Frequently Asked Questions

What does United Way do?
What are the impacts of United Way investments?
What makes United Way unique?
What guides United Way's resource investments?
Isn’t United Way just a fundraising organization?
Why does giving to United Way have more impact than giving directly to a single charity?
What if I don't think I can afford to give?

 

What does United Way do?

United Way of Benton & Lincoln Counties is a local non-profit working to build a stronger, more stable community. We are governed by local volunteers and make all our investments in Lincoln and Benton Counties. In addition to our local ties, we also take advantage of regional and worldwide networks of 1,400 United Ways, sharing best practices, collaborating on important initiatives and fulfilling our mission: To increase the organized capacity of people in Benton & Lincoln Counties to care for one another.

United Way mobilizes many types of resources (money, relationships, technology, information, partnerships, volunteers, expertise and more) to identify and resolve pressing community issues. With our partners, we are Breaking the Cycle of Childhood Poverty in our counties. United Way has led the nonprofit sector in the call for transparent accountability and measurable results and make sure all our investments are guided by local volunteers who understand local needs,.

United Way of Benton & Lincoln Counties is independently incorporated and governed, run by a local board of directors, and responds to specific local needs identified through thoughtful, thorough research and assessment, as well as input from key stakeholders and community members.ll of this is done in collaboration with diverse partners. United Way works with schools, government agencies, businesses, organized labor, financial institutions, community development corporations, voluntary and neighborhood associations, the faith community, and others.


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What are the impacts of United Way investments?

Donations to United Way of Benton & Lincoln Counties improve the community in many ways:

  • Our Basic Needs funding directly improves lives touched by community service agencies.
  • Administration of the federal Emergency Food and Shelter Program by United Way means the most needy have additional access to food and shelter.
  • United Way Community Impact programs target the causes of our most pressing community needs throughout Benton and Lincoln Counties.
  • Our partnerships with local and regional governments, corporations, IHN/CCO and the Early Learning Hub pay off in larger initiatives that keep problems from happening in the first place.
  • United Way provides the local social service system with broad strategic planning and system leadership that agencies alone don't ohave the resources to achieve. Innovative initiatives that focus on root causes of specific community problems such as limited access to healthcare and financial instability.
  • Expanding access to healthcare, improving the financial stability of working families, and helping children enter school ready to learn.

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What makes United Way unique?


United Way is unique in our ability to mobilize substantial amounts of resources beyond money, such as relationships, technology, information, partnerships, volunteers, expertise, public policy and more. Our ability to leverage these resources put more than $660,000 worth of social service investments into the community during our 2014-15 fiscal year. In the coming year, this will exceed a value of $800,000.

United Way addresses a wide range of Basic Needs by distributing funds strategically through a volunteer-driven grant funding process. We also invest in longer-term solutions aimed at Breaking the Cycle of Childhood Poverty in Benton & Lincoln Counties.

United Way also goes beyond fundraising by researching the needs of the community and bringing the right resources and people together to solve tough local issues. This type of work resulted in the creating of the 2-1-1 information and referral system. We are currently working with other local organizations in a Funders Forum to being more insight and impact into local social service funding.

United Way answers the immediate by programs for intervention, while guiding long-term change through innovative solutions for lasting change through prevention.


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What guides United Way's resource investments?


United Way uses a grant funding model that strategically invests in partners and projects that demonstrate collaboration, efficient and effective use of resources, and measurable results.

We conduct research to identify and prioritize the needs of the community so we know the best avenues for investing your dollars to create measureable results.

Well-trained volunteers and expert United Way staff work together to determine funding priorities and to identify the best ways to solve issues in the counties we serve.

United Way funding focuses on Breaking the Cycle of Childhood Poverty in Benton & Lincoln Counties, while attending to people’s Basic Needs. This strategy came from many conversations with people like you from all across the community. Donor generosity over the years has allowed United Way to help a lot of people. But you told us we need to work harder to prevent problems from happening in the first place.

You can count on United Way to continue to be transparent, provide excellent service, and be responsive to your needs.



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Isn’t United Way just a fundraising organization?

No. While raising money is essential, it is only one of many resources mobilized by United Way to address the challenges we face. Other resources include time, talent, volunteers, relationships, political persuasion, technology, qualitative data, quantitative data, advocacy and much more. 
We also work in the wider community. United Way Executive Director Jennifer Moore represents Lincoln County on the Linn-Benton-Lincoln Early Learning Hub. United Way is a member of the Lincoln County Public Health Advisory Committee, the Corvallis Homeless Advocacy Committee and the regional 2-1-1 Steering Committee. Lincoln County Director Alan Searle serves on a County Task Force rebuilding mental health respite and detox services for Lincoln County.

United Way Is respected by community leaders who look to us for important research, leadership and network mobilization.

 

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Why does giving to United Way have more impact than giving directly to a single charity?

 

Giving through United Way is like investing through a well-managed stock portfolio, with specific goals for Breaking the Cycle of Childhood Poverty and meeting Basic Needs for families in trouble.

Because United Way has strong partners with proven track records, we are the most efficient, effective and accountable way to make a positive difference. Together, we make sure your dollar has a huge impact. And we are scrupulous; our volunteers hold all our funded partners to the highest standards, measure the impact of each investment and look sharply at the returns on those investments. It is a transparent and proven process that works to help the most people in the most comprehensive ways.

If you donate through payroll deducation at your workplace, your dollars may be matched by your employer. It is also easy to designate a small portion of each paycheck toward all the causes you care about instead of making a separate effort for each.


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What if I don't think I can afford to give?


Every dollar is important. Any amount helps, even if you think it seems small, because it joins many, many other donations for a huge impact. A small recurring credit card donation each month, or a modest payroll deduction amount allows you to make a generous contribution in manageable portions. Join with your neighbors and you’ll help create real change in our community