FAQ

WHY IS UNITED WAY SO IMPORTANT TO ASHLAND COUNTY?

United Way has a unique and critical role in Ashland County.  To put it simply, United Way is not about one cause or issue.  It is about empowering a community to work together to provide local solutions to local social challenges.  Join us in a journey…a journey that envisions Ashland County as a place where The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched…They must be touched with your Hearts! – a place that especially fosters hope and opportunity for everyone.  Every day United Way is recruiting people and organizations from all across Ashland County who bring the passion, expertise and resources to get things done.

LIVE UNITED™

What does LIVE UNITED really mean?  The LIVE UNITED theme is a National Initiative used by over 1,300 United Ways. It is a simple, but impactful message that encourages individuals to understand how working together we can change and improve lives in Ashland County. LIVE UNITED is a goal. It’s a credo, it’s a mission, it’s a constant reminder that when we reach out a hand to one we influence the condition of all. Through caring effort of giving, advocating and volunteering for your community you can make a difference.  Because of caring donors and wonderful volunteers supporting United Way, Ashland County is better…way better!

2020 Campaign Designations, Are donors given the opportunity to designate their contributions to other United Ways or approved 501(c)3 organizations?

A copy of the United Way Board of Trustees approved Donor Designation Policy may be obtained on our website at www.uwashlandoh.org

We accept donor designations for:

  1. United Way Partner Agencies & Mohican Area Community Fund
  2. Other United Way organizations and their partner agencies
  3. Other 501(C)3 Health and Human Service Organizations inside & outside Ashland County, OH.

Please provide the complete name and address of the organization you wish to designate.

The 2020ROCKSTARS & LEGENDSCampaign pledge form provides a place for donor designations (minimum $25). If a prospective donor has a question concerning the eligibility of a specific designated agency, and you can’t provide the answer please get the person’s name and contact information, along with the agency name and location and notify Jill at the United Way office at 419-281-5551 or jill@uwashlandoh.org  and we will personally get an answer back to you and to the individual.

I would like to give but can my pledge go to a specific Partner Agency or Agencies?   A major advantage of United Way is that it offers people an opportunity to give once and contribute to a wide variety of services, each important to a healthy community.  The concept of “giving once for all” has continued since 1957.  A donor that might have special interest in one or more United Way funded agencies, because of a personal experience, can designate (a minimum $25) their gift to those specific agencies.  To designate your gift, complete the designation area of the pledge form.  Any designated amount will be provided to that agency in the name of the contributor.  Paid designations to another United Way and/or their Partner Agencies are processed and mailed by end of 1st Quarter following the campaign.  Designations made thru payroll deduction are paid the following spring after collection.  Any questions please contact Jill  at the United Way office at 419-281-5551 or email: jil@uwashlandoh.org

I do not give to United Way because I do not want any of my money going to “Agency X”.  Because United Way annually funds programs for 15 local partner agencies, there might be one that you do not want to support. Please consider, however, that a decision to withhold a contribution because of one agency penalizes more than 15 others that are providing vital services.

What about employees who live outside the Ashland area, but work in Ashland?  It is very important to know that these employees can designate their pledge to their “Home United Way” which includes any of their Partner Agencies. The donor should indicate their request on the designated area on the pledge form.  Paid designations to other United Ways with 501(c)3 non-profit status are processed and mailed by end of 1st Quarter following the campaign.  Designations made thru payroll deduction are paid the following spring after collection.  Any questions please contact Jill at the United Way office at 419-281-5551 or email: jill@uwashlandoh.org

Does United Way fund two Domestic Violence Shelters?  No.  Starting in 2011 United Way funds only one Domestic Violence Shelter which is the Rape Crisis/Safe Haven Shelter in Ashland County.  The Richland County Domestic Violence Shelter (DVS) served only one person from Ashland County in 2010 and decided not to request funding for 2011.  United Way funded the DVS in Richland County for over 20 years, but when the new Safe Haven Shelter began in Ashland 2006 the numbers of clients using the Richland County facility decreased dramatically.

