Frequently Asked Questions
General Questions
Why is United Way no longer announcing a fundraising dollar goal for the annual campaign?
United Way’s efforts are focused on accomplishing results together – not just achieving a dollar goal.  While we will always strive to meet certain internal budgetary goals, our community goals will now be based on the impact that our funded programs and Partner Agencies achieve each year.  As always, we maintain financial transparency, and details of our finances and allocations are published in our annual report, which is posted on our website along with our 990s.

Does United Way share its 990s?
Yes.  Forms 990 and 990-EZ are information returns used by tax-exempt organizations (and others) who record incomes of $25,000 or greater. These forms are required to be filed annually with the IRS. Click here to read a copy of our most recent form 990, and click here to view our audit.  If you would like a copy of any older public records for United Way of the Greater Dayton Area, please contact our Finance and Administration Department at (937) 225-3010.

What is United Way of the Greater Dayton Area’s designations policy?
Donors may direct all of their contribution within United Way of the Greater Dayton Area’s network of services, including to LIVE UNITED 24/7 365 (former called the Community Solutions Fund); the 3 Impact Areas of Education, Income, and Health; the Partner Agencies; any United Way; or the Partner Agencies of neighboring United Ways.  Donors may also direct up to half of their total pledge to a qualified 501(c)3 health or human service organization that is not a Partner Agency.  The balance of the gift can then be directed any way they wish within our local United Way network.  84 cents out of every designated dollar collected goes to the program or service.  The remaining 16 cents covers pledge processing and fundraising.  This figure is different than the overhead rate, which is a calculation of expenses to revenue.  For more details on our designation policy, click here.

Do designations to Partner Agencies affect allocations from LIVE UNITED 24/7 365?
No.  Since 1990, designations to Partner Agencies have been a separate stream of funding from LIVE UNITED 24/7 365 (formerly called the Community Solutions Fund).  Many people still mistakenly believe that designations are the “first dollars in” towards a Partner Agency’s allocation from the volunteer process, but in actuality, the two funding streams are intentionally kept completely separate.

Why did United Way move?
Selling the former United Way building and moving to rented space is benefiting the community by saving $100,000 a year that was being lost in upkeep expenses.

Did any United Way funds go to the SCLC or IMA?
No.  The SCLC and IMA do not receive United Way dollars.  They have never been United Way Partner Agencies, so they were not at all part of the tightly monitored, ongoing United Way effort to provide critical services to carefully screened agencies.  These organizations did receive emergency food and shelter funds through a FEMA program in which United Way serves a limited role as convener of the Local Policy Board comprised of area food and shelter providers.  The FEMA program was designed to be non-bureaucratic to pass dollars quickly to food and shelter programs in high need counties.

Someone I know gave to United Way for years but did not get help when he or she needed it, so why should I give now?
United Way’s HelpLink 2-1-1 works diligently to connect every caller with services that can help, and our Partner Agencies try very hard to serve everyone who contacts them.  Unfortunately, there may be obstacles such as waiting lists for appointments and limited or strained resources.  Sometimes the service offered is not what the person expects.  If he or she is hoping to receive direct financial assistance, those resources are extremely scarce because they address the symptom but not the long-term solution to a problem.

What accountability standards does United Way have in place?
All United Way financial records are handled in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.  A volunteer Finance Committee, chaired by the Board Treasurer, oversees the financial operations.  United Way is audited annually by an independent accounting firm and practices full voluntary disclosure of its 990 and audits.

What happened with the talks about merging with United Way of Greater Cincinnati?
Given the challenging economy, the United Way Board felt that a merger warranted exploration.  However, our volunteer leaders were not convinced that it was the best path to meet the Dayton region’s needs and to resolve our local challenges.  The proposed plan did not demonstrate significant cost reductions and lacked assurance that our community would benefit in the long-term from possible revenue growth.

What happened to the former president of United Way of America?
In 1992, allegations were raised regarding United Way Worldwide’s (formerly United Way of America) president’s expense practices.  He served a seven-year sentence in prison.  Our local United Way stopped paying dues until we were convinced that United Way Worldwide had controls in place to be fiscally accountable.  Since then, United Way Worldwide has been well managed and accountable to local United Ways.  Each local United Way is independent and autonomous; we are not chapters of United Way Worldwide.
Tax-Related Questions

When will I get a tax receipt for my gift?
Receipts for cash, check or stock gifts over $250 will be mailed January of the year following the donation in time for your year-end tax preparation.

How do I claim my payroll deduction gift on my taxes?
To claim this deduction, you will need both your year-end payroll stub documenting the donation and either a copy of your pledge card, a print out of your e-Pledge confirmation, a copy of your thank-you card/letter from us or a tax notice from United Way of the Greater Dayton Area. We will mail you a tax notice in mid-December to remind you to save your last pay stub and claim your deduction.

How do I claim non-payroll gifts as a deduction?
A copy of your cancelled check, your credit card statement, or your stock broker statement showing payment to United Way of the Greater Dayton Area is needed. Alternately, for gifts over $250, we will provide a separate receipt.

If my gift is paid by check, does the date on the check always satisfy IRS rules on when I can claim the deduction?
No. If the payment is made late in the year, the United Way uses the post mark date to determine for which tax year the substantiation letter will be sent. Otherwise, the cancelled check date would be sufficient proof of the applicable tax year (please save your cancelled check or bank statement). As an added convenience to you, the United Way has the ability to receive a gift up until Midnight on 12/31. Please call (937) 225-3001 to make arrangements.

How do I claim cash gifts as a deduction?
All cash gifts must have a receipt. Employee Campaign Coordinators may receive receipts from their campaign manager to issue to donors giving less than $25. For amounts over that, either you must complete a pledge card with your gift, or you can call United Way's finance department at (937) 225-3001.

Can I claim my raffle ticket as a donation?
No. Donations can only be claimed for gifts where you received no goods or services.

If no goods or services can be received, can I still claim my donation if my employer offered a prize for participation?
Yes, as the prize is a gift from your employer and not United Way.

I designated my gift to an agency through the United Way. Do I need a separate receipt from the agency?
No. The IRS only recognizes the charitable organization to which the dollars are paid directly. A receipt from the designated agency will NOT be accepted by the IRS. If you've received a document from the designated agency, this is simply an acknowledgement of your pledge.
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