Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

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, four in ten 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, nearly $20 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.

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, $7 million was awarded to local programs and initiatives that help children and families in our community.

  • Nearly $4 million to provide children with early childhood education, improve grade-level reading skills and ensure middle grade students have the academic skills needed for high school success.
  • More than $1 million to connect individuals with skills and training for jobs in our region as well as the financial coaching services and supports to achieve their goals.
  • Nearly $2 million to provide access to information and referral services and immediate assistance such as food, shelter, disaster relief and services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

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 United Way 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.

What is Community Investment?

The best choice for positive change, United Way Community Investment is the giving option focused on advancing the common good. Our community priorities to advance the common good are:

  • Youth Success: When our children are ready for kindergarten and stay on track to graduation, they are better prepared for the future and contribute to stronger and more vibrant communities.
  • Economic Mobility: When families have the tools to be financially stable and independent, neighborhoods become stronger, our schools improve, and our businesses prosper.
  • Access to Health: When our neighbors are healthy, they can focus on what’s important—at home, at school and at work. Health is a key building block for a strong community.
  • Basic Needs: When our basic needs are met, we are healthier, more financially stable, our kids do better in school, and our communities are stronger and more vibrant.

These priorities are interconnected and allow us to provide opportunities for a better life for all.

I would like to designate my gift to a specific agency. How do I do this?

You may designate a portion or all of your gift to any qualified not-for-profit organization recognized as a 501(c)(3) by the Internal Revenue Service. For a list of our partners, click here.

There is an area on the pledge card underneath our Community Investment option that is labeled “Other”. Please use that area to provide the agency’s name, address, and phone number.

Designated gifts through the United Way Campaign are subject to a 10% fee, which includes administrative and fund-raising costs, capped at $100 per designated gift (assessed on a pro rata basis upon gift proceeds received).

Please note: Agency designated gifts are not monitored and United Way cannot ensure their results.

I would like to designate my gift to a specific agency, but I do not know the designation code.

We can look up the designation code in our database and provide it to you. However, if we are unable to locate a designation code for your agency, we will research your agency and create a code upon receiving your pledge card. Any information you can provide about your agency is helpful.

How will I be acknowledged by the agency?

By checking the box that reads: “Please check here if you want to be acknowledged by the agency you have designated.”

The agency that you designated to will receive a report that lists your name and gift amount. If this box is left unchecked we will pass along the gift, but list you as anonymous.

Does United Way charge a fee for contributions designated to agencies?

Yes, contributions designated to agencies through the United Way Campaign are subject to a 10% fee capped at $100 per designated gift (assessed on a pro-rata basis upon gift proceeds received). This fee includes administrative and fundraising costs.

How do you calculate the amount paid out to the agencies I chose?

United Way pays when your gift is received from you or from your employer via payroll deductions. For payroll deduction gifts, collections are tracked when provided by the employer. When donor detail is not provided on payroll payments, payments are applied proportionately to all payroll donors for that company.

The amount that is paid to the agency you designated to also depends on the timing of payments received from you or your company. United Way uses a cutoff date on or before the end of the month preceding payout.

Data Received & Processed By:

Checks Issued During Month Of:
December 31st – February *
March 31st – April
June 30th – July
September 30th – October
November 30th – December
February 28th – March **
May 30th – June **

* The first distribution captures fully paid gifts at time of pledge (cash, check, credit card or stock payments). Typically no payroll deduction proceeds have been collected at this time since the cutoff is December 31st. Most companies begin payroll deductions for the fall campaign during the next calendar year; January 1st – December 31st. Companies remit payroll deduction payments to UWCNCT after the deductions have been collected. Frequency varies by company – bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually.

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Please note: This information is geared toward organizations that receive United Way Community Investment funding.

What are these reports?

  • “Designations” report provides information relative to the check you have received.  This would include the pledge amount by donor, any fees withheld, amount previously paid, percent paid to date, collected proceeds as of the cutoff date located on the top of the report, and net check amount.
  • “Donor Details” report provides a list of the donors with their contact information (if they wish to be acknowledged) and their total pledge to your agency.

Once within our portal, click on reports, then select the drop down list of reports to review the various reports applicable to your agency.

