It takes both time and money to make a significant difference in communities across America. For nearly 120 years, United Way has been the leader in raising both individual and corporate investments that are, in turn, used to make a difference in people’s lives. There are a variety of ways you can donate to United Way.
First and foremost, you can donate to your local United Way to ensure your contribution is used to benefit those in need where you live. We’ve made it quick and easy for you to make a donation to your local United Way with just a few short keystrokes. Enter your zip code to find your local United Way then follow the instructions under DONATE ONLINE and your investment will be sent directly to your local United Way. If you’d rather donate by mail, contact your Local United Way to learn where to send your gift.
You can also choose to have your contribution benefit one of United Way’s two national initiatives: Success By 6/Born Learning or 2-1-1. If you’d prefer to have your donation benefit either of these programs, select your preferred program.
Planned giving is another way to ensure your support of United Way in the future. Planned gifts allow donors to make a significant impact on those in need over an extended period of time. Additionally, there are certain benefits from planned giving such as:
- Reducing your taxes
- Increasing your income
- Conserving your family's wealth
- Fulfilling your charitable goals
- Reflecting your special interests
Workplace giving campaigns have been a staple of United Way for decades. In fact, we’re often associated with coining the phrase, “I gave at the office.” Read more about Workplace Campaigns.
United Way 2005 Program Accomplishments
People Get and Give Help: 2-1-1
In 2005, 2-1-1 service expanded to reach 46% of the United States population, covering 36 states. While services that are offered through this three-digit telephone number vary from community to community, 2-1-1 (a partnership of United Way and AIRS, the Alliance for Information and Referral Systems) provides callers with information and referrals to human services for everyday needs and in times of crisis. 2-1-1 proved to be a critical tool following Hurricane Katrina; United Way of Northeast Louisiana, which prior to Katrina handled 7,000 calls a year, responded to more than 111,000 calls from across Louisiana during September and October 2005. 2-1-1s throughout the Gulf Coast states as well as in communities with large numbers of Katrina evacuees responded to hundreds of thousands of telephone calls seeking services such as shelters, food, medical assistance, job training, post-disaster assistance, and recovery information.
Helping Children Come to School Ready to Learn: United Way Success by 6 ® and Born Learning
In more than 350 communities and states, Success By 6 coalitions are driving lasting community change to help young children succeed -- in school and life. SB6 coalitions are galvanizing business, government and nonprofit leaders around early learning. They're improving the quality of child care, educating parents, supporting better health and higher literacy and building public will for policies, programs and budgets helping young children come to school ready to succeed. In 2005, in partnership with the Ad Council and Civitas, United Way launched Born Learning, the public engagement campaign helping parents and caregivers create early learning opportunities for young children. It includes public service announcements, a Web site (www.BornLearning.org), education material for parents and community mobilization help for coalitions engaged in advocacy.
Encouraging Volunteerism: The NFL “Lend a Hand” Campaign
For more than 30 years United Way has partnered with the National Football League to build stronger communities. In 2005 we added a new call to action: “Lend a Hand.” Every public service announcement encouraged people to “lend a hand” by going to unitedway.org to learn about volunteer opportunities in their community. After only four months of the campaign, the number of visits to United Way’s public website increased by 63%, and the number of visitors clicking the “volunteer” button increased by 37%. With the NFL allocating more than $30 million in airtime to this campaign, United Way reached 83% of American households.
Rebuilding Lives: Hurricane Response
United Way’s response to Hurricane Katrina began before the winds died down, and will continue as lives and communities are rebuilt. United Way’s work improving lives in communities day in and day out positioned it as an organization to look to for leadership, not only in a time of crisis but in the much longer phase of long-term recovery. United Ways stepped up to help identify and meet urgent needs, then to help develop a vision and a plan for recovery – not only in impacted communities from New Orleans to Natchez, from Beaumont to Biloxi, but also in Houston, Atlanta, Newark, and many other communities that provided shelter for evacuees from the storm. The United Way system mobilized, providing dollars and expertise, staff members and volunteers to more than 20 impacted communities. The Hurricane Response and Recovery Fund contributed more than $20 million to 100 communities where local and state United Ways were engaged in helping people recover by providing shelter and housing assistance, job training, coordination of social services, child care, and many other essential services.
Aspiring to Be Better: Standards of Excellence
With a clear commitment to the system’s mission to improve people’s lives by mobilizing the caring power of community, United Ways strive for excellence in everyday work. What does excellence look like in today’s United Way? New Standards of Excellence and an organizational self-assessment were launched in 2005, creating a roadmap of benchmark standards and practices for United Ways to create lasting change in their communities.
Working Together: Partnerships
United Way brings people together from government, business, organized labor, faith groups, nonprofits and ordinary citizens. Together we tackle the issues that matter most to communities and our nation. In addition to our partnerships with the NFL, AIRS, the Ad Council and Civitas, United Way of America is an active partner with other national organizations including Leadership 18 (a coalition of this country's largest and most well respected nonprofit organizations), the labor movement, America’s Promise, and more than 130 major corporations that comprise United Way’s National Corporate Leadership. United Way also works with policy makers – from mayors and county commissioners to legislators, governors, Congress and the President – to ensure that the voice of the nonprofit sector is heard on important issues such as nonprofit accountability, 2-1-1, early childhood development and economic opportunity. In 2005 United Way of America President and CEO Brian Gallagher participated in national thought leadership discussions at the White House and at the Clinton Global Summit. These partnerships extend our reach, provide expertise on solving social problems and help us mobilize the caring power of America’s communities.