FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Who is the United Way and what do you do?

We're a local not-for-profit organization, governed by a Board of Directors made up of business and community leaders from throughout the Grove City Area. Staff and volunteers run an annual workplace and residential campaign to raise money and awareness for the vital United Way programs throughout our community. The Grove City Area

United Way offers service to people and organizations that want to help others, supporting vital local services that help many throughout the Grove City area

How does the Grove City Area United Way raise money?

United Way runs an annual campaign that includes a workplace campaign, special events, residential mailings and corporate sponsored events raising money for the United Way. By far the largest portion of the annual campaign is the workplace campaign. There are two components of a workplace campaign: the corporate gift and the employee giving campaign.

The Grove City Area United Way enjoys positive relationships with area corporations who give generous corporate gifts every year. Many companies base the amount of their gift on the amount pledged by the employees of their company many match their employee's gifts by 40 and 50% of the employee's giving.

The employee giving campaign provides would-be donors with a private, convenient, and budget friendly manner in which to contribute. While cash and checks are gladly accepted, by far the most popular option is the payroll deduction option. The payroll deduction option provides several benefits to the donor and United Way. For the price of a soda or a pizza a week you can choose a contribution, which will be automatically taken out of your pay and sent to the United Way. Most people will not miss one or several dollars a week, and at years end your W-2 tax form will reflect your tax-deductible contribution.

The cost of managing this program to United Way is minimal as we are not paying for expensive fundraising events, or spending a lot on collecting the money. This allows us to spend the majority of your gift on the programs that you support.

How much are your administrative costs?

Between 11 percent and 13 percent is being spent on fundraising expenses and other administrative costs, including dues to United Way Worldwide. It's an investment well made when you consider that nationally accepted maximum limits for non-profit overhead costs vary from 40 percent to 50 percent. The Philanthropic Advisory Service of the Council of Better Business Bureaus sets the maximum permissible rate for overhead costs at non-profit organizations at 50 percent. The National Charities Information Bureau sets the rate at 40 percent. Our goal is to keep the administrative costs as low as we can. As we increase our local campaign and raise more money in the future, that percentage will be even lower.

Who decides where the money goes?

People like you, right here in Grove City. The Grove City Area Board of Directors, along with volunteers from all walks of life review program applications and make all funding decisions, prioritizing the needs in the community to ensure that your dollars are being spent wisely and efficiently. If you would like to serve as a funds distribution volunteer, just contact the United Way.

I'm an active supporter of my community but I don't want my employees to be coerced or feel obligated to give.

Does your United Way use heavy handed tactics to raise money?

United Way strongly believes that whether to give, how much to give, and who to give to, are highly personal decisions for each and every individual. United Way volunteers and staff only want to explain the services that we provide, and let people decide for themselves. When we come to your company, we consider it a privilege and honor to be a guest in your place of business. United Way provides many options for how and where to direct the money of those who choose to give.

Successful workplace campaigns are fun events that boost employee morale. They leave donors feeling good about themselves and happy that their company provided them with the opportunity to give something back to the community.

Simply stated, we want to provide employees with the opportunity to give in a manner which is private, convenient and easy on the budget. Ultimately participation is a choice, one that is appreciated but not expected.

If you feel you are, or have been a victim of coercive tactics to require you to give, please notify the campaign coordinator at your company or your supervisor, or contact United Way. We will happily and discreetly return your money, and take whatever steps necessary to ensure that coercion does not play a part in your company's campaign.

Why do I see "United Way agencies" doing their own fundraising?

Technically, your United Way does not fund "agencies", it funds programs. Your United Way can ensure that donors' gifts are going directly to important services that help people in specific service areas. Most agencies depend on United Way funded dollars as a critical part of their overall budget. United Way can increase the credibility of agencies, making it easier for them to secure foundation, state and federal grants.

Will the money I give to United Way go outside the community?

No. The money raised in Grove City stays in Grove City, unless you the donor request that it be sent to another United Way or non-profit agency. Your local United Way does pay annual dues to United Way Worldwide, the membership organization for United Ways. Those dues which amount to less than one cent of every dollar given, are used to help underwrite the costs of the United Way/NFL television spots; help defray the costs of marketing materials that our local United Way uses; and support training for United Way staff. Those dues represent the only money that leaves Grove City and those dollars are ultimately returned to the community in services received.

Who sets policy for our local United Way?

People who live and work in Grove City are making all policy decisions for your United Way. The Grove City Area United Way is governed by its Board of Directors, comprised of local business and community leaders, and assisted by scores of volunteers from Grove City.

All United Way organizations are separate entities accountable to the volunteers in their community. Everything from human resource policies to funding policies are made from community to community.

How does United Way pay for its events?

Annual events, such as Day of Caring, Community Day and the Campaign Celebration, are designed to boost morale and create a synergy among volunteers and donors. Nearly all the costs for these events are paid through ticket prices and generous corporate sponsorships.

Why should I give to United Way and not directly to an agency of my choice?

I want to make sure my money goes where it is needed most.

Designating your United Way contribution to the specific agency of your choice is a popular option that we are happy to honor. Many people do designate a portion or their entire gift to an agency of their choice.

That being said, when you give an undesignated gift to United Way, you are giving to a system of agencies that work closely together to best serve our community's needs. In many cases, one agency cannot meet a family's or individual's total needs by itself. That's why it's so important that all agencies receive adequate funding. Scores of local volunteers, drawn from Grove City companies and organizations, review the funding requests of local agencies, their programs and budgets, and decide how much money each program should receive, based on community needs and the program's effectiveness in meeting those needs.

What if I don't live in Grove City and I want my gift to benefit the community where I live?

Through United Way's Donor Choice program, you have the option of designating your United Way gift back to the community in which you live, so that it will benefit programs there.

We do ask people to also consider supporting the community that provides you with the opportunity to make a good living. Many people who live somewhere else do donate all or part of their money right here in Grove City. The choice is yours, and we appreciate you taking the time to decide.

What if I don't like one of the agencies that United Way supports?

You can specify that the agency in question not receive United Way funds. You can also specify which agency or agencies will receive your gift by designating your gift.