General United Way FAQ's
What is United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut (United Way)?
Founded in 1924, United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to improve lives for children and families in the 40 towns of central and northeastern Connecticut. We are the largest United Way in Connecticut and the second largest in New England. Since inception, more than $930 million has been raised by our United Way to help people in our community.
What is United Way’s mission and vision?
Our mission is to engage and bring together people and resources committed to the well-being of children and families in our community.
Our vision is a community where opportunities are available for every child to succeed in school and for every family to achieve financial security.
How does United Way help working families?
Despite working hard, one in three families in central and northeastern Connecticut struggle to pay bills, put food on the table, make ends meet and give their children the education they deserve – and this affects our entire community. Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed (ALICE) represents households earning more than the federal poverty level, but less than the basic cost of living.
Challenges facing ALICE households are complex and it’s a long journey to self-sufficiency and success, yet we are making progress. With our partners, donors and volunteers, we connect ALICE and other hard-working individuals with opportunities to get ahead through United Way-supported programs and initiatives.
How does United Way improve lives?
Through gifts to United Way Community Investment, we bring together public, private and nonprofit partners across our region to find solutions to some of our community’s most pressing problems. Our United Way focuses on three strategies:
Helping children and youth succeed academically and in life:
- We prepare youth for academic success with a focus on early childhood education, grade-level reading and transition to high school.
Ensuring families become more financially secure:
- We connect people with good jobs and opportunities to learn how to save and grow their money.
Supporting healthier lives and providing access to basic needs:
- We help individuals and families access immediate emergency assistance, such as food, shelter, and quality health-related services.
What is the United Way Campaign?
Each year, thousands of people and hundreds of local companies and organizations support the United Way Campaign through workplace and individual giving. Locally, United Way partners with Community Health Charities in the largest annual fundraising effort in Connecticut for health and human services. The campaign raises funds for a variety of nonprofit organizations, including local programs and initiatives supported by United Way Community Investment. Last year, more than $22 million was raised by 400 local workplaces and 30,000 donors.
What choices do I have when making my gift to the campaign?
You may make a gift to United Way Community Investment or a specific focus area (education, financial security, health or basic needs) and/or a designated gift to a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization of your choice. Please visit our Donor FAQ for more information.
What organization is United Way's nonprofit partner in the campaign?
Community Health Charities is our partner in the United Way Campaign. For more than 60 years, Community Health Charities has been connecting nearly 2,000 of the most trusted health charities across the United States with more than 17 million caring donors. With two out of every three Americans suffering from at least one long-term health challenge, ranging from asthma to cancer, it has never been more important to support the leading organizations tackling these critical health issues. Over the past six years, Community Health Charities has raised more than $500 million nationally to support the missions of the health charities in their network.
CHC member charities receive a portion of your contribution to United Way Community Investment; CHC associate member charities do not receive Community Investment funding.
Why give to United Way?
By giving to United Way, you support funding for programs and initiatives that help youth to graduate high school ready for college and a career and lower-to-moderate income families to become more financially secure. United Way also funds programs and services that provide access to immediate, emergency basic needs such as food and shelter.
Gifts to United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut stay local and are monitored by trusted, experienced and knowledgeable volunteers. The volunteers ensure that gifts are well-spent to produce real results and that effective management, governance, and financial accountability standards are upheld by our community partners. All of United Way’s community partners receive a portion of your gift to Community Investment.
For a partner listing, click here.
How were 2015 gifts to United Way Community Investment spent?
Through gifts last year, more than $7.75 million was awarded to local programs and initiatives that help children and families in our community.
- More than $4 million to ensure children and youth who are behind — or at risk of falling behind — can start school ready to succeed, become proficient readers at a young age, stay on track in middle school, and earn their high school diploma so they are prepared for college or a career.
- More than $1 million to connect lower-income working families with opportunities to get jobs that support their families, and programs to help them get on more solid ground financially.
- More than $2 million to provide people with access to immediate, emergency services such as food, shelter, disaster relief, basic material needs, and support for survivors of sexual assault or domestic violence. This also includes assistance for those who need help accessing these services through United Way 2-1-1, a free, confidential information and referral service accessible to everyone. Dial 2-1-1, or visit 211ctorg, 24 hours/day, seven days/week. Multilingual and TTY assistance available.
An additional $1.2 million is invested in health initiatives through our campaign sharing agreement with Community Health Charities (CHC). Awards to health initiatives help provide access to health care services, including prevention, treatment and research. For more than 60 years, Community Health Charities has been connecting caring donors with the most trusted health charities working to improve health and well-being.
How have gifts to United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut made a difference locally?
Some results made possible through gifts last year:
- More than 4,800 youth improved skills needed for academic success, such as study skills.
- Nearly 11,400 filers received $29.1 million in federal refunds and credits through Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites and MyFreeTaxes
- More than 23,500 people received basic food assistance.
- Nearly 110,000 individuals in our 40-town region were connected to information and referrals through United Way 2-1-1.
- Nearly 1,000 people were assisted by disaster relief services in response to local emergencies
How can I become a United Way Leadership Investor?
Leadership Investors are individuals who give $1,000 or more annually. Gifts of $1,000 to $9,999 are recognized by our local Constitution Society while those who give $10,000 or more are recognized as members of the National Tocqueville Society. Learn more.
What is United Way Year of Caring?
Locally, United Way Year of Caring has mobilized workplace volunteers to make a lasting difference for children and families in our region for more than two decades. In 2015, nearly 4,000 volunteers engaged in 160 full or half day service projects for Year of Caring. Learn more.
This year, we are encouraging donors to consider increasing their gifts by $25, $250 or 25 percent to United Way Community Investment to help launch a special initiative for next summer called “Meet Up and Read Up!”
Together with community partners, this will provide local kids with free, healthy meals and quality enrichment programs. With those elements combined, we will be closing the summer meal gap and preventing summer learning loss.
Download a PDF version of United Way's FAQs