FAQs

overview


Who is United Way of Metropolitan Dallas?

United Way of Metropolitan Dallas (UWMD) is a non-profit on a mission to change lives forever in our community by investing in three interconnected areas: education, financial stability, and health. We tackle tough issues that make a lasting difference here in North Texas, and we create opportunities for our community to succeed – like graduating from college and preparing career-ready teens; helping folks find jobs and keep more of what they earn; enabling access to quality health care; and ensuring everyone has a safe place to call home.

Read more by visiting About Us and Our Mission.

Meet our team here.



General


Why isn’t the data more recent?

One of the limitations to publicly available data is that it can take two to three years before it is released, which delays any data analysis. United Way uses publicly available data — as well as the program-level results related to United Way investments — as soon as it becomes available to continuously improve our efforts to focus on the areas where United Way supporters can make the greatest impact toward the community goals.



Where can I see earlier reports?

When the community first made its ten-year goals, we published an initial report entitled “Blue Ribbon Commission Report”.

The first detailed analysis of our work was published in 2010 by The University of Texas at Dallas, entitled: “United 2020: Measuring Impact.” Below are links to the reports:



In the news and on TV, I’ve heard “United 2020,” “Destination 2020,” and “Imagine 2020”. What do these have to do with United Way and its ten-year goals?

“United 2020” is how United Way originally branded this community-wide effort. However, we wanted to provide the community with more ownership over the initiative, hence the verbiage change to “ten-year community goals”.

“Destination 2020” and “Imagine 2020” are both Dallas Independent School District efforts to improve the school district. While United Way isn’t directly connected to these efforts, they do align with our goal of preparing kids to graduate and succeed.



How does United Way measure progress toward its ten-year goals?

Researchers from The Institute for Urban Policy Research at The University of Texas at Dallas analyze publicly available data and narrow it to the region served by United Way of Metropolitan Dallas: Dallas, Collin, Rockwall and southern Denton Counties. They also provide projections for the year 2020, based on the data and trends. Using this analysis, we create what we call “scorecards” for each of our three focus areas of Education, Financial Stability, and Health that graphically demonstrate the progress we have made.



How did United Way set its ten-year goals?

In 2008, over 150 local stakeholders developed a long-term strategic effort to change lives in our community, with representatives from business, government, and philanthropy lending their expertise and input. Ten-year goals were formulated by and for the community, and professional research partners from The Institute for Urban Policy Research at The University of Texas at Dallas was engaged to help evaluate, track, and refine our progress. You can read their original report here.



What are our 10-year community goals?

Our community’s 10-year goals are:

  • Education: prepare at least 60% of all students to graduate and succeed.
  • Income: move 250,000 people out of poverty.
  • Health: improve community health across the region

Curious how we’re doing? Check out our scorecards: Education, Financial Stability, and Health.



Why do some UWMD funded non-profits charge fees?

Some UWMD funded non-profits may charge for services based on the constituent’s ability to pay.



How do I know that service providers supported by United Way will use the funds responsibly?

Volunteers make investment decisions based on an organization’s fiscal responsibility, sound management, and the measurable results of specific programs. Oversight of continued adherence to sound fiscal policies and of program outcomes is part of the Community Impact Grant Panel process. View our Grant FAQs here.



Who makes the grant decisions?

A highly skilled and experienced committee of community volunteers selects our grantees. Check out our Community Impact Grant Panel. Interested in serving on a Grant Panel? Sign up to volunteer.



What is the Unite Forever Endowment Campaign and how do I get involved?

View our Unite Forever Campaign FAQs.



Joining UWMD


What is the Unite Forever Endowment Campaign and how do I get involved?

View our Unite Forever Campaign FAQs.



How can I volunteer, advocate, or start a campaign?

We would love to have you on board! Check out our Get Involved page for information on how to sign up.



How do I join the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas staff?

Check out our career opportunities.



Reaching Our Ten-Year Community Goals


Why isn’t the data more recent?

One of the limitations to publicly available data is that it can take two to three years before it is released, which delays any data analysis. United Way uses publicly available data — as well as the program-level results related to United Way investments — as soon as it becomes available to continuously improve our efforts to focus on the areas where United Way supporters can make the greatest impact toward the community goals.



Where can I see earlier reports?

When the community first made its ten-year goals, we published an initial report entitled “Blue Ribbon Commission Report”.

The first detailed analysis of our work was published in 2010 by The University of Texas at Dallas, entitled: “United 2020: Measuring Impact.” Below are links to the reports:



In the news and on TV, I’ve heard “United 2020,” “Destination 2020,” and “Imagine 2020”. What do these have to do with United Way and its ten-year goals?