When setting up my account on the agency portal, do I have to type the entire URL provided on the letter (if applicable) attached to the first check (since this service started)?

Yes.  Each URL is uniquely attached to every agency and must be typed exactly (including the https://) for the first time on the portal only.  Remember to type this URL into either Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome browsers (sometimes doesn’t work on Internet Explorer)

After typing in the URL, it says page not provided, why?

This is most likely because there is an error when the URL was typed in, most commonly the “s” was omitted by accident in the https://

When setting up my account, it gives me an error, but doesn’t specify what it’s for, why?

This is most likely due to browser settings not displaying the error message properly, but the most common issue is when a user tries to create a password that does not follow the following three rules: Must have a capital letter, must have a number, and must have a symbol (!For example).  Good password example: Password1!

It says I successfully created my account and have been waiting for approval for an extended period of time, why?

This may be because the registration was not done through the URL on the letter, or was completed on an invalid version of Internet Explorer.  In this scenario the account never fully completes registration, and no approval is visible on our end.

If you think this happened to you, email us and we will resolve it for you.

After my account is set up, where do I go to login in the future?

You can follow this link to access the login page after your account is set up: https://uwcnct.stratusliveportal.com/

I do not see a report for a specific check under my reports, why?

This may be because it is dated prior to July 2013, or is due to an account merge that needs to take place on our end between sub groups of an agency.  Provide us (agencyportal@unitedwayinc.org) with the payee name and amount on the check, and we will be able to help.

Why do we receive more than one form of payment at times?

Due to state regulation for the State of Connecticut Campaigns, payouts must be paid to agencies separately from all other donor designations from the regular United Way Campaign.  As such, there may be times where you receive multiple forms of payment from United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut (UWCNCT) for donor designations:

  • HA’ – Hartford Campaign (this is money raised from Companies within our 40 town region)
  • STATE – CT State Employees Campaign
  • ‘OOA’ – Other Regional and National Workplace  Campaigns (with headquarters located in Connecticut, such as The Hartford Financial Services, Northeast Utilities,  The Phoenix, Pratt & Whitney and Travelers)

Why didn’t we receive a check?

We distribute funds based on collection from donors and companies.  If, no funds have been collected from the donor or company no check will be distributed.  As donors fulfill their pledges and we receive the funds, we will pay them out.

How do you calculate the amount of the check?

UWCNCT pays based upon actual collections from donors and companies.  For payroll deduction gifts, collections are tracked by donor level when provided by their employer. When donor detail is not provided on payroll payments, the payments are applied proportionately to all payroll donors for that company.

The amount that is due to your agency also depends on the timing of payments received by the donor/company.  UWCNCT uses a cutoff date on or before the end of the month preceding payout.

How does pledge loss affect proceeds paid to my agency?

As stated above, UWCNCT pays out designations based on collections. Typically, we do not receive 100% of pledges.  Pledges are voluntary and are not a legal binding promise.  UWCNCT recommends your agency takes this into consideration when doing the accounting for donor designations received from UWCNCT.

Why are some gifts paid in full and others not?

When the donor is making their pledge they are given a few options on how they would like to pay their pledge. They can make one payment via cash, check, credit card, stock or elect payroll deduction through their employer. If the donor pays their gift in full you would only receive one payment on behalf of that donor. However, if they elect payroll deduction, depending on the payment frequency by their employer, you may receive a portion of their gift at each scheduled payout (see above schedule).

Why are fees being taken out of the pledge? How are they calculated?

UWCNCT collects a 10% administration fee on donor designated gifts. The fee is capped at $100 per designated gift.  Any such fees that are taken from donor-designated gifts are done so ratably upon collected proceeds.

How should I thank the donor?

Please acknowledge the gross amount of the pledge directly to the donor. Do not acknowledge the payment amount. Please do not acknowledge UWCNCT. If the donor wishes to remain anonymous we cannot forward their information to you.

Why would I receive designation checks from other United Ways?

Some local companies report to a main corporate office that is located outside the Greater Hartford region. The United Way local to that main office would be the processor of the campaign information.

Questions? Please e-mail: agencyportal@unitedwayinc.org

No phone calls please.

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