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Frequently Asked Questions

DOES MY DONATION STAY HERE IN MY COMMUNITY?

Yes! Every dollar invested in United Way stays here in the Greater Rochester community. We believe in taking care of our own and we want to build a thriving community right here where we all live, work and raise our families.

IF I DON'T HAVE A LOT TO GIVE, CAN I REALLY MAKE MUCH OF AN IMPACT? 

When you invest in United Way you join more than 50,000 local people who have raised their hands, opened their hearts, dug in, shared resources and are doing their part to support a thriving region. From $1 to $1 million, investments in United Way’s Community Impact Fund support critical programs to improve Health, Education and Economic Mobility for people and families to build a stronger, greater Rochester.  

HOW MUCH OF MY DONATION GOES TO HELP LOCAL PEOPLE AND PROGRAMS?

92 cents of every donated dollar goes back into the community to support critical programs and services. Charity Navigator awards the highest score for fundraising costs if they are 10% or less and the BBB Wise Giving Alliance indicates that a charity should spend no more than 35% of related contributions on fundraising. United Way of Greater Rochester is below both of these guidelines. United Way collects, processes and transfers donations on behalf of hundreds of health and human services agencies in the region, and many indicate that participating in the United Way campaign is an effective, efficient way for them to fundraise.

HOW DOES MY DONATION HELP OUR COMMUNITY? 

United Way is dedicated to Identifying and investing in local, effective, results-oriented programs that focus on improving the three basic building blocks necessary for an individual, a family and a community to thrive: Health, Education and Economic Mobility.

WILL MY DONATION ONLY HELP PEOPLE IN THE CITY OF ROCHESTER, OR DOES IT HELP ALL OF MONROE COUNTY? 

United Way invests in an interconnected network of critical programs and community strategies aimed at addressing real challenges with real solutions. Whether it’s investing in a multipurpose aging resource center in Gates or partnering with our region's food bank to supply a food pantry in Brighton, our programs are connecting resources all across Greater Rochester to help our community thrive. Where you give stays where it is raised throughout Monroe County and for our regional United Way partners, as well.

WHY SHOULD I DONATE? 

We believe in giving local. When our community thrives, we all thrive.

  • One more local kid in after-school means one more high school graduate ready to take on the world.

  • One more local family with stable housing means one less zombie house causing property values to decline.

  • One more local elder with safe transportation means one less emergency hospital visit driving up healthcare costs.

HOW IS UNITED WAY ADDRESSING THE ISSUE OF SYSTEMIC RACISM IN OUR REGION?

The entire team at United Way is deeply committed to our mission, to unite the goodwill and resources of our community so everyone can thrive. We believe that working to eradicate systemic and structural racism is a key part of this role.
 
We work tirelessly to address disparities and increase opportunities by funding partners that improve health, education and economic mobility for local people. We also lead and actively participate in activities that harness the collective will and resources of organizations and individuals across Greater Rochester. For instance, United Way was one of the first to join the Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI) in our area; we are the host, fiscal agent, and an active participant with the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative (RMAPI); we play an active and coordinating role with the Monroe County Systems Integration Project; United Way serves as a convener for ROC the Future; we plan and host speakers on critical topics for United Way’s own Leadership Giving Networks and United Way conducts some of our region’s most recognized Leadership Development Programs, including AALDP, LLDP, and PLDP, to help increase the diversity of our community’s future leaders.
 
We require all of our Community Impact Fund Partners to abide by RMAPI’s guiding principles in order to receive United Way funding.
 
We are also deeply committed to the growth of our own team, conducting regular workshops and lunch-and-learn events for United Way employees.
 
United Way is a 100+ year-old organization that has been committed to community improvements since our inception. But we recognize there is more to be done, and we are increasing our efforts. We cannot have a thriving community until racial equity and justice are achieved.

WHAT VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES DOES UNITED WAY OFFER? 

United Way offers a matching service to connect our community’s dedicated volunteers and corporate groups with local nonprofits that need an extra hand or are seeking support for specific projects and volunteer opportunities. 

We host our community's new volunteer hub - Volunteer United - a dynamic and engaging volunteer management tool. Volunteer United connects local agencies with local people looking to make a positive impact on our community.

We plan the biggest volunteer party in Rochester every year. Every May, we get 5,000 of our closest friends together to participate in Day of Caring. They help 200 not-for-profits with everything from painting, planting and mulching and getting camps ready for kids. Click here to learn more. 

United Way hosts an online board matching platform, charitySTRONG, to help train and provide resource materials for volunteers on board governance and what it takes to be a great board member. It then allows nonprofits in need of board members and volunteers seeking board or committee service the opportunity to learn more about each other, connect, and match the volunteer leadership needs of the nonprofit with the interests and passions of individual candidates. Click here to learn more. 

We can also help you host your own volunteer events at your workplace or connect with volunteer opportunities for your teams. Contact Dave Brown at David.Brown@uwrochester.org for more information. 

I HAVE AN ITEM I WOULD LIKE TO DONATE - WHERE CAN I TAKE IT? 

Thank you for supporting our community with your donation! See if the item(s) you would like to donate are needed on the Community Wishbook

DOES UNITED WAY SUPPORT PLANNED PARENTHOOD? 

Planned Parenthood receives donations through United Way’s Donor Options program. Individual donors designate to Planned Parenthood; that’s the only means by which the organization receives money through United Way.