Why should I give to the United Way instead of giving directly to an agency?
There are several reasons why supporting the United Way is the best way to help the most people in our community. They include:
By investing in the United Way of Columbia and Montour County, you help provide solutions to critical human care needs of our community. You don't have to choose which need is most important because the United Way addresses them all.
Community volunteers carefully review each United Way-funded program on an annual basis. Their oversight ensures agencies adhere to sound fiscal policies and that your contribution is invested in programs that do the most good.
Giving through the United Way reduces costly and time-consuming fundraising efforts for the agencies providing programs. This enables them to better spend their time helping people who really need help.
When you give through your workplace campaign, your gift can be spread out over the course of a year through payroll deduction, making it easier for you to support the human care needs of our community.
When you give to the United Way of Columbia and Montour County, your gift is invested with the contributions of others to help provide a continuum of care for those in need. Your gift enables you to partner with us in creating sustained changes in community conditions that improve the lives of thousands of people in need throughout Columbia County.
How much of every United Way dollar goes to the United Way of America?
Three-quarters of one percent, and it's a very reasonable cost of doing business. As our national service organization, United Way of America helps us and other local, independent United Ways save money. Our membership allows us to buy a large number of quality services and products at the lowest possible cost, some of which are unique and could not be obtained elsewhere. An example would be the NFL spot commercials, which raise awareness of United Way services to a vast national audience and thereby helping hundreds of local United Way campaigns.
The Government should be doing more. That's the reason I pay taxes, right?
It all boils down to a lot of people and a lot of money and too much of both for any one organization to handle, even the government. The government does support the budgets of many of our agencies, but they still count on the United Way's annual sustaining grant to provide their vital core funding. Another consideration is whether we would really want the government to take over all of our community self-help organizations. The voluntary dollar also ensures volunteer control of the agencies.
You might be surprised to learn how many organizations that touch our lives are supported by donations to the United Way of Columbia and Montour County. The Big Brothers/Big Sisters, YMCA, American Red Cross, and Salvation Army are just a few of the United Way agencies that provide services that benefit everyone. It's also important to recognize that a healthy community is valuable to all of its citizens.
Is my United Way donation tax deductible?
Your gift is tax-deductible if you itemize on your tax return, subject to IRS restrictions.