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Why Give?

Read Dolly's story.  Support from United Way has helped turn her life around in ways she never expected.  During difficult economic times, it feels as if there is very little money left over to give to others. Time and again, however, some of the most generous givers are those who themselves have struggled and needed a helping hand from our community.

Everyone should be given an opportunity to express their caring through charitable giving, to enjoy the emotional reward that comes from knowing he or she has helped our community become safer and stronger.

Dolly                                   

 Click on Dolly's picture to read her story.                                              

Q. How do people get help from United Way?
A. United Way provides a free, confidential information referral service, 2-1-1 Maryland at First Call for Help™, that connects individuals and families with health and human service organizations that can help with counseling, job training, emergency assistance and other needs.

Q. Do United Way partners only serve the poor?
A. Dollars contributed through United Way are distributed where they will do the most good for the entire community. Partner agencies provide services aimed at helping everyone in need. Perhaps you, a member of your family, one of your neighbors or co-workers has benefited from services supported by United Way. United Way of Central Maryland’s safety net is there to help catch those in need – to get people out of crisis (through emergency shelters, food and access to healthcare), keep people out of crisis (through gainful employment, temporary housing, childcare vouchers, etc.) and help people achieve a better quality of life (through access to permanent housing, asset building, etc).

Q. How is United Way making sure my money is well spent?
A. We engage businesses, government and people like you to identify the most serious health and human service problems in our community and determine the best ways to make a meaningful impact on these problems. You support a much broader group of programs and services through United Way than by giving to an agency directly. Volunteers work to minimize duplication among programs and look for measurable results, quality performance and innovative approaches.

Q. Why is there a $50 minimum to designate to an agency?
A. United Way is very dedicated to keeping our cost of processing low. Designations to agencies are processed monthly (when contributions arrive from your company), gifts smaller than $50 require very small checks to be cut. This increases the cost of processing.

Q. How much of my money gets to programs and services rather than overhead?
A. Effective with the 2009 campaign, United Way lowered the fee structure for designations to a flat rate of 5%, with a minimum of $5 and a cap of $500.  There is no fee to designate to United Way, our Impact Areas, or the 2-1-1 Maryland at United Way information and referral service although your gift is subject to overhead costs. 

United Way fulfills a unique role in the community - over 1,600 nonprofits rely on funding from United Way. They absorb costs on the agencies behalf and handle over 2 million accounting transactions each year.

Q. If I stop working, what happens to my pledge?
A. Should you stop working, your payroll deduction pledge stops. Your pledge through United Way is made in good faith based upon your employment. When you start a new job, ask to sign-up for a payroll deduction again or you can donate by using direct debit/EFT. Call United Way for further details.