Frequently Asked Questions

What is United Way?

United Way is a worldwide organization, made up of nearly 1,800 community-based United Ways across 41 countries and territories. Each is independent of one another, separately incorporated, and governed by local volunteers.

United Ways work to bring together communities to focus on the most important needs in their communities, collaborate with other local organizations, build trusted partnerships, and leverage resources to create positive social change.

What does this United Way do?

United Way of East Central Iowa fights for the education, financial stability, and health of every person in our community. We identify where there are gaps of need in our five-county service area, then invest in local agencies and programs that are working to fill those gaps. We partner with community stakeholders, organizations, donors, and volunteers to pull together the resources needed to support individuals and families during some of their greatest challenges. We are committed to creating lasting change in East Central Iowa. 

How can I help?

Whether you’re able to volunteer, donate, or advocate for United Way of East Central Iowa, you’re making a direct impact on our community and those who need us most.

How can I get help?

If you’re in immediate danger, please call 9-1-1.

If you, your family, or someone you know needs assistance with things such as housing, food, employment, paying utilities, or any other crisis, you can dial 2-1-1 from a landline or (319) 739-4211 from mobile. United Way 211 is a free, confidential information and referral helpline and website serving 42 counties in Iowa.

Who runs United Way of East Central Iowa?

United Way of East Central Iowa is run by a volunteer Board of Directors who are community leaders dedicated to creating lasting change in our five-county service area.

What’s an administrative rate? And what is UWECI’s?

An administrative rate is the cost of an organization’s operating expenses. The national average for nonprofit ranges between 16-19%, but we are proud to share ours sits at 14%.

$.99 of every $1.00 donated stays in East Central Iowa

$.13 goes toward direct expenses including oversight, accountability, gathering and interpreting data, and creating collaborative solutions for our community.

$.86 supports our funded community partners.

The remaining $.01 goes to United Way Worldwide to maintain our affiliation with the organization, much of which comes back to us in training expenses and reimbursement.

There are a lot of programs and organizations out there. Why should I give to UWECI’s general fund?

As an expert in identifying where there are gaps of need in our community, UWECI strategically invests in partners and programs that are working to fill those gaps and create lasting change. By choosing to give to our general fund, you’re helping us address the most pressing needs, based on research, in our five-county service area. When you give to UWECI, you’re giving to a number of organizations making lasting change in Benton, Cedar, Iowa, Jones, and Linn counties.

Who are UWECI’s current funded community partners and programs?

A full list of our current funded community partners and programs lives here. They are nonprofit organizations throughout our five-county service area including Benton, Cedar, Iowa, Jones, and Linn counties.

Why do UWECI funded community partners do their own fundraising activities?

The funding provided by UWECI does not cover any agency’s entire budget, therefore, portions need to be funded by other means, which could include government contracts, fees, and supplemental fundraising activities.

How much of each gift goes to the agencies?

$.86 of every $1.00 donated supports our funded community partners and programs that serve the education, health, and financial needs of individuals and families in our five-county service area.

How is it determined how much each agency receives?

Every three years, UWECI holds a formal community investment process (formerly known as RFP). Volunteers—also known as Solutions Teams—are trained to review and assess proposals for funding and make recommendations to guide investment decisions to support our goals. You can see how the full process works on our Community Investment Process page.

How can I give to UWECI?

If your company holds a United Way Campaign, we encourage you to give through that. If not, you can give here.

I signed up for payroll deduction last year through my company’s United Way Campaign. Do I have to do anything for this year?

Your pledge to UWECI is only good for one year. You will have to renew your pledge each year through a paper pledge form or online pledge form.

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

No matter the amount, a donation to United Way makes a direct impact on our community. If you’re unable to give monetarily, consider giving your time. Our online volunteer matching site, Volunteer Now, provides a one-stop shop to connect you to volunteer opportunities that fit your availability, talents, skills, and interests.

I would like to volunteer.

Head to Volunteer Now, our online volunteer matching site, to learn more about volunteer opportunities in our community.

If you recently retired and would like to get more involved in the community with your free time, our 55+ Initiative offers one-on-one volunteer placement services to help you find a good fit for your interests, skills, talents, and availability.

My company would like to get more involved with volunteering.

Whether it’s through Day of Caring or a group project, there are plenty of ways your organization can get involved with giving back. Learn more about group volunteer opportunities here.

If your company is looking to develop a employee volunteer program, consider learning more about the Workplace Volunteer Council (WVC). WVC helps companies establish, grow, and sustain successful workplace volunteering.

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

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