About United Way of Weld County
What is United Way of Weld County?
United Way of Weld County is a local, independent nonprofit organization. Through United Way, together we are building a better Weld County, one where children are reading to learn by the start of fourth grade, youth are working at good jobs by age 25, families have stable housing, older adults are aging well, and people are connecting to the help they need. United Way is improving lives by mobilizing the caring power of our community.
What does United Way of Weld County do?
The United Way of Weld County board of directors has identified and is resourcing five initiative areas that can solve Weld County’s long-term challenges.
- Reading Great by 8: Building the foundation for early childhood success.
- Thrive by 25: Connecting youth to caring adults.
- Weld’s Way Home: Preventing and ending homelessness.
- Aging Well: Helping older adults age well in our community.
- Connecting Weld: Linking people to the help that they need.
United Way accomplishes its mission in three distinct ways:
- Provides: Utilizing the organization’s management capacity to offer programs when community services are needed and United Way has the capacity to respond.
- Partners: Investing in nearly 100 Weld County agency programs using a number of strategies that assure decision-making is accountable and involves community volunteers and civic representation.
- Collaborates: Advancing county-wide solutions by leading and participating in efforts that bring the community together for collaborative work.
Why did United Way pick these five initiative areas and what are their goals?
At 4,017 square miles, an area half the size of the State of New Jersey, Weld County is the third largest county in Colorado. Our home is consistently ranked as one of the top 10 agricultural and energy producing counties in the United States. There is great wealth and opportunity in Weld County. We are thankful for it.
Nevertheless, there are persistent challenges indicating some of our neighbors lack the opportunity to thrive. Given the organization’s historic role, community need, and the interests of United Way partners and community leaders, the United Way of Weld County board of directors decided to focus upon these five initiative areas and adopt and support the achievement of community-wide goals.
- Reading Great by 8: Building the foundation for early childhood success. Currently 39% of Weld County children are reading to learn by the beginning of 4th Grade; a goal is to increase this to at least 43% by 2024.
- Thrive by 25: Connecting youth to caring adults. Currently more than 1 in 4 Weld County youth do not have a connection to a caring adult; a goal is that by 2024 a solid 75% will have this connection.
- Weld’s Way Home: Preventing and ending homelessness. Currently there are about 236 individuals and families living outside or in a car in Weld County; a goal is to decrease this to less than 100 by 2024.
- Aging Well: Helping older adults age well in our community. City of Evans, City of Greeley and Garden City are now members of the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities; a goal is to lead the community in becoming more age-friendly.
- Connecting Weld: Linking people to the help that they need. While Connecting Weld does not have community-wide goals, its activities support the other four United Way initiative areas in achieving theirs.
Where do donations made to United Way go?
Who runs United Way? Who decides where the money goes?
United Way of Weld County is governed by a local board of directors made up of over twenty volunteers who live and work right here in Weld County. United Way has 30+ staff members; the executive leadership team has over 100 combined years of experience in management and leadership. Each year, up to 1,000 volunteers give their time on various committees, at events, performing administrative tasks, and helping with direct service provision.
For each investment method, committees made up of volunteers assess the needs of the community, review applications, deliberate, and make funding recommendations to the board of directors (a committee of volunteers themselves), who make the final determination. If you’re interested in joining one of these committees, please call 970-353-4300.
Are all United Ways one big organization?
No. United Way of Weld County is a local, independent organization that serves Weld County. All funding and policy decisions are made by volunteers who live and work in our community. No entity outside of Weld County makes decisions for United Way of Weld County.
There are around 1,800 other local United Ways across the world. Like United Way of Weld County, each is separately incorporated and independently governed by local volunteers.
United Way Worldwide, based in Alexandria, Va., is a membership association for the 1,800 local United Ways. United Way Worldwide does not fund programs; instead, they are a national service and training center for all United Ways. In order to use the United Way name, local United Ways must meet standards of nonprofit excellence and accountability. They also can rely on United Way Worldwide for national research, advertising, training, and many other services essential to their operations. In exchange for these services, local United Ways, including United Way of Weld County, make a voluntary membership investment in United Way Worldwide (less than a penny per dollar raised).
Where can I find out about volunteering or discover an internship opportunity at United Way or other nonprofits in Weld County?
United Way of Weld County manages a Volunteer Engagement program that can connect you to dozens of volunteer opportunities. Visit Weld County Volunteer Connection to view many of these opportunities or call 970-353-4300 and ask for Volunteer Engagement to find out more.
How can my organization apply to receive funding from United Way?
United Way of Weld County invites every Weld County nonprofit organization to participate in the collective impact workgroup that best fits their mission and efforts, be it Reading Great by 8, Thrive by 25, Weld’s Way Home, or Aging Well. Call 970-353-4300 or email impact@UnitedWay-Weld.org to find out more.
Is it true that United Way only helps those experiencing poverty?
No. United Way investments support individuals from all walks of life, from coaching for improving the quality of child care, to after school programming for struggling youth, to helping people maintain their housing, to services for older adults who need help living independently, to connecting people to resources.
Does 211 Colorado Information and Referral only give information and referrals for United Way funded programs?
No. 211 Colorado resource navigators can answer your questions and connect you with services in Weld County and throughout Colorado.
