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Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to the most commonly asked questions about United Way:

What is United Way?
Through a vast network of volunteers and local charities, local United Way organizations throughout America help meet the health and human service needs of millions of people every day. Each United Way is completely independent and governed by local volunteers.

Why Invest in United Way?
United Way is like a "war chest" our community builds to address issues our community decides matter most. It is the only giving option that allows you to join with tens of thousands of others to focus our resources where we can have the greatest impact.

How many people do the Heart of Arkansas United Way member agencies help?
Thanks to your contributions, United Way agencies help one out of every three people in our community. Your gifts feed hungry families and help children with disabilities. United Way donations ensure that low-income seniors receive transportation, medications, and hot meals. Many teens are no longer at risk because your gift provides counselling and after-school activities for them. This Fact Sheet describes in more detail how your donations can help families in need in your community through United Way programs and services.

What does United Way do beside fund agencies?
United Way collaborates with other local organizations on special projects to help solve pressing community needs. For instance, United Way worked with other nonprofits and governmental agencies to open the Future Smiles Dental Clinic. We worked with the Arkansas National Guard to create the Arkansas Homefront Fund
for families of deployed soldiers. Other special projects include Annual Children's Holiday Luncheon, 2-1-1, the Emergency Food and Shelter program, the Gifts in Kind program, and Technology Grants.

How else does United Way help?
United Way helps people volunteer through our Volunteer Center. United Way distributes donated goods to local nonprofits through the Gifts in Kind program and IBM Technology Grants. We also help operate the Emergency Food and Shelter program, which distributes tens of thousands of dollars to local organizations to assist people with food, shelter, and utility bills.

Where does the money come from?
The majority (nearly 80%) of United Way funding originates with individuals, most of them giving through payroll deduction. Employees of many local companies can fill out a pledge card during our annual fundraising campaign. For instance, an employee might donate $3 per paycheck to United Way. A small fraction of United Way funding (about 2%) comes from generous individuals. The balance (almost 20%) derives from corporate gifts - often in the form of grants that match the total dollars given by company employees.

Where does the money go?
The money is used to fund health and human service agencies right here in Arkansas. Your gift helps everybody from disabled children at Camp Aldersgate to senior citizens at the Arthritis Foundation and Jacksonville Senior Center. Heart of Arkansas United Way's IRS 990 Form is available upon request.

Does the money raised stay in our community?
Yes. United Way is a local organization run by local people serving the needs of local people. Members of the board of directors and allocations panels are all volunteers. They are well known in Central Arkansas, and under their control our United Way is reliable and dependable.

How do you decide which agencies to fund?
Each non-profit program passes a rigorous review process. Review teams evaluate each program's effectiveness and impact in the community; they perform a rigorous financial analysis and make site visits to each agency. Our goal is to fund agencies that address most effectively and efficiently the greatest community needs.

Is United Way efficient?
The United Way is the most efficient charitable organization in America. We ensure that when you give, your funds are used honestly, efficiently, and effectively as an investment in our community.

How much should I give?
Personal financial circumstances are different for each individual, so what you give is entirely your decision. However, the following guideline was established to answer a common question from givers, "Based on my income, what should my contribution be?"

Annual Income


Number Pay Periods Per Year

Up To:






























Over $50,000


(2% per pay period)

Why aren't all agencies included in United Way?
Some agencies cannot meet United Way membership standards, while others follow national policies that require them to operate independently. Others may not be admitted because their programs closely resemble or duplicate existing United Way programs. Also, there are some wonderful local agencies that are able to support their programs without United Way funding.

What is donor designation?
When you designate your favorite United Way member agency to receive your donation, you are showing the United Way and the agency that you value the work done by that organization.

What if I don't live in the community?
You work in Central Arkansas - and United Way funded services are available to anyone who lives or works in Central Arkansas. You also have the option of designating your pledge to a United Way in another community.

What is United Way Worldwide?
All local United Ways are members of United Way Worldwide, a national trade association that provides a variety of services, training opportunities, and information to its members. The most visible example of these is the National Football League advertising campaign; the most influential is the recruitment of volunteers and support from major corporations.

How can I donate Now?
Follow this link to a secure website where you can donate to Heart of Arkansas United Way with a credit card
Click here.

 If you have further questions, please call us at 501-376-4567.



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2011 Heart of Arkansas United Way

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