Run a Campaign - Frequently Asked Questions
What is United Way of Rockland County?
The United Way of Rockland County is you, your friends and neighbors. It is a local, independent organization that is run by volunteers and staff who focus on addressing long-term solutions for health and human services problems in Rockland County. Volunteers do everything from raising money from businesses, their employees and our entire community to evaluating what local programs should be funded. Two full-time and four part-time staff members assist over 550 volunteers who work every day to improve the lives of the people who work and live in Rockland County, New York.
Where does my donated dollar go?
If you give to the United Way of Rockland County’s Community Impact Fund, your dollar is combined with hundreds of thousands more to fund programs that serve everyone from the smallest child to the most senior adult in Rockland. Whatever is raised here, stays to help here (unless you establish on our pledge form that it is to go elsewhere).
How much of the money raised goes to the programs you fund?
Because the United Way of Rockland relies on volunteers, operating costs stay low so more money can be spent on needed services. In 2012, United Way of Rockland withheld approximately 16.08% of the total campaign to help fund its operations. The Better Business Bureau has given us their “seal of approval” for many years and stated that in their opinion a charity is not spending too much on fundraising as long as the fundraising overhead is less than 33% of what is raised. These fundraising and administrative costs are much lower than if each organization, supported by United Way, were to raise the money completely on its own.
What is the history of the United Way movement?
United Way traces its history to 1887 in Denver, when a priest, two ministers and a rabbi planned the first united campaign for ten health and welfare agencies raising $21,000. But the organizations as we know them today were developed in the twenties, thirties and forties, when business and labor leaders together sought to reduce the number of charitable appeals being made to them by conducting a single, efficient, fundraising drive. United Way of Rockland County was established in 1964.
Today, there are approximately 1220 independent and autonomous United Ways in the United States and many more across the rest of the world, working with volunteers to improve their community. Approximately 32 million people, one out of three people employed in the United States, contribute to United Ways each year, making United Way the largest charity in the country.
United Way of Rockland County believes that giving is a personal matter. Whether individuals wish to give and how much they choose is a personal choice and we keep this information confidential. All United Ways are totally opposed to any type of coercion. Fundraising success is dependant on how much potential donors know and understand the organization.
How is the United Way governed?
The United Way of Rockland County is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. These volunteers come from all segments of the community. They serve on committees that plan and implement the campaign, market our service to the community, study Rockland’s needs and determine where the money that is raised is to go. This process of “citizen review” allows volunteers to be part of the entire process, to help solve community problems, meet community needs and to plan for future community requirements by making focused, result-based funding decisions.
There are so many good charities – why give to UWRC?
- A donation to United Way of Rockland County is the most powerful investment you can make in your community because it is combined with other gifts – multiplying their power to reach more people and to impact critical needs in our community far more than you could do with a single gift to another organization.
- A typical United Way donor supports at least one other charity along with their church, temple or mosque as there are many needs in Rockland to be addressed. However thousands of people who work and/or live here recognize that UWRC is a charity that supports initiatives geared to improving lives in our community regardless of income, background, race, ethnicity or background.
I don’t use these services – so why should I support them?
- You never know when you will need United Way – don’t you want them to be there for you when you do?
- Your contribution is an investment in your future as well as your family’s future. Whatever we raise this year for Rockland will be given out next year for programs that help you, your co-workers, neighbors and friends.
- The world would be a much better place if we could all take care of ourselves and no one needed our help. However, none of us really goes through life alone, and none of us is really beyond the problem of sickness or the tragedy an accident can bring. The great thing about United Way is that it provides one very practical way for self-sufficient…and fortunate…people to give direct help to people who cannot help themselves, such as a neglected child, a person in crisis or an elderly retiree.
I live outside of Rockland County – why should I give here?
- Many people who work here use the services of our non-profit community throughout the work day (such as child care, United Way’s 211 helpline etc.).
- Local businesses such as ours are running a United Way of Rockland County campaign because they believe in supporting United Way’s work.
- If you also want to support the local United Way in which you live, make that clear on your pledge form.
Why don’t you fund my favorite agency OR I don’t like that you support xyz agency.
- This year UWRC opened up its grant process to ALL non-profits in Rockland and is concentrating on initiatives to focus on issues that Rockland residents prioritized for us.
- The community initiatives that we are funding are focused on Education, Income and Health.