About Making a Donation
Why give to United Way?
United Way of Weld County donors trust United Way to invest their dollars wisely. In return, their funds are invested in the most effective and impactful ways possible. The need is great, and it can be overwhelming for a donor to choose where to donate their money. Money invested through United Way addresses the above-mentioned five initiative areas. United Way volunteers and staff discover and evaluate organizations and their programs, investing only in those that are going to lead to the achievement of the community-wide goals.
And it’s a wise investment: United Way of Weld County consistently meets the United Way Worldwide annual membership standards of excellence, has Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance accreditation, is GuideStar Platinum recognized, and has a high rating with Charity Navigator. Additionally, each year United Way receives an independent financial audit.
How do I make a donation?
You can give one-time, through payroll deduction at your workplace, by becoming a Leadership Giver, and in other ways. Explore your options.
How do I become a Leadership Giver?
There are several levels of leadership giving, beginning with a minimum contribution of $500. When your gift is $10,000 or more, you become part of the Kenneth W. Monfort Society and the United Way Worldwide Tocqueville Society. Leadership givers have the opportunity to attend some great events and meet other community leaders; they are recognized throughout the year in a multitude of ways. Find out more by contacting Patty Gates, vice president of donor engagement, at Patty Gates or 970-353-4300 or by visiting the Leadership Givers page on the website.
How does my business or organization sponsor what United Way is doing in Weld County?
There are numerous sponsorship opportunities, from becoming a Cornerstone Partner to investing in an initiative area to being connected to a specific event. Find out more by contacting Patty Gates, vice president of donor engagement, at Patty Gates or 970-353-4300 or by visiting the Sponsorship and Engagement Opportunities page on the website.
How much of what I donate actually helps people?
Thanks to Cornerstone Partners, 100% of donations are used for programs and services. Cornerstone Partners understand the importance of United Way’s role of bringing organizations together to achieve greater results. These companies and organizations make large directed gifts so that donations from individuals and small businesses go directly to programs and services that help our more vulnerable Weld County neighbors.
Can I give to a specific initiative area or organization? Can I give to more than one?
You can give to any initiative area or nonprofit organization (or organizations) through United Way of Weld County—designations can be made to any 501(c)3 charitable organization. Please share your preference when you make your donation. You do not need to designate to a specific organization or initiative area, though. In fact, the best way to impact the entire community is by making an undesignated or general contribution to United Way. Doing so supports all of the efforts in the United Way five initiative areas. For instance, typically a household in need of help requires the assistance of more than one organization, such as housing assistance plus food assistance. By giving to United Way overall, your donation provides holistic, wrap-around services to get households back on track to stability.
I can’t give very much, is my gift too small to matter?
A contribution to United Way of Weld County, no matter how much, is vital to the community. United Way is built on the principle of synergy—a whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Even if you give $1 per week, United Way optimizes the impact of every dollar raised, making it work harder and smarter.
How do I find out where my dollars are being used?
United Way of Weld County uses the Thriving Weld Dashboard to share its outcomes with the community. United Way direct service programs and the programs in which it invests report at least annually on their goals, which are then tied into larger, community-wide goals, demonstrating how change is happening across Weld County.
Is my personal information shared when I give to United Way?
Does United Way shut out some nonprofits from its campaign?
No. Through United Way of Weld County you can give to any 501(c)3 organization. While United Way provides accountability for its partner organizations, it cannot be held accountable for non-partner designations.
Can I exclude an agency from receiving my donation?
Yes. You may negatively designate, assuring your contribution will not be used for services which you do not support. Please share your preference when you make your donation.
I feel pressured to give at my workplace. Is this appropriate?
Giving should always be a personal decision, free from coercion. United Way of Weld County doesn’t support campaigns using undue pressure in any way; doing so is in direct conflict with United Way operating standards. Information and education, not pressure tactics, lead to the best and most generous giving environment. Workplace fundraising is best led by peers, not managers. United Way’s board of directors has this policy statement:
“We believe that the most responsive contributors are those who have the opportunity to become informed and involved. A well-planned campaign with an effective communications program, conducted by committed volunteers, will ensure responsive contributors. While we have always been unalterably opposed to coercion, we do recognize a responsibility to state our beliefs formally, as freedom of choice is a basic tenet of our democratic society.”
Our company’s employees and their families are struggling. How can we ask them to donate?
Time and again, some of the most generous givers are those who themselves have struggled and received 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 she or he has helped our community become safer and stronger. In the same way no one should be forced to give, no one should be deprived of the opportunity to give.
Why does United Way use pay for lunches and recognition events?
Events are held to attract and retain donors and volunteers; without these, United Way of Weld County would see a decline in donations. Additionally, individual donations aren’t used to pay for events—instead sponsors and Cornerstone Partners cover these costs, along with ticket sales from each event.
Why do organizations that receive United Way funding still conduct fundraising efforts every year?
United Way of Weld County invests in specific programs, rather than entire organizations. Additionally, United Way is not able to fund 100% of any agency’s annual budget. United Way supports agencies at a variety of levels, ranging from providing less than 1% to 50% of an agency’s overall budget.
Have another question for United Way? Email UWWC@UnitedWay-Weld.org. The United Way of Weld County staff would love to hear from you!