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, 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. The campaign raises funds for a variety of nonprofit organizations, including local programs and initiatives supported by United Way. 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 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.
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.
For a partner listing, click here.
How were gifts to United Way invested?
Through gifts last year, nearly $7.5 million was awarded to local programs and initiatives that help children and families in our community.
- Nearly $4.1 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.
- Nearly $1.5 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.
- $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.
How have gifts to United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut made a difference locally?
Some results made possible through gifts last year:
- Over 2,400 children in quality early childhood education programs gained skills needed to succeed in kindergarten, such as language and literacy skills.
- Nearly 1,900 youth improved their academic performance related to grade-level standards.
- Nearly 250 academically struggling students (matched with more than 160 UW Readers volunteers) improved their literacy skills; nearly 70 attained grade-level proficiency.
- Nearly 600 middle grade students acquired the academic skills needed for high school success.
- Over 700 individuals improved their education and employment potential; nearly 350 individuals attained industry-specific credentials or certifications.
- Nearly 400 people in job training programs secured employment.
- Workforce Solutions worked with over 100 employers in key industries that offer career advancement opportunities for lower-income, lower-skilled employees: health care, manufacturing, and transportation/distribution/logistics. Through employer-driven partnerships, the Collaborative helps lower-income, lower-skilled job seekers gain skills needed to advance in their career. In 2016, over 100 people attained career credentials and 80 gained new employment.
- Nearly 1,000 individuals increased their disposable income by accessing benefits.
- Almost 12,000 people in our region filed their 2017 taxes at volunteer-run tax sites and received over $26 million in tax refunds and credits, including over $7 million in EITC credits- money that can be used to save, pay bills and invest back into the community.
- More than 550 people participated in financial management programs; more than 50% created and maintained a budget, made regular contributions to savings and reduced debt.
- Nearly 3,400 people accessed health insurance
- Over 2,300 people accessed healthy food through Meals on Wheels programs.
- Over 14 million pounds of food was distributed to human services agencies in our region through our partnership with Foodshare.
- Over 13,000 people were connected to emergency resources such as rent/utility assistance, medical equipment, clothing or transportation assistance to better make ends meet.
- More than 1,000 people received emergency shelter.
- United Way 2-1-1 provided information and referrals to more than 88,000 callers in our region.
- More than 3,000 people found safety/services related to sexual assault or domestic violence.
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.
Download a PDF version of United Way's FAQs