“United 2020” is how United Way originally branded this community-wide effort. However, we wanted to provide the community with more ownership over the initiative, hence the verbiage change to “ten-year community goals”.

“Destination 2020” and “Imagine 2020” are both Dallas Independent School District efforts to improve the school district. While United Way isn’t directly connected to these efforts, they do align with our goal of preparing kids to graduate and succeed.



How does United Way measure progress toward its ten-year goals?

Researchers from The Institute for Urban Policy Research at The University of Texas at Dallas analyze publicly available data and narrow it to the region served by United Way of Metropolitan Dallas: Dallas, Collin, Rockwall and southern Denton Counties. They also provide projections for the year 2020, based on the data and trends. Using this analysis, we create what we call “scorecards” for each of our three focus areas of Education, Financial Stability, and Health that graphically demonstrate the progress we have made.



How did United Way set its ten-year goals?

In 2008, over 150 local stakeholders developed a long-term strategic effort to change lives in our community, with representatives from business, government, and philanthropy lending their expertise and input. Ten-year goals were formulated by and for the community, and professional research partners from The Institute for Urban Policy Research at The University of Texas at Dallas was engaged to help evaluate, track, and refine our progress. You can read their original report here.



What are our 10-year community goals?

Our community’s 10-year goals are:

  • Education: prepare at least 60% of all students to graduate and succeed.
  • Income: move 250,000 people out of poverty.
  • Health: improve community health across the region

Curious how we’re doing? Check out our scorecards: Education, Financial Stability, and Health.



Setting Community Goals


Why do some UWMD funded non-profits charge fees?

Some UWMD funded non-profits may charge for services based on the constituent’s ability to pay.



How do I know that service providers supported by United Way will use the funds responsibly?

Volunteers make investment decisions based on an organization’s fiscal responsibility, sound management, and the measurable results of specific programs. Oversight of continued adherence to sound fiscal policies and of program outcomes is part of the Community Impact Grant Panel process. View our Grant FAQs here.



Who makes the grant decisions?

A highly skilled and experienced committee of community volunteers selects our grantees. Check out our Community Impact Grant Panel. Interested in serving on a Grant Panel? Sign up to volunteer.



Donating


Is my donation tax-deductible?

Yes.



How do I get a tax receipt for my donation?

Tax Receipts for donations of $250 and greater will be mailed out (postmarked) by January 31 for the subsequent year.

Donors requiring a tax receipt for donations made in prior calendar years should forward their requests to the Finance department: TaxReceipts@unitedwaydallas.org

Although United Way is not required to issue tax receipts for donations under $250, if a donor requests (see below explanation), the Finance department will fulfill that request. Donors’ requests should be directed to: TaxReceipts@unitedwaydallas.org.

The law requires that in order “to deduct any charitable donation of money, a taxpayer must have a bank record or a written communication from the charity showing the name of the charity and the date and the amount of the contribution. A bank record includes canceled checks, bank or credit union statements or credit card statements.” For this reason, donors may need to request a tax receipt for a donation under $250.

Electronic Payments
For any donation made through the United Way website or eWay – the receipt is generated at the time of the transaction. This receipt should be used for tax purposes. In the event the donor does not have a record of this receipt, a request should be e-mailed to: TaxReceipts@unitedwaydallas.org and it will be fulfilled.



How do I donate to United Way of Metropolitan Dallas?

We appreciate your support! Donate here.



I HAVE MORE TAX QUESTIONS. WHO SHOULD I CONTACT?

All general inquiries (internal and external) should be directed to:
TaxReceipts@unitedwaydallas.org or Ms. Sylvia Weaver at 214-978-2003.

All 90th Anniversary tax receipt inquiries should be directed to: TaxReceipts@unitedwaydallas.org or Ms. Sylvia Weaver at 214-978-2003.



Unite Forever Campaign


How is UWFMD’s endowment different from those of various community foundations?

In terms of its establishment and management, not very different; we are all subject to the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA), and we are all required to provide accountability to donors and effective oversight of our operations. Our differences emerge from our roots as a community-wide resource. We were exclusively dependent for decades on our workplace campaigns to solicit annual giving; we were a community chest to organize community priorities and provide help in crisis. Now we bring those qualities—community-wide resourcing and community-wide decisions about allocations for community-wide impact—together. That’s unlike any other organization or foundation; our distinctions are:

