What is United Way?

United Way is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization led by a local, all-volunteer board of trustees. United Way of Racine County (UWRC) strives to build an educated workforce by focusing on the building blocks of a good life: health, education, financial stability and basic needs. We work to determine the underlying causes of the most important issues in our community. Then we engage the community by listening to experts and partnering to get results that no individual or single organization can accomplish alone.

How does United Way achieve impact?

First, United Way assesses the community by bringing people together to identify the issues that matter most. Then, we research the problems, craft smarter solutions, invest funds, deploy resources and evaluate the results. By leveraging partnerships, government funding and grant support, we maximize our impact and find the best, most cost-effective ways to respond to challenges. 

Does United Way serve all of Racine County?

Yes. United Way raises dollars in and serves all of the residents of Racine County. Each year, approximately $500,000 is invested in programs, services, and special projects that touch the lives of residents in local communities.

Why should I give to United Way?

Your United Way contribution is an investment in your community. Tens of thousands of lives are changed each year in Racine County through initiatives we run and partner programs we support. Your donation ensures that people's needs will continue to be met and that there will be a brighter future for our entire community.

Why should I give to United Way instead of giving directly to individual agencies?

Your gift to United Way supports nearly 40 health and human service programs throughout Racine County. It helps people who may have multiple health and human service needs more than any single organization could. It allows programs to be evaluated, ensuring they provide impact, and are financially accountable. United Way gifts are leveraged annually, multiplying the impact of each charitable dollar several times. 

Your gift to individual agencies supports a single organization or service. It helps people needing that particular agency or service. It requires you to do your own research on the organization’s efficiency, impact and financial responsibility. It might not be multiplied by leveraging private and/or government matching funds.

How do I know United Way is fiscally responsible?

United Way of Racine County takes our role as a trusted community leader very seriously. As a result, we have a long tradition of adhering to very high standards of accountability and transparency. UWRC is a member of United Way Worldwide and annually completes certification of strict membership requirements. The local organization is audited annually by an independent CPA firm, and the audit results are reviewed by the Board of Directors. Both our 990 tax form and our annual audit are available for review on our website. United Way is also positively rated by Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator. United Way of Racine County’s rating and further information on charitable giving are available free of charge on charitynavigator.org.

How does United Way’s overhead cost compare to other organizations?

Some believe a low overhead is evidence of an efficiently run operation. However, others argue that donors should not use overhead as a measure of a nonprofit’s success but rather its impact on the communities it serves. The Better Business Bureau states that a charity should spend no more than 35 percent of related contributions on fundraising. United Way of Racine County operates with approximately 18 percent overhead rate, investing nearly 82 percent in Racine County programs and services. 

Does United Way fund Planned Parenthood?

United Way of Racine County does not fund Planned Parenthood as it is not among current applicants for funding. If it did apply, it would be subject to the same evaluation process as any other applicant.

All United Way funding decisions are made by individual United Ways with the input of local leaders and community stakeholders. United Way of Racine County's funding decisions are independent of those made by other United Ways. In many instances, funding for Planned Parenthood is the result of specific direction from individual donors, including those from the United Way Worldwide Donor Advised Giving program.

Out of 1,129 local United Ways in the United States, 58 provide direct funding to Planned Parenthood. The amount of financial support represents less than one tenth of one percent of total United Way revenue. Several local United Ways provide professional family and individual counseling services. Local United Way-funded pregnancy related programs focus on community health maintenance (e.g. communicable disease prevention; medical care service; family planning; health education; public awareness services; and family preservation) and strengthening services like counseling and family life education.

How does United Way's focus of building an educated workforce impact funding?

It is our responsibility to our community and donors to maximize our community impact. To do this, we decided in 2015 to focus our efforts on a specific issue that is important to our community in order to make the greatest impact. At the 2015 Annual Meeting on March 25, United Way announced that its single-issue focus would be Building an Educated Workforce. United Way remains committed to the building blocks of a good life—health, education and financial stability—and employs specific strategies in each of these areas to address its overall focus. United Way also continues to cultivate and rely on powerful partnerships to fill critical service gaps in the community.

Ask a Question

If you've read our FAQ and still have a question, please submit it below. We will respond to you promptly.