Frequently Asked Questions
General Questions
How much does United Way spend on overhead?
Only 16% of the 2006 Campaign pledges is being used for administration and fundraising in fiscal year 2007- 2008. On the most recent IRS Form 990 (for fiscal year 2005-2006) United Way’s overhead was 17%. This figure is slightly higher as it includes revenue outside of the campaign proceeds which United Way receives for providing administrative services for other United Ways in the region. The United Way volunteer and staff leadership is committed to maximizing dollars for services and minimizing internal expenses. United Way’s administrative costs are among the lowest in the community – well below the Better Business Bureau guidelines of not more than 35% for fundraising and 50% for total overhead.

Can I designate my gift?
Yes, you may direct up to 100% of your contribution within the United Way of the Greater Dayton Area’s network of services, including to the 84 Partner Agencies. If you wish to support a 501(c)(3) health or human service organization that is not a Partner Agency, you may direct up to 50% of your total pledge to that agency. The balance of your gift can then be directed anyway you wish within the local United Way network. This win-win policy is based on an “and” not “or” approach – to maximize funds available for the community allocation process to support programs addressing priority needs, while also allowing donors to direct how their contributions will support local health and human services.

Do designations to Partner agencies make a difference?

Yes, since 1990, designations to Partner Agencies have been a separate stream of funding from the Community Solutions Fund. Many people still mistakenly believe that designations are the “first dollars in” towards a Partner Agency’s allocation from the volunteer process, but in actuality the two funding streams are intentionally kept completely separate.

What is pledge loss?
Not all the money pledged in the campaign is collected due to people moving, changing jobs, or other reasons. Obviously, this money cannot be spent. United Way is working to drive that number down to increase the dollars available for local services. In recent years, that figure has ranged from 7 to 8 percent.

What accountability standards does United Way have in place?
All United Way financial records are handled in accordance with American Institute of Certified Public Accountants guidelines and Financial Accounting Standards Board standards for all nonprofit organizations. A volunteer Finance Committee, chaired by the Board Treasurer, oversees the financial operations. Each year United Way is audited by an independent accounting firm (currently Clark Schaefer & Hackett) and consistently receives a “clean” audit. United Way practices full voluntary disclosure of its financial records.

Is our United Way going to be merged into the Cincinnati United Way?
Just like in the business community, nonprofit agencies are striving to find ways to run more efficiently. Several United Ways in southwest Ohio are discussing ways to consolidate administrative functions (such as processing pledge cards) and coordinate fundraising and marketing efforts to grow available dollars for services, while maintaining a strong visible presence in local communities. A preliminary report will be presented at the end of November 2007, and actual implementation would be phased in over several years. Whatever the final model, the intent is to continue to distribute the money locally to serve local people.

What happened to the former president of United Way of America?
Each United Way is local and autonomous. United Way of America is the national membership organization where, in 1992, allegations were raised regarding the president’s expense practices. Mr. Aramony was convicted of conspiracy, mail and tax fraud and served a seven-year sentence in prison. Our local United Way was very concerned about what happened. The Board stopped paying dues until we were convinced that United Way of America had controls in place to be fiscally accountable, and NCR made a special donation to replace any local money that might have been misused. Since then United Way of America has been well managed and accountable to local United Ways.

Tax-Related Questions

When will I get a tax receipt for my gift?
Receipts for cash, check or stock gifts over $250 will be mailed January of the ayer following the donation in time for your year-end tax preparation.

How do I claim my payroll deduction gift on my taxes?
To claim this deduction, you will need both your year-end payroll stub documenting the donation and either a copy of your pledge card, a print out of your ePledge confirmation, a copy of your thank-you card/letter from us or a tax notice from United Way of the Greater Dayton Area. We will mail you a tax notice in mid-December to remind you to save your last pay stub and claim your deduction.

How do I claim non-payroll gifts as a deduction?
A copy of your canceled check, your credit card statement, or your stock broker statement showing payment to United Way of the Greater Dayton Area is needed. Alternately, for gifts over $250, we will provide a separate receipt.

If my gift is paid by check, does the date on the check always satisfy IRS rules on when I can claim the deduction?
No. If the payment is made late in the year, the United Way uses the post mark date to determine for which tax year the substantiation letter will be sent. Otherwise, the canceled check date would be sufficient proof of the applicable tax year (please save your canceled check or bank statement). As an added convenience to you, the United Way has the ability to receive a gift up until Midnight on 12/31. Please call (937) 225-3164 to make arrangements.

How do I claim cash gifts as a deduction?
All cash gifts must have a receipt. Employee Campaign Coordinators may receive receipts from their campaign manager to issue to donors giving less than $25. For amounts over that, either you must complete a pledge card with your gift, or you can call United Way's finance department at (937) 225-3164.

Can I claim my raffle ticket, United Live ticket or other ticket as a donation?
No. Donations can only be claimed for gifts where you received no goods or services.

If no goods or services can be received, can I still claim my donation if my employer offered a prize for participation?
Yes, as the prize is a gift from your employer and not United Way.

I designated my gift to an agency through the United Way. Do I need a separate receipt from the agency?
No. The IRS only recognizes the charitable organization to which the dollars are paid directly. A receipt from the designated agency will NOT be accepted by the IRS. If you've received a document from the designated agency, this is simply an acknowledgment of your pledge.

Becoming a United Way Partner Agency

To become a United Way Partner Agency, your organization's primary mission and purpose, as documented by the by-laws and deliverables, must be to provide a health or human service, as described in the Guidelines for Defining Health and Human Services for Partner Agencies. If this fits your organization, and you choose to apply, please submit the documentation specified in the Standards for Partner Agencies (including either your most recent BBB certificate or accreditation letter from an approved accrediting organization). You will also need submit any existing policies or plans that you may have related to the three additional standards on nondiscrimination, diversity and ethics.

In addition to the above, you will need to submit your organization's most recent 990, audit and any printed materials about your agency. You must sign and submit the Patriot Act Compliance Form. When all of your information is ready to be submitted, please call Tanisha Jumper, Director of Allocations and Agency Relations at (937) 225-3031 to schedule an appointment.

Any health or Human Service Organization may apply to be a United Way Partner. Applications are accepted throughout the year. However, if your organization is to be listed on all 2007 United Way Campaign materials, your application for partnership must be received by January 22, 2007. For information on applying for partnership, please read below. Feel free to contact Tanisha Jumper at (937) 225-3031 or for additional information.

All of this documentation is only necessary if you wish to be a Partner with the United Way as specified in the 2006 Agreement of Participation so you can understand the mutual benefits and responsibilities of United Way Partnership. The 2006 Agreement of Participation should not be signed until after you have received confirmation that the Standards were met and your organization is approved by as a Partner by United Way 's Organizational Review Committee, Community Partnerships Council, and the Board of Directors.
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