  • We work with a large number of corporations, businesses, institutions, and individuals across the community to raise funds. We draw from a large and diverse base. For close to 90 years we have run workplace campaigns and have had strong relationships with and access to the business and corporate leadership of Metropolitan Dallas. Many of these business leaders look to United Way as the way their companies and employees can give back and, in times of crisis, as a way for their employees to get help.
  • Because of our broad focus throughout a four-county region, we have also engaged civic supporters who do not have opportunities to participate in the workplace campaigns. Hundreds of committed volunteers and funders from a wide cross section of the business, corporate, educational, and nonprofit communities feel accountable to that community in the broadest possible way. So, part of our difference is our scope – the number of community members making decisions.
  • Finally, by focusing on the building blocks of a good life – education, income, and health, we work on those needs that are the most salient and critical for our community. Community foundations and Government entities join us as partners in this work, bringing their expertise and support to topics that are not the primary focus of their work. 
If Metropolitan Dallas is to become a national leader, it will take the best of all of us. UWFMD’s endowment will provide a predictable funding for some of the region’s most pressing needs—and priorities designated by some of our most thoughtful and engaged citizens.



What happens if the value of an endowment fund falls below its original value?

UWFMD’s policies state that such a fund will not participate in the distribution policy until it is no longer “underwater.” Most often, while an individual fund may be underwater (this most likely occurs in the early years of an individual fund), because of the length of time other funds have been held and have grown, the risk of the entire endowment’s being “underwater” is reduced.



What is the value of UWFMD’s endowment at this time?

$38,815,182 as of June 30, 2014, inclusive of planned/deferred gifts.




What is UWFMD’s approach to managing its endowment?

The UWFMD Board oversees management of the endowment. According to Texas law, the UWFMD Board of Directors must act as an ordinary prudent person would do in a similar position under similar circumstances—and in accordance with the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA).



Why does UWMFD need to grow its endowment now?

As the Dallas area grows, the number of households in poverty and without access to strong education and health care grows at a faster rate. UWMD convenes a broad array of service providers; employers; business, corporate and educational leadership to identify solutions to complex and diverse community needs. Building the endowment is the best way to guarantee long-term resources available for these community-wide solutions. Many nonprofit agencies lack endowments and therefore find themselves at risk in times of economic downturn or when a highly visible and unexpected crisis affects a particular population.



What is an unrestricted endowment?

Currently, most of our endowment funds are unrestricted, meaning the donor does not stipulate the purpose for which the spendable portion must be spent. Unrestricted endowments give UWMD and its army of community advisers the flexibility to direct endowment distributions based on the greatest needs at that time. Some donors have a specific area of interest. For those donors, gifts may be designated to support any part of UWMD’s work.



How long does it typically take for endowment gifts to begin to provide funding to UWMD?

When an endowment with the UWFMD exceeds its original principal amount, the appreciation is eligible for distribution that year. Your endowment may begin providing support in less than a year. In no event may a distribution be made that would bring the endowment below the original gift amount.



How do I find out about my endowment after I have made my gift?

We will send you annual reports detailing value and use of your fund. When you establish an endowment fund with UWFMD, we will communicate with you with regard to your fund’s value and will update you on what your gift is making possible.



Whose name is on the endowment?

Endowment funds established at the minimum named funding level ($200,000) can be named for yourself, family, a friend, or company subject to UWFMD Board approval.



Do I need to meet a minimum gift level if I want to give to an existing endowment fund?

A gift of any size may be made to an existing endowment fund, and there may be an existing fund that reflects your interests.



Grants


Does a non-profit that was not selected for funding this multi-year cycle have the opportunity to receive funding in the future?

Absolutely. Feedback is provided to all agencies by the Strategy Panels and United Way Staff based on the evaluation of their program(s), enabling them to be more competitive going forward. We encourage agencies to apply for funding from United Way in subsequent years.

Register at this link to be notified of future funding opportunities from United Way: Sign Up for RFP Updates



Why wasn’t my favorite agency funded?

United Way’s multiyear grant process is an incredibly competitive environment, with funding requests for more than three times the dollars available to award. The volunteer Strategy Panels evaluated the programs against Best Investment Criteria to identify those that aligned best with the goals and metrics for EducationIncome, and Health.

Agencies that did not receive funding for the 2016-2019 multi-year grant cycle in the Education, Income, and Health areas may apply for funding in the Fall of 2018 for 2019-2022.

Agencies that did not receive funding in the Basic Needs area — funded annually — may apply for funding again December 2017 for 2018-2019.



What programs were awarded 2016-2017 Basic Needs grants and 2016-2019 Community Impact Grants?

Please see our list of funded programs.



How is this process different from the past?

The biggest difference is that, starting in 2010, the application process opened to any 501(c)3 non-profit organization that aligns with our key focus areas. Prior to 2010, the application for funding was limited to a closed set of partner agencies.



Who decides which programs get funded?

Donors and volunteers who live and work in our community are central to this process and are responsible for making the funding decisions. These volunteers collectively spend over 6,800 hours selecting the programs that best align with our key focus areas of EducationIncome, and Health to create change that lasts in North Texas. View the 2015-2016 Strategy Panels.



