Frequently Asked Questions
What is United Way of Hays & Caldwell Counties?
We are a locally operated, volunteer-driven 501(c)(3) nonprofit serving Hays and Caldwell Counties, Texas. Dedicated volunteers, with support from United Way of Hays County’s professional staff, oversee every aspect of the organization. Community leaders monitor and govern United Way's financial operations and ensure that all assets are prudently managed.
What does United Way do?
United Way of Hays & Caldwell Counties works with people and organizations throughout Hays and Caldwell Counties to build stronger communities and improve lives.
We are stabilizing families, helping kids succeed and empowering healthy lives. We do this by strategically investing in EDUCATION, INCOME, HEALTH and BASIC NEEDS programs and resources that serve people in Hays and Caldwell Counties.
We are specific about these investment areas as they are the building blocks everyone needs for a good quality of life, and they are the cornerstones to a strong, prosperous community. A good education is essential to a good job with health benefits. An income that can cover today’s needs and save for tomorrow strengthens a family’s foundation. Good health helps children succeed in school and adults at work. Remove any one building block, and the other two topple. Build them all up, and we have a strong foundation for individuals, families, businesses and the entire community.
Does my donation stay in Hays and Caldwell Counties or does it go to support United Way Worldwide?
What is raised in Hays and Caldwell Counties stays in Hays and Caldwell Counties. United Way of Hays & Caldwell Counties only funds programs that serve Hays and Caldwell Counties residents. When possible, we conduct business with local businesses and all employees are residents of Hays and Caldwell Counties. We pay dues of 1% (less than $10,000 in 2015) to United Way Worldwide that allows us to access the support of the United Way family including training, fundraising activities, marketing/branding materials, and support for community impact initiatives.
What agencies or groups receive funding from United Way of Hays & Caldwell Counties?
Click here for a complete list of Community Investment Grant Recipients.
Does United Way of Hays & Caldwell Counties provide funding to abortion providers?
No. United Way of Hays & Caldwell Counties does not provide funding to agencies that provide abortion services. Click here for a complete list of Community Investment Grant Recipients.
What percentage of the annual budget is administrative?
Administrative costs generally range from 18-24% annually. This includes all campaign supplies and fundraising expenses, year-round community planning, year-round community service and agency relations, as well as year-round tracking and collection of pledges and donations.
In addition, closely monitoring our budget, United Way enjoys the support of many volunteers and local businesses to keep administrative costs to a minimum. We are able to utilize hundreds of volunteers annually to assist with everything from fundraising, to community planning, to hands-on projects that directly benefit local agencies.
Why can’t I get assistance from United Way?
United Way of Hays County does not fund individuals in need of assistance.
Instead, United Way of Hays & Caldwell Counties provides funds to local agencies who are better equipped to offer more help to people in need. We provide funding for local agencies through our grant allocation process. They in turn, provide the expertise and reporting of how donations are utilized in the community. If you need assistance, please call 2-1-1 or visit 211texas.org for a list of service providers in Central Texas.
How is United Way different from other charity organizations?
Our focus is local and comprehensive. We look at the spectrum of unique issues and needs that affect the greater Hays County area and Caldwell County. Our strategy is to locate and mobilize resources and align them for impact. Instead of having small pockets of money and effort scattered across a broad swath of need, United Way ensures that resources are targeted strategically to achieve the most powerful results in the critical areas of Education, Income, Health and Basic Needs.
Are donations to United Way Tax deductible?
Yes, your contribution is fully tax deductible; see your tax professional for more information. Donations can be made by credit card, check or payroll deduction. Click here for a list of ways you can give.
If you pledge through payroll deduction, your paycheck stub is your receipt. Contributions made by credit card, Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) or a personal check will be documented on your credit card or bank statements.
What accountability standards does United Way of Hays & Caldwell Counties have in place?
All United Way financial records are handled in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. A volunteer Finance Committee, chaired by the Board Treasurer, oversees the financial operations. United Way is audited annually by an independent accounting firm and practices full voluntary disclosure of its 990 and audits.
How do I know that my donation will make the greatest impact?
Trained, knowledgeable community volunteers carefully invest United Way contributions in local programs. This group of dedicated volunteers ranges from community people to business leaders and subject matter experts. They carefully monitor community needs, review each agency’s requests for program funding, and invest your contribution in programs set forth by the United Way of Hays & Caldwell Counties Board of Directors.
How does United Way raise money?
The vast majority of the money we raise comes from individual donors through their workplace campaign. Forward-thinking employers partner with us each year to offer their employees the opportunity to give through payroll deduction and make a significant impact in our community. Additionally, the companies themselves may make contributions to United Way of Hays County. We also occasionally receive grants, bequests and individual donations.
Click here to learn more about ways you can support United Way of Hays County.
Why should I give to United Way when I can give directly to an individual charity?
While there are many wonderful charities doing great work across our community, United Way of Hays County provides a number of reasons for community members to consider support for our work.
- United Way of Hays & Caldwell Counties is more than a community funder or fundraiser. Instead, we approach our work from a broad perspective. The issues facing our community are complex and inner-connected. Academic failure, employability and financial stability, and a family’s inability to meet basic needs and address health concerns are often related. Gifts to United Way of Hays & Caldwell Counties support a portfolio of high-performing programs that, together, change lives and community conditions at a deep and lasting level.
- United Way of Hays & Caldwell Counties' work centers on helping people gain access to the building blocks for a good quality of life, which research and practice has shown to be EDUCATION that leads to gainful employment, INCOME to meet basic needs and support a family through retirement, resources to achieve good HEALTH and the ability to meet one's BASIC NEEDS for food, shelter and safety.
- Our focus on early intervention prevents problems from reaching the level of acute need, which often requires repeated and expensive treatment. Our work is intentional and focused on long-term solutions to challenges facing people in our community today.
- Programs that receive United Way dollars are reviewed for effectiveness and financial efficiency by trained community volunteers who know our area and are committed to improving the local quality of life. United Way monitors the performance of funded programs so donors are assured the strongest return on their charitable dollar.
- We make it easy for all members of our community to give back and have the opportunity to participate in building a better community for everyone. Because we offer the ability to give through payroll deduction, employees that may not be able to write a one-time check for $50 or $100 can give a little from each paycheck over the course of the year. This is especially important to members of our community that have often been helped by United Way funding and want to give back in gratitude.
I feel like I’m being pressured to give and/or I don’t have any money today.
United Way does not condone pressuring anyone to give. The amount of a pledge is a personal and individual matter. If you have been pressured to give, please let us know by calling (512) 353-1420.
Does United Way Worldwide set policy for local United Ways?
No. Each United Way is separate from one another and has its own Board of Directors that makes decisions about what is best for their community. Local volunteers who know their community also make all funding decisions for local United Ways.
What should I do if I have other questions not found in this FAQ?
Please contact the United Way office at (512) 353-1420 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.