Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is United Way of Cowlitz and Wahkiakum Counties?
The United Way of Cowlitz and Wahkiakum Counties is a local, community-building nonprofit organization that focuses on identifying and responding to the greatest human care needs facing our area’s residents. While Cowlitz and Wahkiakum Counties is a member of the national family of United Ways, the local organization operates independently according to the needs that exist right here in Cowlitz/Wahkiakum Counties.
2. Who is the United Way of Cowlitz and Wahkiakum Counties?
United Way of Cowlitz and Wahkiakum Counties is governed by a group of community volunteers who make up the Board of Directors. These volunteers live and work in our area and serve together as United Way’s primary decision makers. Activities such as fundraising, planning and fund distribution are conducted by committed individuals who donate their time and effort to improving our community. Professional staff integrate, support and coordinate volunteer activities.
3. Who uses United Way of Cowlitz and Wahkiakum Counties?
Statistically, two out of four people in Cowlitz/Wahkiakum Counties has interaction with United Way supported services. However, we all use United Way in the sense that strong, healthy communities are proven to have happier, more self-reliant individuals as its residents. They’re also proven to recruit more business and grow more economically.
4. How does the United Way of Cowlitz and Wahkiakum Counties identify community needs?
CCUW has five strategic areas identified by community assessments, Town Hall meetings, and organization interviews. They are:
- Nurturing Children and Youth
- Strengthening Individuals and Families
- Supporting/Increasing Self-sufficiency
- Supporting Older Adults
- Providing for Basic Needs
DID YOU KNOW THAT…
$2.50 helps to provided one hour of instruction for a parent learning to read
$5.00 provides one book distribution for a preschool classroom in the Reading is Fundamental program
$8.00 helps to provide transportation for a dialysis patient
$17.00 a month provides emergency shelter, food andadvocacy for a domestic violence victim
$36.00 provides educational after school activities for youth ages 6-12
$64.00 helps to provide one month of meals to someone who is home bound
$130.00 provides basic dental care services for a child from a low income family
$216.00 helps provide 8 hours of physical therapy for someone recovering from a work related injury, heart attack or
$450.00 helps fund services for a job ready program for unemployed individuals who are living in shelters
5. Why is United Way prominent in the work place?
By working with businesses, United Way is able to provide an easy, cost-effective way for people to contribute to their community. United Way’s annual fundraising reduces multiple demands for charitable dollars, provides education on community needs, pools resources and encourages generous giving.
6. How much money does United Way of Cowlitz and Wahkiakum Counties raise annually?
In 2012, over $786,000 was raised for our community through the United Way campaign, the Washington State Combined Fund Drive and the Combined Federal Campaign. Most of the money raised throughout the year comes from individual gifts, with about 30% of the total coming from local corporate contributions.
7. Will the money I give stay in my community?
Yes. All of the programs and partner agencies funded are right here in Cowlitz and Wahkiakum Counties. One penny per dollar goes to United Way Worldwide so we can be liscenced to run as a local United Way and have the ability to be supported in our community by the United Way Worldwide.
8. How are the funds distributed?
United Way of Cowlitz and Wahkiakum Counties funded services are based on community-wide assessments and local needs prioritization. This means donor dollars are always working where they’re needed most. United Way of Cowlitz and Wahkiakum Counties utilizes local volunteers to identify community needs, determine priorities, and distribute funds based on the organizations formal proposal, panel visits to requesting organizations, and the presentation of measurable outcomes. Organizations must utilize United Ways one or more of the five strategic areas in their proposals.
9. How much of my contribution will go toward helping people?
United Way is one of the most cost-effective and efficient ways to contribute to the community: approximately 88¢ of every dollar goes directly to services. If charitable organizations supported by United Way were to raise money entirely on their own, the fundraising costs would be significantly higher. Currently, United Way’s administrative cost is 4.2% and fund raising is 7.8%.
10. How can I give?
You can make a donation through payroll deduction, check or cash, credit card, or establish a payment plan with the United Way. See our “Donate” page for more information.
11. Can I choose where my money goes?
The majority of donors choose to give directly to the United Way Community Fund because they believe in the benefits and efficiencies it offers. Giving to the Community Fund guarantees the dollars will be used where they’re most needed, and will make the biggest impact. However, donors always have the option of designating all or part of a gift to any 501(c)(3) health and human service nonprofit organization.
12. What are the advantages of a United Way campaign?
United Way is your best partner to make significant differences on issues of concern. It improves life in our community by multiplying donor impact, directing donor investments, insuring results through outcome measurement, and partnering professional volunteer expertise with social organizations.
13. How many services are funded through United Way of Cowlitz and Wahkiakum Counties?
Currently there are 23 partner agencies providing many services to the community.
14. What else does United Way do in the community?
United Way of Cowlitz and Wahkiakum Counties is the grantee for the FEMA Emergency Food and Shelter Program manager, $53,224, Early Learning, the supplier of discount prescription cards through the Family Wize Foundation, and the contact point for the nation’s 211 Information and Referral System. None of these initiatives are funded with donated campaign dollars.
15. How can I learn more about United Way of Cowlitz and Wahkiakum Counties?
To learn more about Cowlitz County United Way, call (360) 423-5320 or visit www.cowlitzunitedway.org.