Who is eligible to apply?

The following requirements must be met in order for a program to receive funding through the Community Impact Grants Process:

  • The proposed program must concentrate its efforts and services within the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas service area (Dallas, Collin, Southern Denton, and Rockwall counties).
  • The proposed program must align with one of the strategies under EducationIncome, and Health.
  • Meet financial criteria including: a complete annual independent audit, an annual tax return (990/990EZ), unaudited financial statements, an active board of directors, and an IRS determination letter verifying non-profit status.



When does the process start and end?

The application for Basic Needs Grants begins in December with the release of the Request for Proposal (RFP) and concludes in June with the final funding approvals by the board.

Community Impact Grants for programs in our three focus areas of Education, Income, and Health are funded on a three-year cycle. The next process for multi-year Community Impact Grants begins in August 2018 with the release of the Request for Proposal (RFP) and concludes in June with the final funding approvals by the board. The funding period will be from June 2019 to July 2022.



What is the process?

The Community Impact Grants Process of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas is an open, transparent, and competitive process that allows eligible programs to apply for funding.

Each applicant is first reviewed against key financial standards and evaluated for their alignment with the strategies and goals for Education, Income, and Health, their ability to show measurable results and the resources it takes to obtain those results. Volunteers use a consistent and standardized evaluation process and scoring tool that includes reviews of written proposals and site visits of applicants.



What is the objective of the process?

The objective is to identify the programs that align with at least one of our focus areas of Education, Income, and Health and best contribute to achieving the community’s 10-year goals.



What is the community impact grants process?

Dedicated volunteers including corporate donors, community members, and individuals from philanthropic and community organizations, pour over each grant proposal and identify the local programs that align with our strategies and goals to create a lasting impact. Over 150 volunteers along with our Community Impact Team spend an average of 140 hours per proposal – that’s over 20,000 hours – determining which partnerships will create the most lasting impact in our community.

More on How We Invest.



Privacy & Compliance


Privacy Policy

United Way of Metropolitan Dallas values the trust its users place in the organization and adheres to the highest standards in gathering, using and safeguarding customer information. United Way does not sell or exchange personally identifiable information about its users.

If you provide an email address or other personal information (excluding financial information) when you visit our site, we may enter such information into one of our data bases so we can contact you to ask your input, provide information about our programs and events, and request contributions. We may also share your information with United Way Worldwide to be used solely for the foregoing specified purposes. If you would like us to withhold your information from such an exchange, please contact us. If you wish to unsubscribe from our emails, instructions for how to unsubscribe will be provided at the bottom of each email.

Third parties that need access to your information in order to provide operational or other support services to us must agree to safeguard your information in strict compliance with our privacy policy.



Ethics and Compliance Hotline

Ethics and Compliance Hotline is a reporting mechanism that facilitates reporting of possible illegal, unethical, or improper conduct when the normal channels of communication have proven ineffective, or are impractical under the circumstances.

The hotline is available to employees, volunteers, donors, service providers, vendors and community partners, who are unsure about where to go with their concerns, or feel uncomfortable reporting through normal channels of communication.

The hotline is designed to protect your confidentiality, and your anonymity, if requested. United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and the United Way Foundation of Metropolitan Dallas prohibit retaliation against anyone who, in good faith, reports a possible violation, or who participates in an investigation, even if sufficient evidence is not found to substantiate the concern.

To report an ethics and compliance concern, please contact the UWMD Chair of the Audit and Ethics Committee at 832-452-8325.



Terms & Conditions


Terms & Conditions

You agree that your use of the Web site is subject to the following Terms and Conditions. These Terms and Conditions may be modified at any time and from time to time; the date of the most recent changes or revisions will appear on this page. Continued access to the Web site by you will constitute your acceptance of any changes or revisions to the Agreement. If you do not agree with the Terms and Conditions, please do not use this web site.

The materials contained on the web site are provided by United Way of Metropolitan Dallas as a service to you for your use on an “as is, as available” basis. You acknowledge that you are using the web site at your own risk. United Way of Metropolitan Dallas assumes no responsibility for error or omissions in these materials.United Way of Metropolitan Dallas makes no commitment to update the information contained herein. United Way of Metropolitan Dallas makes no, and expressly disclaims any and all, representations or warranties, express or implied, regarding the web site, including without limitation the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of text, graphics, links, products and services, and other items accessed from or via the web site, or that the web site will be uninterrupted, error-free, or free of viruses or other harmful components. No advice or information given by United Way of Metropolitan Dallas or any other party on the web site shall create any warranty or liability.



Refund Policy


Refund requests are reviewed on an individual basis. Please contact United Way to request a refund. 214.978.000.




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