FAQ

Just what does Harvey County United Way do?
Harvey County United Way is a locally incorporated, non-profit organization that is the largest non-governmental source of funds for health and human services in our community. This single community-wide campaign is the most organized, efficient, and accountable system for investing in our community.

  • Community Investment: United Way contributions support local programs addressing community problems such as Kindergarten readiness, access to health care, child care scholarships, bridging out of poverty, aging in place and responding to child abuse.
  • Community Impact: Launched in 2015, the Literacy Initiative is in Phase One: Early Reading. Donations from the community fund Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and KidFEST.
  • Special Projects: Each year, the board makes mini-grants to area non-profit and school organizations. Projects range from a water line to the Giving Garden to suicide prevention training to sound equipment at a youth center.
  • Emergency Response: Life can change in an instant. Whether the event is a tornado, flood, wildfire, or active shooter, we are there to help each community respond and rebuild.
  • Referral Assistance: Most people who call have never had to look for resources before. We listen with compassion, educate about area resources, and encourage calls to the 2-1-1 line for additional support.


Where does my money go?
Your gift doesn’t stop with us. It funds programs and events serving Harvey County residents. Harvey County United Way’s low overhead costs mean more of your dollars go to the people you want to help.

Who manages Harvey County United Way?
Harvey County United Way is locally incorporated, independent organization governed by a volunteer board of directors. Every board member lives and/or works in Harvey County, coming from all walks of life. What unites them is a passion for making long-term change in the community. They set the policies, procedures, activities, and funding decisions.

To keep overhead low, Harvey County United Way’s daily operations are handled by a small but knowledgeable professional staff which works closely with volunteers at all levels.

Is my donation tax deductible?
Yes! Harvey County is designated as a 501(c)3 organization by the IRS.

How is United Way accountable?
Harvey County United Way’s operating budget is audited by an independent accounting firm and is carefully scrutinized by a team of local community volunteers. Volunteers help raise and distribute the money. Harvey County United Way meets all the membership requirements of United Way Worldwide, meaning our independent organization achieves the same industry standards as other (often much-larger) United Way organizations.

How much is spent on salaries?
No doubt you’ve seen the posts on social media scrutinizing the high salaries to the CEO’s of big charities. By maintaining independent status, the Harvey County United Way is a working board. They keep salary expense low by having a small staff and doing a lot of the work themselves. They volunteer their time so that your dollars are re-invested in the community.

There are a few agencies I’ve never heard of?
Your donations are directed to real needs. Harvey County United Way volunteers carefully screen and decide which programs to fund based on research of needs in the community, and they monitor their services to ensure your dollars were invested wisely.

How are United Way agencies accountable to United Way donors?
Every Harvey County United Way funded partner must meet high standards of quality and efficiency. Experienced community volunteers oversee the dollar allocations to all agencies.

Why not just give a donation directly to a local charity?

  • It benefits You –
    • We do the work for you. Have you ever wondered if your donation was used wisely? Our community-based oversight committee assures that the charities you support through Harvey County United Way operate efficiently and effectively.
    • Your one contribution to Harvey County United Way is matched with hundreds of others from the community. Putting those dollars together creates a much larger impact in the form of grants and programs.
  • It benefits the non-profit organization:
    • Contributing through Harvey County United Way provides guaranteed funding for local non-profit organizations. It’s funding they can rely on and plan for, rather than depending on sporadic contributions.
    • Giving through the Harvey County United Way reduces costly and time-consuming fund-raising efforts for the agencies, so their time can be spent helping others.
    • Local financial support for community non-profits through the Harvey County United Way can then be used as matching funds, often required for much sought after grants, which bring millions of additional dollars back into our community every year.

Don’t some agencies receive government funding?
Many agencies do receive governmental support. In fact, Harvey County United Way funding often allows agencies to leverage available government funds to maximize their resources. However, shrinking government dollars mean local funders like Harvey County United Way are more important than ever.

Why do agencies still have fundraisers when they are funded by United Way?
United Way funding is never intended to full-fund an organization or program. Healthy non-profit organizations have a diversified funding base which includes grants, fundraising, and (if possible) program revenue. As the needs of the community continue to increase, so do the financial needs of our agencies. Supplemental fund-raising activities are allowed as long as these activities do not require employee solicitations.

Why do United Way funded programs charge fees?
Because the extent of Harvey County United Way agency services is so great, United Way funds provide only a portion of the money agencies need to provide services. Many United Way agencies charge sliding scale fees so they can help more people and some programs have no fees.

I never use agency services, so why should I give?
You never know when you, a member of your family, or a neighbor may need a United Way service. Job loss, loss of a loved one, illness, disabilities, family problems, mental disorders, and the problems of growing up and growing old know no boundaries. Your gift helps ensure that Harvey County United Way services are available when they’re needed. Remember, an economically stable community with healthy, well educated citizens attracts new business and benefits all of us.

What if my spouse already gives to the United Way?
Each and every contribution is important and makes a difference. Only by each person giving can Harvey County United Way help meet the community’s many needs.

Does United Way spend a lot of money on advertising and meals?
No! With a small staff and low overhead, 80% of donations are directly invested back in the community. Harvey County United Way often receives free space in newspapers, and on TV and radio. Corporate sponsors fully-fund the t-shirts at campaign time, books at KidFEST and expenses of the Chili Cook-off.

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