Is Catholic Charities funding used for legal issues with the Catholic Church? Catholic Charities funds have never been, nor will ever be used for legal fees or settlements for Clergy sexual abuse.  All donations will be used for the donor’s intended purposes.  All allocated funding from United Way to Catholic Charities Community Services stays in Ashland County for Golden Center Multi-Generational program serving Ashland County

Who runs the United Way of Ashland County?  Local and dedicated volunteers oversee every aspect of the organization.  They plan annual fundraising and planned giving efforts, organize the campaign, collect contributions and recommend how dollars should be distributed. Top financial leaders in our community monitor United Way’s operation and require that it run in accordance with fiscally sound and accepted practices.  Additionally, the organization is operated with a professional team consisting of an Executive Director and 2 part time staff.  United Way’s accountability ensures that funds are prudently managed.  An annual financial audit is conducted by an outside CPA firm on all receipts and expenditures.  To obtain a copy of the most recent Annual Financial Report for United Way of Ashland County, please contact the United Way office 419-281-5551.

Who makes the decisions on how the United Way funding is distributed? The Community Investment Committee, formerly called the Allocation Committee, is made up of 13 local volunteers.  This group is responsible for evaluating the needs of our 15 funded-partner agencies and making a recommendation to the United Way Board of Trustees as to the most pressing needs of our community.  The United Way Board has the final decision in determining the level of need and the goal for the 2020ROCKSTARS & LEGENDSCampaign.  The 2020 Goal is $ 850,000

What requirements must United Way Partner Agencies meet?

To be eligible for United Way funding, agencies must:  Be registered with the State of Ohio as a 501(c) 3 non-profit health and human services agency.

    1. Document effective delivery of high-priority programs and services in a reliable, cost-effective manner.
    2. Demonstrate sound financial and administrative management practices through auditors’ reports and other valid documentation.
    3. Be in compliance with all applicable laws.
    4. Be governed by a board of directors and publish an annual report.
    5. Make a formal application to United Way for Partnership.
    6. Demonstrate impact through measurable outcomes – in other words, show that they get results.

Why should I give if I haven’t been helped?  Many people give because a growing number of our most vulnerable residents – abused women and children, our elderly, homeless families, those with handicaps and mentally ill – cannot help themselves.  There is a great need in our community for the services offered by the United Way Partner Agencies.  In June of 2019, agencies made their request for funding the unmet needs of Ashland County for 2020.  You never know when a family member, neighbor, friend or even yourself may need, or have used the services provided by a United Way partner agency.

If someone can’t afford to give much, will a small donation do any good?  Every gift gives hope and improves lives.  Even a modest gift per pay period can help provide solutions to the most pressing health and human service needs in our community.  By giving through payroll deduction, you can spread your gift over the coming year, making it more manageable for your budget than a one-time gift.  It’s not the size of the gift – it is all of us giving together that make United Way a unique and valuable concept.  Every dollar matters!

Why is the United Way the best choice for my gift?  United Way brings Ashland County together to provide what matters most – results that improve people’s lives.  We’re focused on critical issues like helping children succeed, assisting families and individuals to achieve self-sufficiency and ensuring a safety net of essential service to help meet basic needs like food, shelter, and clothing.  One pledge to United Way combined with those of thousands of other people to fund many critical human service, health, and community development programs that make a difference throughout our community.

How much money actually goes to the Partner Agencies?  Approximately eighty cents of every dollar collected is invested in effective programs, services, and initiatives that demonstrate meaningful, measurable results.  The balance (approximately 21% based on five year average) is operating expenses for campaign, salaries, rent, utilities, office supplies, insurance, legal/professional services and United Way membership dues.

Our employees and their families are struggling. How can we ask them to give?  Time and again, some of the most generous donors are those who themselves 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 that he or she has helped our community become stronger and safer.  Only the donor can determine whether he or she can afford to give at this time.  Thanks to payroll deduction, even a small amount each pay period can add up over the year and give the employee a real feeling of connection to our community.

Why should I support services I may never use?  Any of us may need services such as child care, protective care for children and adults exposed to abuse and neglect, physical and mental health care, and care for older adults, or emergency disaster aid.  The life you change by supporting a United Way funded program could be that of a friend, co-worker, family member or even yourself! You never know when United Way will touch your life!

