FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

​What does United Way of Coles County do?
United Way of Coles County is in the unique position to act as a central hub partnering with government, individuals, businesses and the nonprofit sector to address community-wide issues. We link donors to issues they care about and we partner with health and social service agencies to achieve significant community impact.

Does my gift stay in my community?
Yes. All of it is used for Coles County services.

How much of my contribution actually goes where it is needed?
We’re proud of our efficiency. Ninety-three percent of your donation goes to directly fund local programs, far higher than the industry standard of 86 percent (the bulk of our administrative costs are funded by separate fundraisers).  It is a fact that you must spend some money to make money, but by making a donation to United Way you can be assured that the largest amount possible will go where you want it to go – to help those in need.

How do I know my United Way donation goes where it’s needed most?
Any Coles County non-profit agency may apply for funding through United Way of Coles County and those applications are evaluated and agencies are interviewed to ascertain the need and stability of each agency that receives funding.
--  United Way volunteers represent all sectors of the community, providing a diverse perspective on community needs
--  Applications are evaluated and agency staffs are interviewed to ascertain the need and stability of each agency receiving funds adding additional perspective on needs and ways to address them.
--  Your gift helps us partner with effective service providers, collaborate with appropriate entities and fund solutions that will create lasting change. Giving to United Way is the most efficient way to give and it allows your gift to multiply your power to solve community problems.​

Why should I give? I never use agency services.
We believe that programs funded by this United Way touch nearly every resident of this county, directly or indirectly, whether it is children in sports, Red Cross blood services or safety training or programs for seniors.  If you look at the list of agencies programs receiving funding, you may be surprised to know that you or someone you know, a neighbor, a parent or a friend, has, indeed, used one or more of these services.  And your gift enhances the quality of life in the community where we live, work, raise our families and retire.

How do I benefit by giving to United Way of Coles County?
Here are four benefits our donors enjoy:
-- Collaboration. You join a community-wide effort to make life better for all.-- Results. You help identify and implement long-term solutions to community problems.
-- Impact. Your gift is leveraged through partnerships that achieve maximum community impact.-- Stewardship. Our operational expenses are well below the national average for nonprofit organizations and our operations are    transparent. We work to serve as a model nonprofit and mentor to all nonprofit agencies.​


Why should I give to United Way when I can give directly to an agency?
Of course, any gift that supports human services in Coles County is welcome but when you give to United Way, you do more than support an individual agency. You support a community-wide effort to understand and address our county's larger system of human service needs. You support efforts to ensure effective nonprofit management practices. You support partnerships that magnify the impact of your gift. You support the idea that we can accomplish far more together than we can alone. Thank You!​

What is the relationship between United Way Worldwide and our local United Way?

United Way Worldwide is a trade association for United Ways. Local United Ways are independent, separately incorporated nonprofits, governed by local volunteers. United Way of Coles County belongs to the national organization and membership fees are raised during fundraisers that are separate from the annual campaign so none of your campaign donations goes to pay those fees. In exchange, we receive administrative and research support, training opportunities, discounts on goods and services, and the right to use the United Way trademark. It's a good investment.