FAQ

About United Way

United Way of Greater Atlanta’s mission is to help make Greater Atlanta a community where everyone can thrive. To do this, we focus our investments on the building blocks of our lives and community – education, income, health and housing. What makes us different from other nonprofits focused on these issues is how we work. We are the ONLY nonprofit that brings together people and resources from every sector – volunteers, advocates and donors; partner agencies, counties and governments to develop and deliver new solutions.

Each of the 1,300+ United Ways in the nation is autonomous and supported by local volunteers. United Way Worldwide, headquartered in Virginia, is the umbrella organization. In Greater Atlanta, we have about 200 staff members working across our 13 counties. Hundreds of volunteer leaders from all walks of life assist with United Way operations, from fundraising to community investments to financial management.

 

About Giving to United Way

When you give to United Way, you have choices. You can choose to give to United Way’s Impact Fund or to specific nonprofits. When you direct your dollars to the United Way Impact Fund, you are enabling us to provide the best value for your dollars and the biggest impact on community well-being.

United Way invests Impact Fund dollars in tackling the critical problems that stand between us and a better quality of life. United Way brings together dozens of nonprofits to identify collaborative solutions that lead to positive outcomes for the community, like self-sufficiency and access to healthcare for all individuals and families, and academic achievement for all children.

Trained community volunteers guide United Way Impact Fund investment decisions, and investments are directed toward nonprofits with proven effectiveness in creating sustainable and measurable contributions to community well-being.

United Way compounds the power of its Impact Fund investments with the collective clout of thousands of volunteers and advocates as well as county and state governments.

United Way volunteers invest your Impact Fund contributions in local programs that strengthen our community. Those programs include after-school and mentoring activities that ensure youth are successful in learning, job and life skills training to make people employment-ready, help for people with immediate needs and more.

United Way is working to advance the common good by focusing on education, income, health and homelessness. These are the building blocks for a good quality of life — a quality education that leads to a stable job, enough income to support a family through retirement and good health. And we want to make sure that no one is homeless. Every donor has the option to designate to one or a combination of these areas. Donors also have the option to designate their gift toward United Way 2-1-1 and the Atlanta AIDS Partnership Fund.

Time and again, some of the most generous givers are those who themselves have struggled and needed a helping hand from our community. Everyone should be given an opportunity to express caring through charitable giving, to enjoy the emotional reward that comes from knowing he or she has helped someone else — a homeless mother helped with child care so she can seek employment, a senior able to stay in his home and remain independent, or a family helped to remain financially stable with job training for advancement. Helping our community is a shared responsibility and makes good business sense. Our research shows that 7 out of 10 people in a workplace campaign say, “My company’s support of United Way makes me feel good about my company.”

Through the United Way Specific Care program, it is possible to direct your gift to one or more of the many nonprofit organizations that receive United Way grants or to another United Way in the nation. You may also choose to “exclude” a nonprofit, meaning that organization will receive none of your gift.

Less than 10 cents of every dollar raised by our United Way is used for fundraising and administration — making it one of the lowest overhead costs of any nonprofit in the nation. However, what’s most important is the impact that we are having in our region by working together. Your investment in United Way provides tangible results for our region. We work with our partners to measure progress, so we can be sure that each gift to United Way — each investment in our community — gets the best rate of return possible. Please visit our website, or sign-up for our newsletter to learn more about the results your United Way gets, and the difference your gift is making.

 

About United Way’s Investment Process

Through the United Way Impact Fund, we invest in the smartest ideas and solutions that are making significant long-term changes to our communities. Guided by a group of trained community investment volunteers, the United Way Impact Fund allocates money to successful nonprofit organizations and community programs meeting goals in United Way’s four key areas of education, income, health and homelessness. Volunteers thoroughly review applications submitted for grants in this competitive process to choose the best investment opportunities that can make the largest impact. In fiscal year 2014-15 United Way invested $23.2 million in 223 nonprofit organizations throughout our 13-county region.

By aligning our grants to partner organizations with specific goals and targets in our four key areas of education, income, health and homelessness, United Way is now able to better track success and ensure your dollars are well leveraged. We focus on what works and are ready and nimble to invest in new innovative ideas as they arise because we believe these approaches will get us closer to being the Greater Atlanta we all envision. For more information about United Way’s investment process, please visit us online at unitedwayatlanta.org.

 

About United Way Community Partners

United Way invites organizations that can demonstrate measurable results and are aligned with our priorities to obtain an application by going to unitedwayatlanta.org and then clicking on “For Nonprofits”. When new funding becomes available, we announce funding opportunities through an email to interested agencies in our database. If interested in being added to our database, please visit www.unitedwayatlanta.org/for-nonprofits. Next, click on the “Please add me to your database” button on the right and complete the form. Your request will be processed and you will receive future funding announcements in the areas in which you express interest.

For more than 25 years, United Way of Greater Atlanta funded the Planned Parenthood Women’s Health program at Planned Parenthood’s downtown Atlanta office. The programs we funded provided health education and basic women’s health services primarily to low income, uninsured or under-insured women. We did not fund any clinics or programs that provide abortions.

In the spring of 2016, we were notified by Planned Parenthood Southeast that the downtown Atlanta Planned Parenthood clinic would be closing until they could find another suitable location and that there would be changes in the scope of practice at the Atlanta clinic. Because the clinic was not operational and there were intended changes in the program’s scope of services, United Way of Greater Atlanta ceased funding Planned Parenthood through its investment process.  Donors may still choose to designate their donations to Planned Parenthood through United Way of Greater Atlanta by writing in the agency designation on their pledge form.

Abortions are not funded through United Way of Greater Atlanta. United Way grants are used only for quality health care services and health education (assessments, physical exams, cancer and hypertension screenings, HIV testing and counseling), primarily for women who are low-income, uninsured or under-insured.

United Way of Greater Atlanta funds the Boy Scouts because they provide a variety of programs that help us reach one of our main goals focused on educational opportunities for youth. In addition, the Atlanta Area Council Boys Scouts, Boy Scouts Flint River Council, and Boy Scouts Northeast Georgia Council meet United Way’s standard of accountability and eligibility and therefore continue to receive funding. Donors may specify that gifts be designated in whole or in part for the Boy Scouts. Donors may also specify that no portion of their contribution go to funding for the Scouts. United Way volunteers continue to monitor the situation to ensure that programming remains consistent with our philosophy.