Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I am interested in giving back to the community through volunteering. Where can I find volunteer opportunities?

A: We host an online volunteer matching site called Volunteer Now. There are more than 100 nonprofits with 200+ volunteer opportunities available at

Q: My company would like to engage employees in volunteerism. How can UWECI help us make this happen?

If your company is looking to engage employees in year round volunteer activities and develop an employee volunteer program, consider joining the Workplace Volunteer Council (WVC). The WVC helps companies establish, grow, and sustain successful workplace volunteer programs. Read more about the WVC.

Q: I recently retired and would like to start volunteering. Where do I begin?

Our 55+ Initiative offers one-on-one volunteer placement services to help you find a good fit for your skills, talents, and interests. Learn more about the 55+ Initiative.

Does my donation go to nationwide programs or stay local?

United Way of East Central Iowa is a branch of United Way Worldwide. Each branch gives 1% of their campaign total to United Way Worldwide. This covers licensing, training, and other opportunities available to all United Ways, including United Way of East Central Iowa. The remaining 99% stays right here in East Central Iowa.

Who does UWECI help?

We fight for the education, financial stability, and health of every person in our community. From newborns whose parents need guidance to aging seniors who want to remain in their homes, United Way helps the most vulnerable populations. We work with many individuals, nonprofits, companies, and public organizations to improve our community for everyone.

How does United Way invest money the community raises?

UWECI conducts a request for proposal process every three years. It is open to any eligible and well-qualified organization that aligns with our community goals in education, financial stability, and health. Read more about our funding process.

Since United Way gives money to other nonprofits, isn’t it easier to give to agencies directly?

Not only does United Way fund nonprofits that demonstrate measurable results, but we also research the condition of our communities to address root causes of East Central Iowa’s most critical issues. We commit significant time and resources to help identify funding priorities, emerging needs, and growing trends. Learn more at

What is UWECI’s administrative rate?

Every business has operating expenses — even nonprofits like United Way of East Central Iowa. We are proud of our 14% administrative rate, whereas the national average for nonprofits varies between 16–19%. For each dollar invested, $0.86 goes back into our community while the other $0.14 covers fundraising and administrative costs.

I signed up for payroll deduction last year, so haven’t I already pledged this year?

Your pledge to United Way is on an annual basis. Each year, you will need to complete a paper pledge form or an online pledge form.

Can I make a difference if I can’t afford a large gift?

No matter the amount, your donation impacts our community. For as little as $1 per week ($52 per year), your donation will go to those most in need.

What is the difference between restricted and unrestricted gifts?

United Way is seeing an increase in restricted donations. Unrestricted dollars come from workplace campaign individual and company donations. Restricted dollars include federal and state grants, individual donor designations to nonprofits of their choice, as well as programmatic-specific funding. Examples of restricted gifts include: federal & state grants, donor designations, Women’s Leadership Initiative, Young Leaders Society, Allocation & Initiative funding for programs like RED Ahead and 2-1-1.

UWECI Frequently Asked Questions: Restricted & Unrestricted Gifts 2010 vs 2016

For more about United Way, read frequently asked questions from United Way Worldwide.

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