If the United Way is a Volunteer Organization, why does it have a paid staff?  Throughout the year, local United Way staff members provide support for volunteers, promote continuity in working towards long-term community solutions, and handle administrative functions as well as referrals for service and volunteer opportunities.  There are one full-time, and two part-time paid employees.  The annual campaign has become a year-round process.  Although the emphasis of the campaign is concentrated in the months of August through December, United Way actively seeks funding from foundations, company affiliations and through local fund-raising activities like “Ring in Spring”, “Fun, Fabulous Fridays”, “Oktoberfest”, “Holiday Happenings” and other special fundraising events. We also support community impact programs such as Kay Conrad Day of Caring, Stuff the Bus, and Fun Fridays. United Way is blessed with over 250 volunteers that give of their time as board members, campaign team, special events and office support.

My spouse gives. Why should I give, too?  Giving is an individual matter.  If you work, you have the opportunity to give and help others in need.  You’re asked to give based on only your salary, so we hope that both individuals will contribute at their own place of employment.  A husband and wife can complete separate pledge forms and can combine their gifts for reporting purposes to be recognized at the appropriate leader giver levels.  The combined gifts must be at least $250 for their names to appear in the Annual Report.

 Why didn’t someone I know get help from a United Way Agency?  Our agencies never deliberately turn someone down who needs help if they qualify for services.  Get the facts, names, phone numbers and dates and we will follow-up and get you or that person an answer.  However, sometimes we find the person did not qualify for services from the guidelines for assistance from that agency.

Why do I get donation requests from the American Cancer Society?  I thought they were a part of United Way?   There are two cancer organizations fundraising in Ashland County.  Our United Way funds the Ashland County Cancer Association, a local agency.  This organization helps people of Ashland County with transportation, supplies, and medication costs.  Generally speaking, the American Cancer Society uses donations, and the Relay for Life event for Cancer research and donations do not stay directly in Ashland County.

Is it true that United Way of Ashland County funds abortions?  The answer is absolutely NOT!  The United Way partner agency offering services to prevent teen pregnancy and to teach parenting skills, Parenting Plus, does not have any abortion-related programs. Additional information can be found on our website at www.uwashlandoh.org.

How does someone get help from the United Way?  United Way does not provide direct services to those in need.  The annual campaign dollars are allocated to the 15 funded partner agencies to help individuals and families in need of financial assistance.  The contact information for the Partner Agencies appears on the United Way website at www.uwashlandoh.org.

How can I volunteer my time to help United Way?  United Way counts on the contributions of time by many volunteers in Ashland County to improve lives. Numerous volunteer opportunities are available throughout the year. Please contact the United Way office to learn how to make an impact in Ashland County or go to the website at www.uwashlandoh.org

What is United Way of Ashland County’s relationship with United Way Worldwide?  United Way of Ashland County is a locally governed, autonomous organization.  United Way Worldwide serves member United Ways by providing professional training, resources, research and consulting services.  One percent of campaign dollars are paid to United Way Worldwide for membership.  These membership dues are for professional training, marketing and advertising materials, research, government relations, media relations counsel, and a national corporate development program.

Why is Salvation Army receiving United Way funding when they raised over 2 million dollars for the Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center? The Salvation Army in Ashland was provided a grant through the estate of Joan Kroc to build a facility that would provide additional services to the Ashland community in the area of recreation, education and the arts.  In order to receive this construction and endowment grant, the local community committed to raise funds to furnish the facility, as well as set up a local endowment fund at the Ashland County Community Foundation for the continued operation of the new center.

When the local and Kroc endowments are fully established, they will provide approximately 50% of the operating cost for the new facility, primarily supporting recreation, education and arts components of the programming. The remainder of the Salvation Army’s budget, including the assistance to individuals and family in the area of basic needs, are supported through United Way, private donations and fees for activities.  The two specific local programs receiving funding from the Salvation Army are Hunger Assistance and Comprehensive Emergency Assistance for 2020.