FAQ

We Fight For:

COVID-19 Response

Thanks to the generosity of our community, United Way is helping families and people in need access critical information and providing relief to those left vulnerable by the pandemic.

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United Way Blackhawk Region 211 logo

Need help?

211 specialists can connect you with a wide range of resources and services. Simply dial 211 from your cell phone or landline anywhere in Wisconsin.

Black man wearing a Live United T-shirt

What does United Way do?

United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. Our work is fueled by the passion of thousands of volunteers and donors who give their time, talent, voice and money to improve the lives of others. 

Where do I call if I, or someone I know, need help?

Call United Way’s 211. You may dial 211 from a cell phone or landline. It’s free and confidential. 211 is an information and referral helpline that connects callers to a variety of local resources, such as: help paying bills, housing search assistance, support groups, food pantries, community clinics, and many other services. 211 is available 24/7 and can assist in almost any language. Learn more about 211

My organization would like to apply for a grant from United Way. How do I learn more?

Programs new to United Way’s Community Grant process were afforded the opportunity to submit Eligibility Applications for the 2019-2021 grant cycle November 1-16, 2018. That window is now closed and late entries are not permitted.

If the volunteer-led Community Impact Council elects to open the process for the next grant cycle, that would occur in late 2020 or early 2021. Announcements pertaining to the grant processes are disseminated to local media partners, posted to the website, and shared across our diverse social media channels.

For additional queries, please email United Way Blackhawk Region Vice President Denise Peters-Kauihou or phone 608.314.8424.

How can I become involved with United Way?

There are many ways to be a part of United Way’s work. You can Give. Advocate. Volunteer. LIVE UNITED.

  • Give a monetary gift to United Way or host a workplace United Way campaign. Your investment makes a difference in our local community.
  • Advocate by promoting your United Way partnership on your organization’s intranet, social media, newsletter, at staff meetings or on bulletin boards. 
  • Volunteer for local opportunities in your community at LiveUnitedBR.org/Volunteer.
  • Live United with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

Why should I give to United Way?

Top 10 Reasons to Give to United Way:

10. It’s the right thing to do. Plus, your donation to United Way is tax deductible per IRS guidelines.  Check with your tax preparer to be certain on the potential tax benefits. 

9. There is strength in numbers. Your donation multiplies community impact by combining your gift with thousands of other donors, hundreds of local companies, and is often matched by corporate gifts. Together, we can accomplish far more than any single donor can alone.

8. Bang for your buck. Giving to United Way is the most powerful way to give back to your LOCAL community. Instead of supporting a single cause or issue, a gift to United Way improves the conditions of our entire community. Your money also stays in your own backyard. The money you donate to United Way supports local people and programs. Dollars raised in our community, stay in our community to help build a better place for us all to live, work, and raise our families.

7. It’s easy. We conveniently offer numerous ways to give including: a one-time gift, recurring pledge, online, or via payroll deduction.

6. Affordable. It’s a personal and voluntary decision for each donor to make but you would be amazed at how sharing an hour of pay per month or even $1 per pay period can make a big difference in someone’s life. Every dollar, every gift, adds up to create real and lasting change.

5. It’s good for you! Many studies show that philanthropy has health benefits, including boosting the immune system and releasing endorphins that improve your mood. So, give ‘til it feels good!

4. The kids are watching! We are role models and teaching children about philanthropy creates community awareness, social responsibility, and demonstrates how to be a good neighbor. These are important and valuable attributes that will carry into adulthood.

3. Your money is safe. We are responsible stewards of donor dollars. United Way Blackhawk Region adheres to all local, state and federal guidelines, as well as strict membership requirements of United Way Worldwide. Not to mention our own By-Laws, Code of Ethics, Core Values, and highest ratings possible from Charity Navigator and GuideStar. 

2. United Way produces a return on investment. Our highly competitive community grant process directs resources to top performing programs and organizations in our community. Funded partners of United Way proudly tout our partnership as it signifies the due diligence of a volunteer-driven process, delivery of measurable outcomes, and the ability to meet the most pressing needs of our most vulnerable populations.

And the #1 reason is … We all have skin in the game. We all have a stake in what befalls our neighbors. We all benefit when a child succeeds in school, when someone finds a job that will help them provide for their family, or when more people are able to access quality, affordable health care. We are inter-connected. UNITED, We Win!

Is United Way a responsible steward of donor dollars?

Absolutely! In fact, it’s our top priority. We even have a dedicated Financial Accountability page where you’ll find our IRS Form 990, annual audited financial statements, and the highest possible charity ratings from Charity Navigator and GuideStar. 

Where does my donation go?

86% of all contributions made to United Way Blackhawk Region are invested strategically to meet the diverse needs of our region. Investments include but are not limited to: Capacity Building Grants, competitive Community Grants, Emergency & Deficit Grants, Born Learning Trails, sponsorship of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and Scholastic Book Fairs, United Way’s 211, Get Connected, annual Day of Caring, and more!

Who decides how my donation is invested to meet the needs of our community?

United Way enlists the support of 50+ community volunteers and subject matter experts to carefully review all community grant applications, including conducting a rigorous analysis of the applicants’ financial audit and budget.

Our big-hearted volunteers then make funding or grant award recommendations to United Way’s volunteer Community Impact Council, the entity that makes a final recommendation to the United Way Blackhawk Region Board of Directors.

The volunteer Community Impact Council, as well as our Board of Directors must ensure responsible stewardship and accountability for funds allocated by United Way as part of the investment plan.

Final approval of Community Grant Awards is voted upon by the board. United Way staff members are not afforded a vote in the Community Grant process.

May I designate my donation?

Yes, United Way will honor donor designations to other United Ways (provide your hometown zip code) or to our funded Program Partners. A designation form is required.

Are all United Ways the same?

Nope. There are approximately 1,200 United Ways across the country that exist in their respective communities to build partnerships and leverage resources to create plans for long lasting community change.

Though United Ways share a logo and have similar missions, each United Way is independently incorporated and is led by local staff and volunteers. The work of each United Way is determined by the needs of its community.

How do I get a tax receipt for my donation to United Way?

If your contribution was made via Payroll Deduction: United Way does not have a comprehensive mechanism in place to verify employer withholdings as payroll deduction timing/practices vary by organization. Thus, per IRS guidelines, payroll deduction amounts can be substantiated by the donor retaining both a copy of the pledge card, and their W-2 or pay stub, to document what was withheld by the employer. Thanks for your participation in the workplace campaign!

If you completed a United Way pledge form and made a donation of $100 or more in the form of a check, cash, or credit card in a calendar year: United Way will automatically generate a receipt of the contribution as part of our year-end processes. For tax purposes, we are required to send this to you by January 31 of the year following your contribution. Thank you for your generous support!

If you contributed to the United Way via a special event, Jeans Day or other fundraising activity: Thanks for your involvement! Unfortunately, we likely do not have the level of detail available to verify the gift and are unable to issue a receipt of donation.