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Frequently Asked Questions

How is the United Way different from other nonprofit organizations?
United Way exists for one reason—to help us come together as one community to identify and address the issues that affect us all. Those issues, like making sure children start school ready to learn and helping families become self-sufficient cross lines of race, gender, geography and faith, and can only be addressed with collective focus and attention.

Where does the money go?
United Way volunteers from your community invest your Community Care Fund contributions into local programs that are proven to make our community stronger and safer. Your dollars help people live better lives. These programs include after-school and mentoring agendas that keep children safe and productive in their hours outside the classroom. They additionally include job and life skills training to prepare people for employment, and myriad forms of help for people with basic needs and more.

Can I give directly to my favorite agency?
It is possible to direct your gift to one or more agencies that receive United Way funding or to another United Way in the country. Because United Way is in the "business" of community impact, not fundraising for agencies, we cannot earmark your gift to other organizations.

What else does United Way do besides fund agencies?
United Way does "whatever it takes" to help our community focus on and get results for important human issues. While United Way does raise and invest dollars, we also help people volunteer, lend their professional expertise, and donate household and office items. United Way's Get on Board program will train and place people on nonprofit boards. Volunteer Solutions connects people with volunteer opportunities in the region. Through Gifts In Kind, United Way helps nonprofits operate more effectively and efficiently.

How much of the money raised by United Way is used for administrative purposes?
The Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance for Charity Accountability states that fundraising expenses should be no more than 35% of all related contributions (for more information, visit Less than 20 cents of every dollar raised by United Way is used for fundraising and administration (less than 13 cents for fundraising alone)—placing it among the nations nonprofits with the lowest overheads. Our efficiency depends on community support to keep costs to a bare minimum—including extensive volunteer leadership, executives "loaned" by companies, public service advertising donations and more.

How do the troubles at other United Way chapters and other nonprofits affect our United Way?
They do not. Each of the 1,400 United Way chapters in the country is autonomous and managed by local volunteers. In Central Kentucky, hundreds of volunteer leaders from all walks of life are involved in and oversee every detail of United Way operations, from fundraising to investments to financial management.

Our employees and their families are struggling. How can we ask them to give?
The success of our organization throughout it history has shown repeatedly that it is those who have themselves struggled who are in turn the most giving to our community. The emotional reward that comes with the act of charitable giving does not belong to the elite of any community. Everyone should be given an opportunity to express compassion through giving.