%, Safety receives 10%, Basic Services receives 10%, and Emerging Needs receives 2%. These vision areas were determined by a needs assessment that is conducted every six years, so that United Way is always addressing the community’s most current needs.

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Who makes the decisions on how United Way funding is distributed?
Funding decisions are made by community volunteers who spend 30+ hours doing in-depth research on programs’ fiscal records, outcomes, and service numbers, ensuring that each dollar is being used to its maximum, for those in greatest need, and within the scope of United Way’s vision areas. If you are interested in volunteering for fund distribution, please call 422-8537.

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What are United Way’s overhead/administrative costs?
Every charity has a fundraising cost associated with it (called an overhead rate). The United Way of Decatur & Mid Illinois overhead rate is around 16.87%, a rate that is lower than or comparable to other nonprofit organizations.

As a point of reference, here are the overhead rates of some other nonprofits*:
• American Cancer Society 21%
• Special Olympics 19%
• Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation 14%
• Doctors Without Borders 12%

*Source: www.GuideStar.org

United Way is able to maintain its low overhead for a variety of reasons: 1) the generosity of local businesses who donate goods and time, pro bono or at special rates and 2) staff is committed to keeping costs low to maximize resources focused on community impact. Our low overhead allows us to invest more donor dollars into the community’s programs that need it most.

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