FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is United Way of Greater Stark County?
United Way of Greater Stark County is a non-profit organization whose mission is to energize the community to care for one another by addressing human needs with measurable results. Founded by the Alliance Area United Way, the United Way of Central Stark County and the United Way of Western Stark County and serving all of Stark County and parts of Carroll, United Way of Greater Stark County serves a population of more than 380,000 and funds programs and services that address the critical health and human service needs of our community.

Who runs the organization?
UWGSC is a volunteer-driven organization. The Board of Directors is composed of knowledgeable community leaders is representative of the entire Greater Stark County area and the communities we serve. The Board establishes policy and allocates resources to assure that UWGSC is properly managed. Volunteers who serve on Impact Councils determine how funds will be invested into health and human service programs. These volunteers are people just like you. Those volunteer groups, which include people with expertise in each area, make recommendations on priorities, identify programs that will help our community reach those goals and even recommend partnerships or changes in public policy that should be adopted to influence change. Based on community needs, Impact Councils allocate funds to programs that work to address the root causes of those issues. UWGSC's Board of Directors makes final funding decision approval. UWGSC has a group of dedicated staff members that oversee the day to day operations of the organization.

Who is the President of United Way of Greater Stark County?
Maria Heege serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of United Way of Greater Stark County. She brings more than 30 years of United Way experience to the organization.

Does United Way of Greater Stark County fund Planned Parenthood?
United Way of Greater Stark County does not fund Planned Parenthood. As such, any dollars contributed to the annual campaign, unless donor directed, are not allocated to Planned Parenthood. Donors who choose to designate their gift to Planned Parenthood do so by writing Planned Parenthood on their pledge card. United Way of Greater Stark County’s Donor Designation Policy allows donors to decide where they want to direct their gift as long as it is to a health and human services agency with 501(c)3 status in good standing.

How does United Way keep overhead costs so low?
Thanks to the dedication and commitment of many community volunteers, United Way of Greater Stark County is able to maintain a low overhead. In 2016, United Way’s overhead costs for fundraising and administration expense was $14.01%. That means nearly 86 cents of every dollar goes to help people through programs and services. And, by working efficiently, United Way's community resource development helps reduce Funded Partners' fundraising expenses. Our local United Way volunteer and staff leadership is committed to maximizing donor dollars for services and minimizing internal expenses. Source: Audited Financial Statements & Forms 990 for fiscal year ending 3/31/17

Why do United Way of Greater Stark community partners conduct their own fundraising campaigns, too?
Strong not-for-profits diversify their funding so they don't have to rely on just one source. United Way Funded Partners are no exception. Another factor is that funds raised through United Way are only used to support specific programs, which means that the full costs of running an agency must be covered in other ways. Finally, though people in Stark County are very generous, funds raised through United Way's campaign are not enough to address all human care needs in Stark County.

Will money raised in one community be spent in another?
The types of problems UWGSC addresses do not stop in one particular neighborhood or community. The organization looks at countywide issues and funds programs and services at local agencies that help address tough problems. UWGSC is committed to maintaining high levels of services throughout Greater Stark County. Some services provided by UWGSC serve individuals and families in parts of Carroll and Columbiana counties.

Is United Way of Greater Stark County different from United Way Worldwide?
Yes. United Way Worldwide is a trade association of more than 1,200 independent United Ways throughout the country. It has its own board and volunteers and it makes no policies for United Way of Greater Stark County. It does set standards of excellence for local United Ways.

Why should I give to the Community Fund?
If you want your gift to have the greatest possible impact, you should select the Community Fund choice when you make your United Way pledge. A gift to the Community Fund offers you a chance to join thousands of other people who are tackling our community's toughest human care problems, knowing the programs you're supporting get the best results. There is simply no other organization or process which takes on the challenge of planning, coordinating and helping people succeed that United Way does. We bring people together to agree on what needs to be done, decide how to do it, then hold ourselves accountable for results.

I want my gift to go to a specific organization, agency or nonprofit. Why should I go through United Way of Greater Stark Couty to do that?
United Way of Greater Stark County is the only way you can give to the whole community. So, while supporting a single health and human service organization is certainly a choice you can make, please also consider making a contribution to the Community Fund. That way, you can maximize the impact of your gift by combining it with the giving power of thousands of others. You will then be part of a community force that works together to strengthen our entire human care agenda, not just a single organization or cause. Another benefit to you is convenience. Giving through UWGSC allows you to have your contribution deducted from your paycheck, and then not have to think about it again.

Last year, one of our employees needed help. What can United Way of Greater Stark County do?
UWGSC raises money to fund social service agency programs but UWGSC does have a special information and referral tool called United Way's 2-1-1 Information & Referral. This confidential phone line is staffed by counselors trained to answer community members’ questions and direct them to the places that can help. If you or someone you know needs help, visit www.211oh.org or call 2-1-1 or 330-491-9997.

Are charitable contributions tax deductible?
For taxpayers who itemize their deductions, 100% of their charitable contribution is deductible as long as deductions do not exceed 50% of their adjusted gross income. Contact the Internal Revenue Service, your accountant or other financial advisors for further information.