1. What does United Way do?

United Way of Tarrant County, founded in 1922, is a nonprofit leader bringing together individuals, groups, donors and service providers to help solve some of the toughest social issues affecting Tarrant County.  As the steward of our donors’ funds, we invest in our partner agencies’ programs and other initiatives to not just manage social issues but to solve them for entire populations.

United Way of Tarrant County has more than 45 partner agencies. For the 2018–2019 fiscal year, United Way of Tarrant County allocated more than $13 million in funding to partners in the community, including almost $1 million, a direct result of our new Systems Change funding model, which is part of the organization’s new strategy.

2. Whom does United Way help?

United Way of Tarrant County helps more than 300,000 people annually by providing resources through our partner agencies and other initiatives to help solve social issues for entire populations.

For example, United Way of Tarrant County community investments includes Wild About Reading, an event to encourage reading and educational activities. More than 3,000 books were given to children and their families during the 2018 event. In 2018, United Way of Tarrant County volunteers filed 8,299 tax returns at 13 locations resulting in $15.8 million in total refund dollars as part of the free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

In 2017, more than 16,000 middle and high school students visited one of the 14 GO Centers funded by United Way of Tarrant County. GO Centers, housed on Fort Worth ISD campuses, are staffed by full-time College and Career Readiness Coaches, who help students learn about career options and how to apply for college admission, scholarships and financial aid. They also provide mentoring to at-risk students.

Last year, United Way of Tarrant County’s Area Agency on Aging served more than 40,000 people including older adults, caregivers and people with disabilities. The Area Agency on Aging works to improve the quality of life for older adults, people with disabilities and caregivers by raising awareness of unmet needs, advocating for and connecting individuals to resources, forming community partnerships and providing exemplary services.

3. Why should I give to United Way of Tarrant County and not directly to a charity?

United Way of Tarrant County, founded in 1922, annually serves more than 300,000 people in need throughout the county, which includes 41 municipalities.

Your donation allows United Way of Tarrant County to provide our more than 45 partner agencies with funding and resources so they can provide services to those in need.

United Way of Tarrant County has vetted, on behalf of the donor, local agencies and partners that are most in need of funding and will use the funding as intended.  In many cases, United Way of Tarrant County has long-standing, trusted relationships with our partners, as together we work to solve the most pressing social issues in Tarrant County.

In addition, all of the money allocated to our partner agencies stays local to help those in our community.

4. Where does my money go? Does United Way charge fees on donations?

You can designate your donation to The Community Fund or as a Designated Gift to one or more of our partner agencies and initiatives.

The United Way Community Fund offers the most powerful way to invest in your community.  The funds are unrestricted, allowing United Way of Tarrant County to vet, on your behalf, our partner agencies and their programs and allocate the amount needed to help our agencies solve pressing social issues in Tarrant County. The Community Fund also supports Area Agency on Aging and a portion of our operational costs.

A Designated Gift allows you to pick the charity or charities of your choice to receive your donation, and 100 percent of your donation goes to those you select. United Way of Tarrant County does not charge a fee for processing nor does the gift support operational costs.

United Way of Tarrant County annually provides a financial report called Funding Distribution to show the organizations that receive funding for United Way of Tarrant County and the amount of the funding.  The report can be found on our website: unitedwaytarrant.org/financial-and-annual-reports/

5. How much of my donation goes to United Way of Tarrant County’s overhead, including executive salaries?

If you choose to give to the United Way Community Fund, we use about 10 percent of your donation for operational expenses including administrative and fundraising costs. We allocate the remaining funds to our partner agencies and initiatives.

United Way of Tarrant County has one of the lowest ratios of fundraising to administrative costs to programs within Tarrant County and nationwide.

Executive salaries and overhead also are paid for by grants and other private donations.

United Way of Tarrant County is a member of United Way Worldwide, which is the largest nonprofit organization in the world.  It is a separate organization with separate financials.

Financial information about United Way of Tarrant County and United Way Worldwide, including CEO salaries, can be found on Charity Navigator at www.charitynavigator.org.

6. What is the CEO’s salary and how does it compare to the national organization?

The salary for our current president and CEO is available to the public via Charity Navigator, as is the salary for Brian Gallagher, CEO of United Way Worldwide.  CEO salaries for United Way of Tarrant County and United Way Worldwide are comparable to those of other top executives of charities and foundations in the United States.

Please visit www.charitynavigator.org for additional financial information regarding United Way of Tarrant County and United Way Worldwide.

7. How does a nonprofit organization become a United Way of Tarrant County partner?

Potential partner agencies are invited by United Way of Tarrant County’s Board of Directors.  They become partners after they are vetted through a peer review.

8. What process does United Way of Tarrant County use to determine its allocation of funds?

United Way of Tarrant County announces Requests For Proposals (RFPs) via email and social media. We also post RFPs on our website. If appropriate, a bidder’s conference is held to inform applicants and address any questions before the completion of the proposal. Responses are considered and ranked by a volunteer Review Panel. The panel’s recommendations move forward to the Community Investment Cabinet for its approval for funding. The Board of Directors provides final approval.

9. How does United Way of Tarrant County determine emergency funding?

United Way of Tarrant County has a long-term reputational foundation across the community based on our consistent financial support to service providers, which enables them to deliver programs and resources to meet local needs. We classify these programs as “Safety Net” programs.

Safety Net includes an assortment of programs designed to provide economic and life security to those temporarily or chronically in need.

Safety Net funding is on a multiyear cycle with 2018–19 as the third year of the current three-year cycle. Agencies completed a rigorous application the first year, and those applications were meticulously reviewed by volunteers who made funding recommendations based on agency performance. Applications are significantly less detailed in the subsequent years, and staff desk reviews may take the place of volunteer review; the goal in the subsequent years is to hold the first-year funding stable if performance is commendable. More information on 2019–2020 funding will be forthcoming.

We budget 1 percent of undesignated funds for innovation and rapid response.

10. Does United Way of Tarrant County support Planned Parenthood?

United Way of Tarrant County does not comment on activities or purposes of non-affiliated organizations.  Specific to Planned Parenthood, we are not affiliated with Planned Parenthood nor is the organization a partner agency. Further, Planned Parenthood is not involved in any of our funding programs or initiatives. United Way does not give any money to Planned Parenthood. However, if an individual donor designates Planned Parenthood in writing through a United Way of Tarrant County Campaign conducted in his/her workplace – even though the organization is not listed on our pledge forms – by law, United Way of Tarrant County must give that money to the organization. It is the donor giving the money, not United Way. We simply follow the law. In addition, we do not charge fees on donor designated gifts, so we do not receive any monetary value from the donation.  The same can be said for any unaffiliated registered 501(c)3 organization that donors write in gifts to organizations not on our pledge forms.