Frequently Asked Questions

What if I can't afford to give?
You can give as much or as little as you prefer, based o­n your own budget needs, and still gain in the satisfaction of helping other less fortunate individuals. By using payroll deduction plans, or a billing charge, small installments can be made into a generous pledge.

What about workers being pressured to give to the United Way?
The United Way of South Central Indiana is opposed to anyone being forced to make a contribution. We want people to give because they want to, and at a level that is comfortable for them.

I work for a living. I pay my own way. I am never going to use these services. Why should I give?
If you never use these services, you are a rare person. There are very few families that are not touched by the Boys & Girls Club, programs at the Salvation Army or the services of the American Red Cross. When a tragedy strikes, United Way agencies are there as a place to turn for help. The services provided by agencies are available to anyone, many are regardless of income.

What if I don't want to give to a particular agency?
The United Way is a federation of many different agencies. Obviously, not all agencies will appeal to all contributors. The total package, however, assures that essential services are available to all residents of Lawrence and Orange counties. A contributor also has the option of designating all or a portion of the gift to a specific agency or agencies. He or she may also choose not to contribute to a particular agency.

What percentage of my contribution is used for programs?
The latest US tax form 990 shows that 91% of all funds received by United Way of South Central Indiana went towards programs. Why? The administrative cost for the United Way of South Central Indiana is only 9 percent. This is far below the national average of 24 percent and the Better Business Bureau states it should be below 35%. All efforts are made to keep these costs as minimal as possible.  All of your donation will stay in your community. Those administrative dollars pay for one full-time & one part-time employee at the UW and, whenever possible, we use local businesses for services and supplies.  So that 8% in administrative costs is working to make your community stronger as well.  Tax forms of non-profits are available to view by going to Guidestar.

Are United Way funds invested before they are distributed to the agencies?
Any cash received by the United Way is put in the bank. The interest income that is earned is used to help reduce the amount of money we have to raise in the next campaign and offsets campaign expenses.

If you designate another area's United Way, does the pledge card get sent to that United Way?
No. The card still gets sent to the United Way of South Central Indiana, which will forward the money to the designated United Way. We will let them know who their donors are so that they may have the opportunity to thank you.

What are my giving options?
There are several options on how to give to the United Way of South Central Indiana. Payroll deduction through the workplace is our most popular method of giving. If your employer offers this method, you simply fill that option out on your pledge form and then the amount that you have chosen to give will come out of each of your paychecks before taxes. Through payroll deduction, your gift grows throughout the year. If you leave your employment for any reason, your gift stops. It does not follow you to your new organization. If you would like to continue your giving at your new employment, contact your human resources or payroll deduction department. Another giving option is to provide a one-time cash or check payment. The United Way of South Central Indiana office can also bill you quarterly.

What is donor choice and why isn't it an option?
Donor choice is the option to designate your funds to any 501(c)3 organization. Some United Ways allow this option, but the United Way of South Central Indiana is unable to do so at this time. We allow donor designation to our member agencies or to other United Ways, but donor choice is more difficult for smaller United Ways. A reason for this is if a person leaves their employment, their pledge does not follow them. If they have designated their funds to go to an outside agency, that money is then lost. Our office does not know if your pledge is fulfilled or not so we continue to forward the donation. We receive one check from your employer that includes all of the donations in the company. We often do not receive individual names.

What is donor designation?
Donor designation is an option that allows you to designate funds directly to a United Way agency of your choice or to another United Way. This is not a requirement of giving, but it is an option that you may choose to take advantage of.

How do I become a Leadership Giver?
A Leadership Giver is a donor who gives $500 or more per year. There are different levels within the Leadership Giving Club. You may also combine gifts with another in your household to become leadership givers. There is a section on the pledge card for leadership givers. Many of our donors find that through payroll deduction or monthly payments they were able to make a substantial gift to the their community.  Broken down into monthly payments that $500 is only $41.67 per month or, if you receive 26 pays per year, $20.84 per check.  By paying over the course of the year, many of our community members have discovered that they too can be a Leadership Giver.  A booklet of Leadership Givers is published each year, unless you want to remain anonymous, and you will receive free admission to our Annual Meeting.