FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
At United Way of Greater Greensboro, we value transparency. Take a look through the frequently asked questions below. If you questions that aren’t answered, please call our office at 336-378-6600.
United Way of Greater Greensboro is a nonprofit organization that fights for the opportunity, prosperity, and future of every person in greater Greensboro. We are part of a worldwide network that brings neighborhoods, government, businesses, faith groups, nonprofits, and schools together to solve community problems.
We create partnerships to reduce poverty in greater Greensboro. We invest in programs that help low-income families succeed. We empower individuals and businesses to take action by giving, advocating, and volunteering. Our community-based partnerships produce sustainable solutions.
Because poverty impacts you. One in five (57,000) residents and 25% of Greensboro children lives in poverty. Around 65% of Guilford County School students receive free or reduced cost meals. Poverty makes it harder to graduate from high school, succeed in college and build a career. When communities have high rates of poverty, the need for public assistance increases, business and economic development suffers and crime rates soar.
Because you can create opportunity and prosperity. Replacing poverty with self-sufficiency requires more than a handout. It requires everyone in our community working together to help people achieve long-term and sustainable success. That’s why we’ve created a community-wide network of partners that provides a path to financial stability at any stage of life. Our new holistic approach to ending poverty is working and we have the outcomes to prove it. Adults are becoming financially stable now and children have the proper foundations to be successful in the future.
Because we leverage your gift to create the biggest impact. United Way spends $0.07 cents to raise $1.00 and through the power of collaboration we turn each $1.00 into $1.90 worth of community impact. We bring together thousands of volunteers and hundreds of community partners to help the community. Many of our partners are able to secure additional resources as a result of their United Way partnership. When you add up all of the community impact we are able to create and leverage through working together, we generate a great return on investment.
When you give to United Way of Greater Greensboro, we draw on our 97 years of expertise and partnerships to make sure your investment has the greatest measurable impact. We have a deep understanding of our community’s issues and how to solve them for the long-term. Your gift is invested in a network of programs that have been vetted by community volunteers and align with United Way’s objective of reducing poverty. Our funded partners are monitored to ensure performance, outcomes, and accountability so that every dollar is well spent. We leverage every contribution to United Way to create the maximum return on investment.
We know that there are hundreds of nonprofit organizations in Guilford County doing great work. In fact, we partner with many of them. By giving to United Way, you support a local network that is aligned with our holistic approach to reducing poverty. Gifts to United Way result in prudent, impactful distribution of funding across the community.
We invest your gift in local, community-based and community-led solutions. We fund programs and services that are best in class and have demonstrated meaningful impact, lasting results, and outcomes that align with our focus on reducing poverty. We also lead innovative initiatives, like our Family Success Centers, which offer an array of services in one location so that entire families can access all the help they need to further their education and careers and improve their financial stability.
Every year, United Way accepts grant applications from human service organizations through an open and competitive process. Every year, volunteer-led committees select programs based on their abilities to produce outcomes that reduce the number of children, families and adults living in poverty. Grants are awarded on a two-year funding cycle and recipients must achieve meaningful, data-driven outcomes to receive second year funding. Agencies and programs that are not selected to receive funding are welcome to reapply during the next funding cycle.
- Focus: Increasing income and financial stability or addressing basic needs – Next open round begins summer/fall 2019.
- Focus: Increasing educational achievement and improving health outcomes – Next open round begins summer/fall 2020.
Program applications are reviewed by volunteer committees made up of local subject matter experts and experienced evaluators. Funding recommendations are presented to the United Way Board of Directors, also comprised of volunteers, for final review and investment decisions.
Our most valuable asset is the trust and confidence people have in our ability to meet community needs. We are audited each year by an independent accounting firm to ensure we are in compliance with generally accepted accounting procedures, regulations, and laws. All funding decisions are made by teams of community volunteers in conjugation with approval by our Board of Directors. We strive to meet the philanthropic goals of our donors and offer a donor satisfaction guarantee. We are a longstanding member of the Better Business Bureau and receive high marks from Charity Navigator. To ensure transparency, we publish our annual report, audited financial statements and IRS 990 on our website. View our financials and policies.
Yes. United Way of Greater Greensboro only invests in local programs and services. Our funded partner programs and services cover 48 zip codes, including Greensboro, Brown Summit, Colfax, McLeansville, Pleasant Garden, and more. Within these regions, we prioritize the areas of greatest need and the places where we can do the most effective work that aligns with our mission.
According to the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, a nonprofit’s overhead should not exceed 35%. United Way of Greater Greensboro maintains an overhead under 20%.
We keep our expenses low through a commitment to low operating costs, organizational efficiency, a high level of volunteer participation and in-kind services provided by our Board of Directors and corporate partners. In addition to supporting our community impact, giving, and volunteer programs, our overhead expense also enables us to distribute donor–designated contributions to 250+ nonprofit organizations.
United Way of Greater Greensboro values its fiduciary responsibility to donors, funders, and the larger community and strives to operate as efficiently as possible. By leveraging donations, we are able to generate greater impact. United Way of Greater Greensboro spends $0.07 to raise $1, and through collaborations we turn every $1 you give into $1.90 of community impact.
Finally, it is important to note that America’s three leading sources of information about charities – Better Business Bureau, GuideStar, and Charity Navigator – believe that overhead is a “poor measure of a charity’s performance.” When evaluating nonprofits, it is good to consider transparency, governance, leadership, and results in addition to overhead. For information and research, please visit www.overheadmyth.com.
No administration fee applies to undesignated donations to United Way of Greater Greensboro or our funded partners. United Way is committed to minimizing fees charged to process donations. However, in order to invest in the programs that have been evaluated and proven to make an impact in our community, we charge a fee to process donations to organizations outside of our funded partners. A fee of 12% is charged to process designations to non-partner organizations. This fee covers all United Way costs associated with fundraising and processing the contribution. This allows those organizations to focus on their core mission and reduce their fundraising and processing expenses. Fundraising costs include staffing and campaign materials. We process donations to 250+ outside organizations. Costs include staffing to collect required documentation from each organization, enter pledges, process payments, and remit payments four times per year.
Nonprofit organizations are required to provide receipts for all gifts of $250 or more. Some companies decline to share donor information with us, so we are not able to thank all donors. For gifts under $250 or to prove full payment on a payroll deduction contribution, a cancelled check or end-of-year pay stub may be used. Additionally, we send a tax receipt by January 31 for all Paid-in-Full (i.e.; cash, check, credit card, etc.) gifts greater than $250. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Through our NC 2-1-1 Help Center we are able to connect people to organizations that help with food, shelter, childcare, mental health, and much more. 2-1-1 is a free and confidential information and referral service that can connect you to thousands of services across North Carolina. However, community resources are not unlimited. That’s why your gift is so important: it helps us bring initiatives like 2-1-1 to scale so that more people have access to services. Simply dial 2-1-1 or visit www.nc211.org.
What is the difference between United Way of Greater Greensboro, other local United Ways, and United Way Worldwide?
Although part of an international organization, United Way of Greater Greensboro functions as an independent nonprofit organization that serves the greater Greensboro community. We pay dues to United Way Worldwide for which we receive membership as a United Way organization and other benefits such as training and marketing/advertising tools. We operate autonomously— with the flexibility to address the specific needs of our community—while having the ability to draw on the best ideas of United Ways throughout the country.